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Fernando Jiménez Salmerón

Teresa Rodríguez-Gimeno Wiggin

Marina Carretero Vallejo

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BAMBOO CONSTRUCTION Introduction In many parts of the world, particularly tropical climates where giant bamboos grow as forests, there is a tradition of using bamboo for constructing buildings and other structures.Bamboo is an environmentally friendly material, and is under much investigation in the last years as it offers an alternative to todays methods of construction. Bamboo grows to its full size for about a year. Another two or three years are required for the plant to gain its high strength. It can be grown even on degraded land. The use of high energy materials, like cement or steel, is minimised. Therefore the adoption of bamboo for house construction helps preserve the environment. Special properties

Light, exible

Economic aspects

Low cost


Low to medium

Workers capacitation

Traditional work force for bamboo constructions

Equipment required

Tools to cut and split bamboo

Sismic resistence


Hurricane resistance


Rain resistance


Insect resistance



Warm and humid

Bamboo Construction_GROUP 1

Bamboo in construction In those regions where bamboo grows, the climate is generally warm and humid, requiring the use of materials with a low thermal mass and designs that permit crossed ventilation. Bamboo constructions satisfy these requirements completely, which explains its use throughout these areas. Bamboo walls can´t be done in a hermetic form, so crossed ventilation is an inherent capacity of these systems, offering an agreeable environment and free of humidity. Its flexibility and high resistance to tension, makes bamboo constructions highly resistant to earthquakes, and in the case of collapse of the building, the low weight of bamboo causes less damage, and reconstruction is quick and easy. Specialized work force is required, but in the areas where bamboo grows it is traditional.


Bamboo species for construction Guadua angustifolia: is one of the sturdiest of bamboo species. Able to grow, adapt and flourish in several geographic locations, it is most commonly found in the Asian Pacific, Africa and America. It grows even more rapidly than other bamboo species, reaching its full height within 6 months. It can be harvested after 5 years. Bambusa tulda: Indian Timber Bamboo is considered to be one of the most useful of bamboo species. It is used extensively by the paper pulp industry in India. It can grow up to a height of 15 m, and a thickness of 8 cm. It is also used for furniture, making baskets and reinforcing concrete. This type of bamboo is used to make a sacred flute called the "Eloo" Dendrocalamus strictus: It is generally called Male Bamboo, as the interknot space is solid. It ranges from 8 to 16 m high, and 2.5 to 8 cm of diameter. This species is one of the two most important bamboos in India. Like Bambusa Tulda it is mainly used in the paper pulp industry in India, but also in construction, agricultural implements, musical instruments, furniture etc. Both these varieties are especially useful as they have thick walls, affording to the canes strength against cracking. Bamboo limitations Non-standard dimensions: The fabrication process of bamboo cannot be mechanized easily, and its use is generally restricted to craftwork. Non-standard surfaces: The warping of the canes, the prominence of the knots, the differences in measures and forms. Bamboo canes tend to a conic shape towards the top end, offering disparity in dimensions along its whole length. Extreme breakability: Bamboo has a tendency to crack easily, it is necessary to avoid the use of nails. This also limits the possible unions between canes. This can be avoided by using certain species with thick walls, and also by cutting in the areas close to the knots Short duration: Some types of bamboo are susceptible to the invasion or partial destruction by wood-eating insects, such as termites or moths. Certain treatments can reduce the destructive effect of the insects.

Bamboo Construction_GROUP 1


Preparation for construction Harvesting Bamboo should be harvested during the dry season in the tropics And in autumn and winter in subtropical areas. The branches should be carefully removed so that the outer skin is not damaged. After harvesting the canes can be stored vertically or horizontally. Canes should be protected from direct sun, soil moisture and rain. Drying There are two ways for drying the bamboo canes. The bamboo poles can be dried for about 6-12 weeks, by allowing good air-circulation while being stored under a shed. Faster alternative is using ovens for drying the canes. In this way the bamboo canes can be dried for 2- 3 weeks. Workability of the canes is ideal when they are dry. Preservation The aim is to prevent the invasion of pests, insects and fungus. If left untreated, bamboo poles may not survive more than about two years. Methods: - Immersion in water for 4-12 weeks. The nourishment for insects inside the poles is removed. Streams or ponds are suitable. Ponds should allow circulation of water. -Impregnating coatings. The treatment should be applied on the day of harvesting the bamboo. -Heating the canes, for a short time in ovens to 150oC. Another way is to place the canes into a large container and boiled for 25 minutes.

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Construction systems Cuts for unions

A bisel

Boca de pescado

Con dos orejas

Pico de flauta

Ties Cuadrado

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En aspa


Construction systems Planar systems_Bamboo trusses

Curvilinear systems_Hanging tubular bridge

Bamboo Construction_GROUP 1


Practice 03 - Group 03 - Publish  

Bamboo Construction_GROUP 1 Teresa Rodríguez-Gimeno Wiggin Fernando Jiménez Salmerón Marina Carretero Vallejo Bamboo in construction Introdu...