THE TUKA DESIGN 


The tuka is our signature bamboo beach hut. IT is the design invented by Tao engineer Gener Paduga. The bamboo is bent under tension into the shape of an upturned boat. It has a beak shape at each end that protrudes out and shelters the inside. TUKA means beak in Tagalog. It has a good airflow but is protected from the rain, making it the perfect design to experience camping out on the beach.

The Tuka design is incredibly strong. The tension of the bamboo tied with nylon can withstand the strong winds from typhoons. However the structure is also light so the huts can be moved by 20 person, repositioning them depending on the season and the direction of the winds.

We have over 150 tuka huts spread out on our basecamps in a 200 km route, we build 4 tuka schools in the remote island villages, we use the design in homes and new modern buildings.

The Tuka DNA is now spreading through Palawan and Philippines- used by developers to build resorts, restaurants and private homes. We would like to share this technology, but be reminded of its origin: Tuka design is created out of the experience of the destruction from super typhoon Yolanda, we adapted the bangka building technology of local fishermen using only strong bayog and nylon.

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WHY DO WE ONLY BUILD WITH BAMBOO?


Bamboo grows fast and abundantly compared to forest timber. If you select the right type of Bamboo, with the right method of treatment, it’s as strong as wood.
Constructing in the remote islands is difficult. All materials need to be brought in by boat and then takes ashore by hand. Bamboo can be easily transported, one man can cary a piece on his own and it floats making it easy to unload. 
It is strong yet flexible enough to design typhoon proof buildings. 


LOCAL USE OF BAMBOO

local fishermen and farmers are familiar with different types of bamboo. The most common is Kawayan, because it has big air pockets and thin walls it is used as the floating riggers on the Bangka, the traditional boat design. Patong is a very straight verity so is used in building the traditional bamboo house. Bamboo is also widely used in everyday objects from baskets to fencing. However it is still seen as ‘poor mans timber’ because it is not common knowledge how to correctly harvest and cure bamboo so that it is protected from insects and rot for up to 50 years.

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BAYOG ‘TIMBER’ BOMBOO


We cultivate a variety called ‘Bayog’ for our architecture. It is ideal for construction because it has thick walls and only a tiny hole in the centre. This is why its is also known as timber bamboo. It takes 7years from planting to produce mature Bayog clump. Each individual pole takes 3 years to mature.

CURED IN SALT WATER

We do not use any chemicals to treat the bamboo- its all natural!
We harvest in the New moon during the night, so that the sap levels are low. If the sap is left in the fibers of the bamboo it will be eaten by insects. To remove the remaining sap we soak the bamboo in the sea to preserve it up to 6 weeks. Then it is dried vertically for few months before being ready to use.

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We do not use any chemicals to treat the bamboo- its all natural!
We harvest in the New moon during the night, so that the sap levels are low. If the sap is left in the fibers of the bamboo it will be eaten by insects. To remove the remaining sap we soak the bamboo in the sea to preserve it up to 6 weeks. Then it is dried vertically for few months before being ready to use.

CONSTRUCTION METHOD

We developed a construction method for our architecture inspired by the local fishermen. Traditional fishing boats known as bangkas have a long thin hull supported in the water by two outriggers. These riggers have to be strong so are made from Bayog. They are tied to the hull using thick grade fishing line made from nylon. This construction method is incredibly strong yet simple. After being hit by the super typhoon Yolanda in 2013, We started to experiment with this method to build typhoon resistant buildings. 
Today over 30 bamboo builders were trained and work with Tao. They are the local folk that grew up in the islands fixing their boats using this method.