Green School and Green Village Bali

One of the fellow travelers I met was John, a young Irish man studying Architorture (Architecture), and interning on the “Green Village” in Bali.  On our way from Kuta to Ubud, we decided to stop and check out the free weekly “Green School” tour.  Since the Green Village is only a few kilometers away, John decided to join us for the tour.

The Green School

The Green School is an international private elementary school with a focus on sustainability.  Everything is made of Bamboo, a highly renewable building material.  They teach the students to be environmentally friendly, in their classrooms made of Bamboo.  Students come from all over the world for an education here, and from what I’ve heard, the tuition is not cheap.

Recreation Area


Me testing the Bamboo chairs.

Bamboo pirate ship.  Yarrr

Baby chicken!  Yum…

Study Area

The Green Village

The Green Village is a for-profit, commercial development a few kilometers down the road from the Green School, built by the same contractor who does work for the Green School.  Because we were friends with Irish John, we got a private VIP tour of the Green Village project.

The first thing to note is the differences in safety standards between a construction site in Bali and a construction site in the US.  If you were to walk a job in the US, you’d have to sign a waver, wear proper boots and pants, a reflective vest, eye protection and a hard hat.  In Bali, we strolled in wearing flip-flops and shorts.  The workers were wearing just the same.

The workers construct the buildings based off of stick models, rather than a set of drawings.  I don’t think this would EVER fly in the United States.

The Green Village is a dozen or so bamboo villas right by the river.  The houses are beautiful and blend in with the surrounding nature.  Some were already finished and occupied, while others were still getting started.  We had the privilege to walk through the houses under construction.

Irish John showing us his stick model

My Opinion as a LEED Acredited, Member of the 2008 ASC LEED Competition National Champion Team

While that doesn’t exactly provide the best qualification to share my opinions about these projects, I’ll don’t care and I’m going to share my thoughts anyway.

Bamboo is considered a renewable building material because it grows so fast.  It can grow as fast as a few feet a day, so you could literally watch it grow.  Currently, it is tough to adapt to use in western buildings, but projects like this help develop the uses for it and test new applications in buildings.

Now for my criticisms: When I first heard someone mention going to the “Green School”, I was thinking of more advanced sustainable features: water reclamation, solar panels, passive ventilation, natural lighting, etc.  I wasn’t exactly expecting a bunch of bamboo huts without walls.

The buildings in the Green Village are only guaranteed for 20 years, cost over a million dollars, and you don’t even own the land.  These are massive structures designed for rich ex-pats.  Fundamentally, this doesn’t seem very “sustainable” to me.

While I think it is great that renewable materials such as Bamboo are being experimented with and further developed, I feel that the whole “Green” label is used partially as a marketing technique for these projects.

Don’t get me wrong; I fully support the ideals behind these projects, but I was just expecting a little more.


6 Responses to “Green School and Green Village Bali”

  1. Therese Noonan says:

    Very interesting. Thank you!

  2. fatma says:

    nice i dea am pleasure to know about it can i get more information
    i want the address can i visit the green school when is the best time
    whom should i contact??

  3. greenx says:

    Green village looks great only when looked at from outside. Living here is more a nightmare than a miracle. We live here in constant noise because of the uncontrolled construction 7 days a week! We dont know why someone would call it green? It is true the houses are made of bamboo, but despite the traditional indonesian way of treating the bamboo with salt water against bugs and insects here it is treated with chemicals to save time… Selective waste collection is not even solved in the houses, we need to put all the rubbish into one large bin in the kitchen. There are no separate containers for paper, organic, plastic, glass etc. Developers did not pay any attention to make the place intimate with proper bamboo walls, climbers in between the houses, so we see each other and live together as we would live in a big common living room. This is simply the consequence they want to make the most out of it with selling the maximum units possible on the smallest plots imaginable. At this moment it is terrible to live here. You cant use the common pool due to the constant noise in the village. We were told that the pool has salt water in it, but we tasted it and tastes like sweet water and smells chlorine…, we have no idea what happens to the waste water (goes to straight to Ayung river?) So this whole “GREEN” image is only a marketing tool to attract more customers…

  4. Tommy says:

    Ha! That is basically exactly what I was thinking while I was going through the tour. Prices seemed a little steep, didn’t look like you were getting your money’s worth, and didn’t appear to be all that “green”. Hopefully they will make some advances in bamboo technology at the very least…

  5. Deborah says:

    Is the noise level still true? Or has that abated a bit? Thanks!

  6. Tommy says:

    What noise level are we talking here? The jungle is going to be as loud as always, and the construction methods aren’t that well insulating against any ambient sounds.

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