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Organic Rebar

October 24, 2009

   “Nation Builders”  is my construction company in Cambodia.  We have built 6 km (about 4 miles) of drainage and sewage pipes (manufacture, engineer and install) in the last six months, plus we have started building roads.  Our one meter wide drain pipes, made from concrete are of excelent quality and only cost about $60 per meter (3 feet sections).  Our road work is putting down concrete roads 8 inches think.  We build roads for $2.50 per square foot! (You know you can’t even buy chinese made tiles for that in the US!)  How do we do it?  We keep the costs low and sales high! 

Bamboo: The Organic Rebar

Bamboo: The Organic Rebar

   One way we keep costs low is by using locally available materials.  That includes “organic rebar”.  Concrete is an amazing thing.  It can handle huge compression forces, but yet, it pulls apart very easy.  It has very little tension strength.  That is why for building with concrete, you need to use rebar.  If you don’t, it will crack very quickly. It holds the concrete together.  Well, in Cambodia, we use bamboo for road work.  Bamboo does not deteriorate over time.  The road will be replaced long before the bamboo will show any ware and tare.  Bamboo is flexible and strong.  In Asia, they use bamboo for scaffolding on 50-60 storey building.  It is all held together by plastic ties.  No problem. 

   How much does steel cost? $750 per ton.  How much does bamboo cost? $10 per ton.    Keeping costs low we can build a nation.  We are also sensative to the environment.  Eco roads: something Obama has not even throught of.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Bryan Furr permalink
    October 25, 2009 7:42 pm


    Happy Birthday tomorrow!!! At least I think it is the 26th if my memory serves me. I have a box ready with a few things for you and the family and a few books for Words of Life. I will mail them out tomorrow evening to GT. You should have them by the 7th of November when you are in California.

  2. Raylene N Richard Zendejas permalink
    October 25, 2009 10:09 pm

    Happy Birthday Steve!

  3. Uncle Gerald permalink
    October 26, 2009 6:25 am

    Now I see the comment button … Have a great Birthday. Enjoy your trip.

  4. Beth Ward permalink
    October 26, 2009 2:58 pm

    I loved learning about bamboo rebar. Your blog is interesting and informative – but most of all, it makes me ponder stewardship, kingdom building, and other God-concepts. Thanks for writing and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  5. Maurice Benington permalink
    October 27, 2009 11:42 pm

    Love your use of natural products, brilliant example of think global (well Kingdom I think would be more appropriate) act local.

  6. Ashley malheiro permalink
    October 31, 2009 4:33 pm

    Ahaa Eco roads!! No, I am sure the Obama administration has not thought of this!! God Bless you and your family!! I pray for you all daily!!!

  7. Samuel tan permalink
    January 30, 2012 6:44 am

    Oh, I am sure he did.
    But there is no money for his friends.
    Just forget that peanuts.

  8. Samuel tan permalink
    January 30, 2012 6:53 am

    Hi Steve,
    Bravo, I am an Architect and just thought about Bamboo rebar. There you are already done it.
    I am going to Indonesia to do just that for PEACE (charity works) to build houses.
    Would like to learn from your experience. Cement Concrete is Alkaline, over the year, it will eat up iron rebar, not Bamboo.

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