Keeping the Natural Equilibrium


In areas where nature is the key selling point, the design is often made not only to copy nature but is done in such a way as to respect it. This kind of approach can be seen in many ecotourism establishments in Indonesia. Bandung, where the mountainous landscape is one of its greatest attractions, has seen a significant growth in ecotourism. The DusunBambu Family Leisure Park located in the outskirt of Bandung is a great example of where nature and design can live in perfect harmony.

Leisure Park – DusunBambu

According to Lindberg and McKercher, a great ecotourism concept should recognize its responsibility towards the nature and culture of the surrounding areas. It should not only conserve the environment but also sustain the well-being of local people. DusunBambu Family Leisure Park that was founded in late 2013 by CEO Ronny Lukito understands this definition and it reflects all across their 15-hectare establishment.

Out of their entire land, DusunBambu actually only uses around 5,100 square meters, about 3%, for their needs, leaving the rest of the natural space untouched. In this 3% area, they have built a range of interesting facilities such as villas, a restaurant and café, a food court, a childrens’ playground, and a camping ground with a design approach that pays tribute to the traditional Sundanese culture. DusunBambu, which means ‘the bamboo village’,makes wide use of different types of bamboo in its design elements.

We saw the use of bamboo for making furniture and as part of the broader design concept at KampungLayung, which is the villa area of DusunBambu. Offering an au naturel concept, KampungLayung really has that Sundanese village charm where the villas are built in the traditional Sundanese semi-permanent house style, mixing wood and rattan with a roof that is partially covered by dried palm leaves. There are 5 villas in this village, having either one or two bedrooms, and each villa is accompanied with a nice terrace to unwind. At the end of the village lies the open and communal fire place overlooking the rice paddy fields. It is interesting how the landscape design has incorporated the indigenous vegetation from that area such as the giant fern trees and the bird’s nest ferns to create that authentic village feel.

Another design highlight at DusunBambu is the artificial lake called Purbasari that is surrounded by 12 little and long wooden houses. Functioning as a family restaurant that serves great traditional Sundanese cuisine, all these long wooden houses only have one area inside with a long table in the middle. Here they apply the traditional Sundanese eating concept known as ‘lesehan’, where we sat on the floor and the food was served on a low long table made of local wood. All these houses have a trapezium shape with a little porch and a wooden staircase that leads to a small wooden deck. You can reach these houses either along a nice walking path or with one of their colourful canoe boats via the lake.

In the main public area of DusunBambu lie two more interesting restaurants : the two floor Burangrang café and restaurant overlooking the Purbasari lake and the LutungKasarung restaurant which is situated on the raised skywalk and has been made to look like a bird’s nest with each ‘nest’ covered by living tree branches. Still in the same area there is the PasarKhatulistiwa food court that has various renowned food vendors from Bandung as well as mini souvenir stores located in a two floor building. On the left side of the food court is a large open air childrens’ playground that is covered with artificial grass rugs and comes with mini playhouses as well as a petite ‘Labyrinth’ garden maze and where the children can play with cute rabbits or just run around with their friends.

Another special feature of DusunBambu is the fact that they also have a beautiful camping site known as the Eagle Camping Ground. They have around 10 camping pitches with some having room for two family size tents. Each tent has a nice view of the hill, an open barbeque grill for alfresco dining and a semi-permanent bathroom that is situated below the tent site. The tents themselves are made by Eiger – a well known outdoor supplies company from Bandung that already has a worldwide reputation. The tents have a 6 meter wide space separated into a sleeping area (with two separate sleeping bags) and a living area. Following the current ‘glamping’ trend aka glamourous camping, this Eagle Camping Ground is definitely perfect for such an experience.

DusunBambu really has all the right elements to be the leader of ecotourism establishments in Bandung. This is definitely the place where nature and design have achieved a great equilibrium.

Joinery, what is a shiplap?


Shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly as exterior siding in the construction of residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings. It is either rough-sawn or milled wood. The rabbet allows the boards to overlap in this area. The profile of each board partially overlaps that of the board next to it creating a channel that gives shadow line effects, provides excellent weather protection and allows for dimensional movement.

Useful for its strength as a supporting member, and its ability to form a relatively tight seal when lapped, shiplap is usually used as a type of siding for buildings that must withstand cold and aggressive climates. Rough-sawn shiplap is attached vertically in post and beam construction, while milled versions providing a tighter seal are more commonly placed horizontally.

Small doors and shutters such as those found in barns and sheds are often constructed of shiplap cut directly from the walls, with only thin members framing or crossing the back for support. Shiplap is also used indoors for the rough or rustic look that it creates when used as paneling or a covering for a wall or ceiling. Shiplap is often used to describe any rabbeted siding material that overlaps in a similar fashion.

Shiplap joint for cladding and paneling

Shiplap joint for cladding and paneling

Problems: Cupping and Crowning

cupping and crowning

Cupping and crowning are two terms used in the hardwood flooring industry to describe the reaction wood floors experience when there are problems with moisture levels in the home. It should be noted that very slight cupping or crowning can take place within normal humidity changes such as with those of the changing seasons and periodically should be expected. Solid wood flooring tends to be more susceptible to these problems as the wood planks are made of solid wood the entire way through, whereas engineered wood experiences less issues because only the top layers of the wood are made from the wood species in question. Both cupping and crowning can be experienced regardless of the wood species or width of the planks.

Cupping: Cupping happens when both side edges of the plank seem to rise up out of the floor and cause a “dip” to appear in the middle of the plank. It looks like a cup, a misshaped “U”. Cupping can be slight or very noticeable. When excess moisture is absorbed into the plank it causes the edges of the plank to expand with such force that they crowd the planks on either side of it, forcing the edges of the wood to rise up causing the dip in the middle. Usually this is because moisture remains underneath the planks.

Crowning:  Crowning takes place when the edges of the wood shrink in towards the bottom while the middle or the top of the plank swells up past the rest of the regular level of the floor. It looks like a small roll sticking out above the rest of the flooring. This can either also be barely or very noticeable based on the situation. This happens when moisture is left sitting on top of the plank rather than the edges.

Probable Causes:

    • Outside of normal changes in the humidity levels during seasonal changes, moisture can remain underneath the floor or on top of the planks without the homeowner necessarily being aware that it’s happening.
    • A big spill could have taken place on the floor that was left unattended or not cleaned up after in a proper manner.
    • Moisture could be leaking up through subflooring.
    • A leaky pipe in the walls could be dripping down onto support beams that in turn lead to subflooring materials.
    • Dryer vents can become clogged and then different moisture levels unknowingly get pumped back into the house. (It’s common for homeowners to be unaware this has been happening especially if the homeowner often turns the dryer on but then leaves the home and comes back several hours later.)
    • Condensation near the bottom of uninsulated patio doors may accumulate near the edges of the floor.
    • There may be a leaky faucet or pipe under the sink.
    • A refrigerator or freezer may be not be working properly and leaking fluids slowly where the homeowner cannot see it.
    • In locations that receive a lot of rain, rain run off may not be properly diverted away from the exterior of the home allowing moisture to seep in underneath the home and therefore potentially into subflooring.
    • Slow leaks could exist in roofing or in overhead sprinkler systems. 


Install a humidifier or dehumidifier in your home to help keep the humidity at constant levels. Be diligent about hardwood flooring installation preparation and make sure your home remains at a constant humidity level while the wood is being acclimated in your home before installation. Dryers can help speed up drying spots in the floor if need be. Once relatively constant humidity levels have been achieved in the home, have your flooring moisture tested to determine if any further action is necessary. Depending on the age or condition of the hardwood floor, the planks may need to be resanded and or recoated.

What is a tongue and groove?

Tongue and groove

Tongue and groove is a method of fitting similar objects together, edge to edge, used mainly with wood, in flooring, parquetry, panelling, and similar constructions. Tongue and groove joints allow two flat pieces to be joined strongly together to make a single flat surface.

A strong joint, the tongue and groove joint is widely used for re-entrant angles. The effect of wood shrinkage is concealed when the joint is beaded or otherwise moulded.

Each piece has a slot (the groove) cut all along one edge, and a thin, deep ridge (the tongue) on the opposite edge. The tongue projects a little less than the depth of the groove. Two or more pieces thus fit together closely. The joint is not normally glued, as shrinkage would then pull the tongue off.

In another assembly method, the pieces are end-matched. This method eliminates the need for mitre joints in furnitures and face nailing on floors.

For many uses, tongue and groove boards have been rendered obsolete by the introduction of plywood and later composite wood boards, but the method is still used in higher-quality boards. Plywood may also be tongued all round to fit it flush into a framed structure, and plywood for sub-floors used in platform framing is often supplied with tongue and groove edges.

When joining thicker materials, several tongue and groove joints may be used one above the other.

One of the following woodworking tools may be used to produce the tongue and groove:

  • A four- or six-head moulder (for large quantities)
  • A wood shaper (spindle moulder)
  • A circular saw bench
  • Suitable hand planes: a plough plane for the groove and a tongue plane for the tongue, or a combination plane
  • A spindle router

Don’t mistake it with tongue-in-groove !





Source Wikipedia.


Your floor and its reactions to greenhouse effect.

I have a vacation home and when we left our floors were fine. Now they are weird shapes and or are making noise when we walk across it. Why is this happening?

greenhouse and wood floor

This is known as the “greenhouse effect”. Your hardwood flooring will still react to moisture and humidity changes within the home even if you are not there for extended periods of time. Most of the time, a house has been closed off, its central air units and other humidity control devices, if any, have also been shut off during your absence. This causes the heat that is trapped by the house during the day to stay in the house. When the house cools at night, condensation will form in various places of the home and over time this constant “up and down” effect wreaks havoc on your hardwood flooring. Once you’ve entered the home and caused constant humidity levels to re-balance in the home, you’ll need to take measures on repairing cupping, crowning or even buckling if it has occurred.

When you leave the home again, leave some of the windows a bit open to allow for proper ventilation of the home. Use window blocking bars, sticks in the window sills or other security devices to prevent the windows from opening fully in your absence.






Text extract from

How much CO2 is stored in 1 kg of wood?

CO2  molecule is made of one carbon atom and 2 oxygen atoms. 1 Kg of carbon on complete combustion will produce 3.67 Kg. of CO2.

Wood is heterogeneous and exact amount of carbon in 1 Kg of dry wood will vary depending on the species of wood, age of wood etc. It is reported that 1 Kg of wood contains about 450 to 500 gm of Carbon. This means 1 Kg of wood is holding about 1.65 to 1.80 Kg of CO2. This is how wood or forest act as carbon sink.

Similarly burning of 1 kg of wood will generate 1.65 to 1.80 Kg of CO2.

Wood is the only construction material which has absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere when produced and not emitted more during its production.

To compare, one tone of:

  • concrete — has released 159 kilos of CO2 into the atmosphere
  • steel — has released 1.24 tones of CO2 into the atmosphere
  • aluminum — has released 9.3 tones of CO2 into the atmosphere
  • wood, however, has absorbed a net 1.7 tones of CO2 from the atmosphere

The more timber you use in a house, the more CO2 you “remove” from the atmosphere

It takes around 20 trees to build an average house frame

A steel house frame has added 4.5 tones of CO2 to the atmosphere VS a wooden house frame has absorbed 9.5 tones of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Choosing timber options for an average house can take around 20 tones net of CO2 out of the atmosphere saving the equivalent of 7.1 years of car use VS using alternative materials (concrete, steel, brick and aluminum) can add 24 tones net CO2 to the atmosphere costing the equivalent of 8.6 years of car use!!!

Using wood is something we can all do to help the environment. By demanding and using more sustainable produced wood, we can ensure that more trees will be planted and more carbon dioxide will be absorbed from the atmosphere.

The result is a better world for ourselves, our families and future generations. It’s simple. Wood. Our most renewable raw material.

century tree

Minimizing Moisture from Subflooring

Subfloor moisture and poor installation

Subfloor moisture and poor installation

The key to minimizing moisture from your subflooring is to make sure to use the appropriate vapor barrier in conjunction with understanding the specific moisture issues your subflooring may display.

All types of subflooring should have some sort of vapor retarder barrier installed to block moisture from seeping up from the subflooring into your new hardwood flooring. A vapor retarder is any barrier that is used in the construction industry to prevent or block moisture from seeping from one section of a house to another. For example, vapor retarders can be made of foil, large sections of plastic sheeting with different thicknesses, felt paper or sheets of vinyl. Vapor retarders can be used when installing siding or roofing as well.

Subflooring is made from various types of materials including wood, vinyl, concrete or other materials. Each of these types of materials presents its own moisture control issues that need to be addressed and understood before hardwood flooring is installed.

Your professional hardwood floor installer will be able to check your subflooring for moisture levels prior to installation. To have the best chance of having the moisture levels between your subflooring and your hardwood flooring to be within their proper ranges, make sure humidity control units are in place in your home and running adequately at least five days prior to the hardwood floor being delivered to your home. Your installer can then determine which vapor barrier will provide the proper protection your hardwood floor will need.

Wood subflooring will always expand and contract with moisture changes just like hardwood flooring will. Concrete flooring also will continually “breathe” because it’s a porous material. Moisture on concrete can be seen in the form of vapor when weather conditions are prime or even condensation in places. Which vapor barrier gets installed will be determined by the type of subflooring you have and what types of moisture levels you’re operating at. Your subflooring should be securely intact and level prior to installation.

During installation, installers should be careful to not penetrate a vapor barrier once it has been installed. For example, if a vapor barrier is laid on top of a subflooring but a solid wood floor nailed down on top of it in which the nail penetrates the actual vapor barrier, then the barrier now has a small hole in it. Moisture can slowly seep through the edge between the nail and the vapor barrier.