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Structural use of bamboo


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

Bamboo is a strong, fast growing and very 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 first article provides an introduction to bamboo and the physical characteristics that are relevant to structural design. Basic properties, along with a selection of suitable structural species, are presented, and fire resistance and specification of bamboo are discussed, along with other considerations as to whether bamboo is suitable for a particular project.

Publish Date - N/A

The Structural Engineer

Bamboo is a strong, fast growing and very 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 cost competitive alternative to more conventional materials, such as timber, as demonstrated by some visually impressive recent structures.

This fourth article in the series proposes element design equations for typical loading conditions on a bamboo culm: flexure, shear, axial tension, axial compression and local bearing. The work draws on existing published bamboo and timber design codes, and sound engineering judgement.

Publish Date - N/A

The Structural Engineer

Bamboo is a strong, fast growing and very 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 second article presents the main causes of decay of bamboo and the different methods of protection and preservation available.

Publish Date - N/A

The Structural Engineer

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 third article proposes: strengths and other properties for the scheme design of any bamboo species; a method for calculating characteristic strength values from test data; and a method for calculating design values of strengths for limit state design. It is believed to be the most up-to-date guide available for determining design values for bamboo elements.

Publish Date - N/A