Bamboo Bike Park
In 2011-2012, a group of Grade 5 students (now Grade 7) were concerned that our bicycle parking area was over capacity – so they decided to do something about it. The group gave a compelling presentation to the UNIS Buildings and Facilities Committee in which they explained, with evidence, that overcrowding was evident in our existing bike shelter. In their presentation they proposed that UNIS Hanoi build a new shelter to accommodate the increasing number of bicycles on campus each day.
The student’s efforts of persuasion came at a time when the UNIS Hanoi Green Team was developing the tools of our sustainable school strategy – The Green Grid. As well as encouraging alternative transport to get to school, the student’s proposal provided the perfect opportunity to address various items on the Grid. One key item on the Grid advocates the “Use of rapidly renewable materials”. It was this clause which inspired the idea to create something out of bamboo.
Using bamboo as a building material is not just sustainable, it also resonates with one of the recommendations put forward by the CIS/WASC accreditation team following their visit to UNIS Hanoi in 2010; “the Administration, staff and students more actively display and celebrate the host country for its rich and bountiful culture”.
Fast-forward a year and a huge pile of naturally-cured Lu?ng bamboo arrived on campus from Thanh Hóa province and was prepared for the construction of our bamboo bike shelter. Even its dismantled state, the richness and natural beauty of this most Vietnamese of building materials was evident. With touch and smell it has an almost antique quality to it which can be attributed to three months of immersion and smoke-curing in line with traditional preparation methods. This preparation makes it beautiful and durable – our bike shelter comes with a 15 year guarantee.
UNIS Hanoi enlisted the help of architect Võ Tr?ng Nghia who is responsible for some incredible bamboo creations – most recently the Bamboo Wing of the Flamingo Dai Lai resort in Vinh Phúc province, for which he has gained international recognition. Mr Nghia’s team have proposed an elegent and contemporary design for the bike shelter at UNIS which will be visible between B9 and the Grade 5 building. Construction was completed in time for the new 2013-2014 school year.
Another item on the UNIS Green Grid promotes a strong relationship between the built and the natural environment. Our bamboo bike shelter will stand not only to protect bicycles from the Hanoi weather, but will also be a reminder to all of the sustainable choices that can be made and the benefits to the campus that they bring.
Your UNIS Hanoi Green Team: Jody O’Dea, David Porter, Scott Edwards
Inspiration by Grade 5 (now Grade 7) students: Romi Efrat, Maya Kaufman, Jose Acuna, Yu Bin Jwa, Predtheev Ravi, Yuka Kitamura, Phuong Le, Caitlin Guthrie and Quan Pham