Connect with ETC at Facebook



Why do I do the Bamboo thing?

I have always loved trees and all of nature. How fast it is all disappearing deeply disturbs me, so I have applied my creativity to bring people's attention to the problem, in the past, by demonstrating the beauty in overlooked natural tree parts I collected from beaches to deserts. I made these into sculptural stories that remind one of our connections; our intimate relationship with everything else.

Then I decided, 15 years ago, to shift from sculpting small intricate forms, to building inhabitable forms that would imbue the "guests" with pleasantness from ancient memories of a more organic environment. Soon after, I was introduced to the unlimited potential and beauty of natural bamboo.

The most potent potential that I recognized was how this amazing giant grass, that has been evolving since the beginning of plant life on planet Earth, could replace the lumber made from trees, and so many other processed raw materials that are so rapidly disappearing, to provide us humans with naturally beautiful shelter.

My bamboo journey first took me to the home and colorful life of Simon Velez in Bogota, Colombia. He bestowed upon me a bamboo building concept and accompanying techniques that turn the heads of people worldwide. With this insight, I enthusiastically came home to Hawaii to design and build with bamboo, inspired by his style, with my partner on the journey, Valerie Simpson, an architect herself.

Then there came the grim realization that even those with the resources would not understand the value of such a structure, nor could I find the potential bamboo artisans to build with me. So unless I could invent another joinery system more suited to western economics, not to mention skill and mind sets, there would be no renaissance here. So I began using my skills to experiment with fabricating steel into joints. I call the end product of 12 years of development what I consider the simplest, effective and user friendly way to build with bamboo; the Bamboo Links™ system, which needs investment capital to bring them to building code and market.

So now I have attracted other talented and dedicated people who are willing to apply their energy by working with me in demonstrating what is possible when you combine pressure treated natural bamboo with an appropriate design, and my proven system. My bamboo structures are not expensive and have no counterpart. For now they are custom made to be durable, and naturally beautiful as well as cost effective.

I am working on a simpler, more economical line of shelters to further illustrate my desire to get this most important message; bamboo needs to be considered as a very important solution to deforestation of our gorgeous planet before it's too late.

My strength is in my work and the quality of my products is paramount, not my profit margin or running a company. I have poured all that I am and have into developing and producing my latest shelters and look forward to sharing it with you and the world. That being said, and in trying to accommodate everyone, I'm on the path to more affordable shelters and partnering with more business oriented people to help me realize this dream of protecting our planet, before all our forests are gone.

Pelton Leimana Hawaii Bamboo architect

Leimana Pelton at the construction site of the Bamboo Pavilion Hawaii