The Use of Bamboo in Architecture

Bamboo is a versatile material found in abundance all over the world. It is used to make everything from paper to bed sheets. It is seen as an eco-friendly construction material because it is widely available and inexpensive particularly in areas of the world with growing populations. Here Bamboo in Architecture services are available.

When most of us think of bamboo & Bamboo in Architecture the first thing that comes to mind is the panda bear. There are more than one thousand species of bamboo and the giant panda (Ailuropodine melanoleuca) eats 30-40 different kinds each day. This makes up 99% of its diet. Pandas subsist almost entirely on bamboo and can eat from 26 to 84 pounds each day. They especially enjoy eating arrow bamboo, black bamboo, and water bamboo. They favor bamboo’s roots and leaves, especially shoot. Pandas eat different types and parts of bamboo according to the seasons.

As a building material, bamboo is strong enough to use as scaffolding for skyscrapers. It has a long history of use in vertical construction and possesses high compressive strength and low weight. Bamboo’s renewability far exceeds that of timber. It can be harvested and used within three to five years of planting; timber requires decades. A unique feature of bamboo is it regrows without the need to be replanted. It has a large root system that protects against soil erosion and landslides. A homeowner who has planted bamboo on their property will tell you it is fast-growing, strong, and almost impossible to eradicate. Fortunately, these qualities make bamboo perfect for construction use.

Architects and builders around the world have been exploring whether bamboo has the mechanical properties needed to use as a structural building material. Bamboo’s mechanical properties must be tested to determine if it can bear structural loads. Some research has shown that certain species of bamboo have impressive and efficient mechanical properties. These include possessing strength to weight ratio equal or better than that of steel or lumber! In fact, certain species of bamboo have the compressive strength of concrete.  Currently, bamboo is used in building materials as support for concrete, especially in those locations where it is found in abundance. For bamboo to have a widespread environmental and social impact it must be validated as commercially viable.

Bamboo in Architecture has many advantages as a building material. Some of those advantages are:

  • Fire Resistance.
  • Tensile strength.
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • Safe and Easy to Use.
  • Low weight.
  • Easy to cut, handle, reposition and maintain.

Bamboo also has disadvantages and some of those are:

  • Jointing questionability.
  • Requires preservation.
  • Probable durability.

As booming populations need more housing the industry is looking for sustainable material alternatives to meet the growing demand. One of the main advantages of building with bamboo is that it is a natural and renewable resource, capable of extremely rapid growth that can avoid future deforestation of our shrinking tropical rainforests. As a lightweight locally found material, bamboo minimizes the environmental costs of harvesting and transportation. It also isolates carbon both as it grows and after harvest, therefore making it potentially carbon negative.

The Architectural industry has focused on the “incorrect use” of bamboo in marginal construction. This has contributed to the misconception that bamboo is really inferior to wood. This is completely untrue! As a building material, bamboo offers superior earthquake protection compared to wood or cement block. As builders and designers, we endeavor to make the public aware of its superior structural, mechanical, and environmental qualities.  The visionary leaders in the “green revolution” are pushing to make this happen. It will be in the best interest of the planet if bamboo becomes a common, natural building resource in the years to come.

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