Convento House – A Bamboo Home Built For $15,000

This house in Ecuador has been built almost entirely from bamboo. Set in a remote location in an Ecuadorian rainforest, the house is constructed from over 900 bamboo poles. Its designer, Enrique Mora Alvarado, recognised the importance of using locally available materials.


Bamboo House - Convento House - Enrique Mora Alvarado - Ecuador - Exterior - Humble Homes

The house has been named Convento House, and is set on a plot surrounded by mountains and a bamboo forest. It also features a small creek – talk about idyllic. Alvarado decided to make use of bamboo in order to keep the build costs down, and also to remove the difficulties surrounding transportation of materials.


Bamboo House - Convento House - Enrique Mora Alvarado - Ecuador - Living Area - Humble Homes

The simplicity of building with bamboo was key to the success of the project. Despite it being a commonly used material in the region, the locals weren’t familiar with some of the methods, and curing processes required to give the bamboo its strength. To address this, the family were taught various construction techniques.


Bamboo House - Convento House - Enrique Mora Alvarado - Ecuador - Construction - Humble Homes

Like the regions traditional buildings, Convento House is raised off of the ground in order to promote air circulation, and reduce the risk of flooding. Concrete foundation support the main bamboo columns into which the floors, walls, and roof, interlock.

Bamboo House - Convento House - Enrique Mora Alvarado - Ecuador - Exterior at Night - Humble Homes

The roof is finished with steel sheeting, underlined with bamboo matting, and supported by trusses made of – you’ve guessed it – bamboo. On the inside, an open terrace helps to diving up the living room, dining area, and kitchen. It also contains a lounging area (complete with hammocks), three bedrooms, and another terrace.

Bamboo House - Convento House - Enrique Mora Alvarado - Ecuador - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The kitchen juts out from the main building in order to prevent smoke from entering the other living spaces. The living spaces themselves can each be shuttered up, providing privacy when necessary. The total cost of the build came to just $15,000 (£9,500).

For more natural building projects check out this Vietnamese home, called the S House, that was built for $4,000. Or, this vegetable nursery that’s been constructed from bamboo and recycled plastic bottles. See all in natural building.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Enrique Mora Alvarado

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. Hi, great home :)
    I’m planning to build a modest 1-2 bed room home. Straw bail insulation. I would love to build the support and roof trusses from Bamboo. Do you know how I can get the techniques to learn thus :)

    I’m on Mid North Coast NSW Australia btw