The Institution of Structural Engineers The Institution of Structural Engineers
Back to Previous

Structural use of bamboo

Date published

Bamboo is a strong, fast-growing and sustainable material, having been used structurally for thousands of years in many parts of the world. In modern times, it has the potential to be an aesthetically pleasing and low-cost alternative to more conventional materials, such as timber, as demonstrated by some visually impressive recent structures.

This five-part technical series, aimed at both developed- and developing-world contexts, brings together current knowledge and best practice on the structural use of bamboo, covering:
• an introduction to bamboo (part 1)
• durability and preservation (part 2)
• design values (part 3)
• element design equations (part 4)
• connections (part 5).

The series is ongoing.

Articles in this series

The Structural Engineer

This first article provides an introduction to bamboo and the physical characteristics that are relevant to structural design.

Publish Date – 1 August 2016

The Structural Engineer

This second article presents the main causes of decay of bamboo and the different methods of protection and preservation available.

Publish Date – 3 October 2016

The Structural Engineer

This third article offers an up-to-date guide for determining design values for bamboo elements.

Publish Date – 1 December 2016

The Structural Engineer

The fourth article proposes element design equations for typical loading conditions on a bamboo culm: flexure, shear, axial tension, axial compression and local bearing.

Publish Date – 1 March 2017