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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Type of assignment: 7th Semester Bachelor Dissertation Education: Bachelor of Architectural Technology and Construction Management Title of report: Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry Author: Katarzyna Krawczuk Specialization advisor: Robert Miller Name of Institution KEA - Københavns Erhvervsakademi Date: October 2013

All rights reserved – no part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the author. NOTE: This report was completed as part of a Bachelor of Architectural Technology and Construction Management degree course – no responsibility is taken for any advice, instruction or conclusion given within!

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Abstract Purpose of this report is to tell to the reader all the basic information about Bamboo plant as a building material and its usage in building industry. On bases of this, it suggests possible construction solutions, issues, designs and possibilities of usage both in Asian and European countries. The following report consists of 7 main chapters introducing the topic and 8th chapter with a summary and my own conclusion about the researched issues. In the first chapter, bamboo is introduced with history background and its origin starting from the beginning of bamboo usage in China till the nowadays. Second paragraph reveals the bamboo properties, features and explanation of terms used in following sections of report. This way reader would understand what is the point of using bamboo in building industry. In chapter nr 3, types of building structures are presented, with the aim of introducing bamboo possibilities of usage in constructions. Following, 4th chapter tells how bamboo buildings and specified structures are constructed, what are the bamboo connections and other types or bamboo usage in building industry. In 5th chapter, several aspects about bamboo sustainability are explored according to Life Cycle Assessment. Together with world ecological issues, bamboo is presented as possible major sustainable building material. Next chapter shows bamboo appearance in China in housing, bamboo plywood industry and manufacture. For the comparison with 6th chapter, in 7th reader can find an answers for researched issues about bamboo manufacture in Europe. The problems with bamboo plantations in European continent and ecological and economical aspects are mentioned. To sum up whole report, in 8th last chapter the positive and negative aspects in each filed are summarized in pros an cons tables.

Key words Bamboo; material; sustainability; construction; environment; Europe; Asia; deforestation; Carbon dioxide; fast growing grass; eco-costs; Guadua

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

List of content Abstract ............................................................................................................................................................... 3 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................... 6 1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Bamboo origin ............................................................................................................................................. 8 1.1.

Chinese Zhu ......................................................................................................................................... 8

1.2.

First usage............................................................................................................................................ 9

1.3.

Bamboo nowadays .............................................................................................................................. 9

Bamboo as a plant ..................................................................................................................................... 10 2.1.

Features ............................................................................................................................................. 10

2.2.

Physical properties ............................................................................................................................ 11

2.3.

Treatment .......................................................................................................................................... 11

2.4.

Occurrence in the World ................................................................................................................... 11

Bamboo in construction industry .............................................................................................................. 13 3.1.

Housing .............................................................................................................................................. 13

3.2.

Light structures (pavilions) ................................................................................................................ 14

3.3.

Public buildings .................................................................................................................................. 16

3.4.

Other.................................................................................................................................................. 17

Bamboo building systems.......................................................................................................................... 18 4.1.

Requirements .................................................................................................................................... 18

4.2.

Joinery ............................................................................................................................................... 19

4.3.

Foundation ........................................................................................................................................ 22

4.4.

Walls .................................................................................................................................................. 24

4.5.

Floors ................................................................................................................................................. 25

4.6.

Bamboo floor decking ....................................................................................................................... 25

4.7.

Roof ................................................................................................................................................... 26

4.8.

Roof covering..................................................................................................................................... 27

4.9.

Other types of bamboo usage in constructions ................................................................................ 27

Bamboo as sustainable material ............................................................................................................... 29 5.1.

What is sustainability?....................................................................................................................... 29

5.2.

LCA- Life Cycle Assessment................................................................................................................ 30

5.3.

Environmental benefits ..................................................................................................................... 31

5.4.

Economic benefits ............................................................................................................................. 34

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

5.5. 6.

7.

8.

Social benefits.................................................................................................................................... 34

Bamboo prospects in China ....................................................................................................................... 35 6.1.

Bamboo World cover in numbers ..................................................................................................... 35

6.2.

Bamboo Everyday forms of usage in China ....................................................................................... 36

6.3.

Traditional bamboo housing in China................................................................................................ 36

6.4.

Eco-costs savings of bamboo in China .............................................................................................. 36

6.5.

Plybamboo ......................................................................................................................................... 37

6.6.

Poor Man’s Timber ............................................................................................................................ 37

Bamboo prospects in Europe .................................................................................................................... 38 7.1.

Can bamboo grow in Europe? ........................................................................................................... 38

7.2.

Problems in bamboo manufacture.................................................................................................... 39

7.3.

Eco- costs and annual yield ............................................................................................................... 39

Summary & Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 41 8.1.

Summary............................................................................................................................................ 41

8.2.

Positive and negative sides of bamboo as building material ............................................................ 41

8.3.

Positive and negative sides of bamboo as sustainable building material ......................................... 42

8.4.

Positive and negative sides of bamboo as a building material in Europe ......................................... 42

8.5.

Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 43

List of Figures ..................................................................................................................................................... 46 List of references: .............................................................................................................................................. 47

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Introduction 

Introducing problem formulation

This report is my individual research of bamboo material focusing its possible usage in building industry. I will work on basic description of this material and its features that allow bamboo to be the best sustainable material for construction industry. My main inspiration on writing this report appeared on my practical placement in Shanghai, China. Spending there about 4 months I was surrounded by this spectacular plant in different forms. I saw this harvested plant in a scaffolding structures in every street corner, I could walk on bamboo panel floor in Chinese houses and touch real growing plant in the Gongqing National Forest Park. I even experienced bamboo taste in delicious Chinese food sold in every restaurant. That experiences made me realize, how efficient it is and how many benefits bamboo can provide in almost every field of life. Starting from being used in building industry, furniture, paper or interior design to its usage in medicine, culinary and even diesel fuels! Then I realized that bamboo will be my subject. Being a constructing architecture student I used this opportunity of writing this report to research about bamboo potential for being a building material. As a plant growing basically in every continent except Antarctica and Europe I am interested to find out, if and how, this plant can be used in European countries, as the climate and temperature limitations matters. Introducing it as an incredibly sustainable material I also want to realize, why it is called an ecological and economical plant and how does it affect on our environment. Maybe bamboo can be presented as possible next step of building industry and can help saving our planet? For me as a future architect it is important to search for new paths in constructions and design and that is why bamboo attract my attention to write a report. I want to dedicate this report to any engineer, architect , architecture student or just intended reader who is interested in innovative building possibilities of bamboo material. Information posted in this material can be used for anybody in bulling industry, as my main goal is to make them realize what are other possibilities in creating healthy, sustainable and wonderful home. 

Introduction to the topic

In the past centuries people tend to build their houses by their own involving whole families and people of wisdom having the knowledge about constructions, building materials and builders themselves. The information about local materials were passed through generations enable people use building sources around them. Nowadays this basic knowledge is in possession of architects, engineers or building companies, which makes the client unaware of other possibilities of building his house. What about taking advantage of that lack of knowledge and just build unsustainable house using clients’ money? Ironically most of Chinese population is unable to afford even simple basic 20m2 flat in 20 storey concrete building. This is why our world economy has to face with finding other building solution to help people live

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

an easier life and at the same time try to save planet from increasing production of typical building materials. At this report I want to present traditional and the cheapest Asian building material- Bamboo as a solution for an innovative design of family houses. In the following pages I will introduce this plant itself, take deep look into its sustainability, find out alternative constructions and finally realize how European building industry can be involved in using bamboo as potential building material. 

Researched questions

For the summary of this report I want to find an answers for the following researched questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

What kinds of constructions are possible to made from bamboo material? What are the types of building systems in construction with bamboo? Why is bamboo called a sustainable material? What is the difference in bamboo manufacture between China and European countries? Is it affordable to build from bamboo in Europe? 

Limits

“Bamboo”- this word provides wide range of various discussions. It can be considered as an exotic plant in a garden, with a lot of species with different features and properties. Bamboo material can be talked over as a great product with an incredible strong fibers that can undergo many tensile strength tests. We can say a lot about compression behavior of bamboo clum or its glueability. This plant is cultivated in many Asian countries and makes huge role in their history. In this report I want to focus on the subject that interests me and is relevant for me as a constructing architecture student. This is why , I will present this plant as a building material and show all important information concerning bamboo usage in building industry. This includes bamboo features as a building material (strength, treatment etc.), possible building systems (joinery, walls, roofs etc.) and bamboo structures that are already build all over the world. For my personal curiosity, I pointed out what are the sustainable aspects of building with this material, as well as the ecological impact for the environment. The biggest interest I emphasized on comparison Chinese and European bamboo material production, because the place of manufacture plays huge role in building industry. By those researches I came up with a summary and conclusion about this Asian plant that I decided to present by the end of the report.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

1.

Bamboo origin

The plant known as bamboo for all over the world is a tribe of flowering perennial evergreen plants in the grass family Poaceae. It appears in Asian culture for centuries and nowadays it expands to western continents. What was once call the symbol of Orient now is becoming a sustainable grass with hardwood features. It is noted that there are about 10 genera divided into about 1,450 species, that grow in diverse climate. The occur from East Asia through Northern Australia to West India and Himalayas. We can also find some species in sub-Saharan Africa and mid-Atlantic United States, Argentina and Chile. Unfortunately, there are no native species of bamboo found in Europe. Obviously, we all know that bamboo origin is dated about 5000 years ago in ancient China, when this plant appears significant in Asian history.

1.1.

Chinese Zhu

Bamboo was always an integral part of Chinese culture, as it has many symbolic meanings. In Chinese language bamboo is called zhú 竹-that in Chinese characters is explained as two stalks of bamboo plant covered with leaves. Its long lasting vitality is the symbol of longevity and it has infrequent flowering at intervals as long as 65-120 years. Rare, mass blossoming usually has led to the flower’s as being the sign of upcoming starvation. It was explained by the theory of rats eating flowers and increasing population of them that destroys massively local food supply. Together with plum blossom, orchid and chrysanthemum plant, bamboo represents the Four Gentlemen, that represent seasons in Chinese traditional paintings. Orchid refers to spring, bamboo is summer, chrysanthemum corresponds to autumn and plum blossom indicates winter. This plant is also significant in Chinese literature and it’s regarded as a behavior model of the gentleman. Many Chinese poems describes people as a bamboo to express understanding of what real gentleman should be. When Buddhism was first developed in China it introduced certain roles of not making harm to any animal, flesh or egg. This caused lack of nutrients in people’s diet so that is why they found an alternative in bamboo shoot as the basics of traditional Chinese food.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

1.2.

First usage

First species of bamboo evolved from prehistoric grasses around 30-40 million years ago, long after the dinosaur extinction. Then it was used as a food for herbivores and this usage is till cultivated nowadays. But if we speculate about first human usage of the plant in a practical way, it is dated that during Neolithic times (12000-2000 BC) bamboo was used in simple constructions and basket making. Even as a constructing material, during the Xia- Dynasty (2,300-1,750 BC) the Du jiang Dam- the greatest water conservatory project in Chinese history was built using bamboo. Dated around 5th century BC, bamboo was a basic plane for first documents written in a ink on string-bound bundles of bamboo strips. Couple of centuries later in 105 AD Cai Lun of China made the world’s first plant tissue paper out of bamboo. Since then bamboo paper was used in paintings up to nowadays. In 1486 AD during the Ming Dynasty, bamboo charcoal was created and no longer than 400 years later the first bamboo bicycle was created in England.

1.3.

Bamboo nowadays

When in Asian countries bamboo was inherent part of every day’s life for ages, major bamboo research didn’t begin until 1920, when the history of plant was studied. In 1997 The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan decided to improve the social economic and environmental benefits of bamboo that is established by treaty. In present times a man can sit in a bamboo chair, wearing bamboo delicate sweater eating chicken- bamboo rice in his excusive bamboo home with bamboo Figure Fig. 1.1. 1. Modern bamboo furniture in Green Village, Indonesia paneling. Although this building material is still not that much explored, there are many remarkable bamboo structures already build. Architects are searching for new sustainable design ideas and find bamboo very useful and flexible material both for building constructions and interior designs like furniture.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

2. Bamboo as a plant 2.1.

Features

Even though bamboo can reach up to 35 m high it is not considered as a tree or bush, but rather the fastest growing grass in the world. Being over 1.450 species this plant appears in every various climate (from cold mountains to hot tropical regions) of any continent except arctic Antarctica and Europe. Before going to bamboo’s incredible features, first step is to introduce its natural structure. Why is bamboo called a grass, but not a tree? It is because of its extensive underground network. Like a regular grass in our lawns, when bamboo is being cut, this Figure Fig. 2.1. 2. Diagram of bamboo plant underground roots (rhizomes) can grow to another stem which professionally is called a clum. It can never happen to any kind of a tree. Having hollow and strong inner cylinder can grow to its maturity up to 3 years and then it is ready for harvesting. Interesting fact is that this plant is monocarpic, which means that it flowers and gives fruits once in their lifetime and then dies.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

2.2.

Physical properties

What are then such an incredible physical features, so that this clum can be used in building industry? Of course, mechanical properties of bamboo are determined by clum height, topography and the climate which bamboo was growing in, but every species have the same fiber construction. Bamboo has longitudinal fibers and no cross fibers in its structure. This means that this material is not very suitable for load carrying in cross directions. Moreover it is said that working fibers in a bamboo beam are those on the top (working for compression) and the bottom (working for tension). The rest of the mass is so called “dead weight”- fibers that don’t take part in load bearing proses. All in all, bamboo hollow structure makes it working worse as a beam than a column or bracing. Bamboo is well known plant for having almost 2 times compressive strength of concrete and almost the same strength to weight ratio like steel in tension forces. This is why buildings made of bamboo are resistance to wind and earthquakes. But at this point comes another question if this building material have long time expectancy and won’t make our home tear down after several years?

2.3.

Treatment

Untreated bamboo have life expectancy no more than five years and can be attacked by fungi and insects. Moreover it can cause high risk of fire spread when internodes in the clum can burst and collapse the building. That makes bamboo not very impressive building material, but as every product it has to come across well prepared treatment, before being used in construction. This plant consists of carbohydrates (soluble sugars) that attracts fungi and insects. The solution for this issue is to inject water soluble salts into bamboo cells. When water evaporates it removes starch and leave salt inside the fibers. This process is not toxic and makes bamboo beams fire retardant and allow application in structures.

2.4.

Occurrence in the World

Figure 3. Bamboo treatment process

Bamboo grows naturally in all continents except Europe. Naturally meaning that it can multiply and spread itself. It can be found in latitude of 32⁰ south to 46⁰ north. In general those plants prefer temperature between 20⁰C and 30⁰C, but there are some exceptions like Oxythenanthera abyssinica that can grow in central Africa within temperature 40-50⁰C and Phyllostachys mitis in China in the temperature under 0⁰C. Bamboo is quite flexible considering the ground and can be found at altitudes between 100-800 meters. Some even can also be found at sea level or in a mountains above 3000m. Bamboo have no special requirements of soil type with the only exception of saline soils. They are very competitive in getting essential sources and can rapidly invade into any area through spreading their rhizomes.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Interesting fact: Bamboo is considered the strongest plant that can grow on the grounds destroyed by cataclysm- the first example of flora found in Hiroshima aftermath of atomic bomb in 1945 is exactly a bamboo.

Figure Fig. 2.3. 4. Geographical distribution of bamboo (ref. Bamboo Museum in Anji, China)

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

3. Bamboo in construction industry As mentioned in previous paragraphs bamboo is practical, highly flexible and useful plant that can be converted into different kinds of material. It also finds it’s usage in bigger constructions in building industry. Knowing that bamboo features are slightly different than normal tree wood, it requires special treatment, types of joints and structural support. Those information will be revealed in the next chapter, but before that I want to introduce reader to types of constructions that can be made of bamboo. Most of the people consider bamboo as a material for Chinese scaffolding or a stick to bind up vegetables in their gardens. Based on the greatest examples of structures already build all over the world, I will show bamboo constructions , which seem the most interesting and various.

3.1.

Housing 

Great Wall House, Beijing, China, by Kengo Kuma & Associates

This project was completed in 2002 as a part of multi-dwelling housing. The aim of the project was to develop the Great Wall idea into a building. Requirements lead the designer to create building made of traditional, inexpensive bamboo to comfort the topography. Bamboo clums were placed side by side in different intervals and hover above floor to create floating curtain walls in the interior.

Figure Fig. 3.1. 5. Great Wall House

Figure Fig. 3.2. 6. Great Wall House Interior

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry



Bamboo Passive House, France, by Karawitz architects

This is the first certified passive House in France build in 2009. It has solid timber structure and outer shell is entirely covered by cut-to-measure bamboo poles threaded onto steel wires. Close- up of bamboo shutters covers the windows on the North and continues on the roof.

Figure Fig. 3.3. 8. Passive House fasade

3.2.

Figure Fig. 3.4. 7. Close-up of bamboo shutters

Light structures (pavilions) 

Bamboo Pavilion, Mexico

This pavilion was created for the 100th anniversary of The National Autonomous University of Mexico, designed by group of academicians. They used bamboo as representation of a technological and environmental challenge. The structure was covered by PVC membrane to create the shape and structure is made of bamboo arches with anti-catenary guideline which allows the gravity forces to be uniformly distributed. For the whole project they used a total 2,060 linear meters of bamboo.

Fig. 3.5. Bamboo Figure 9. Bamboo pavilion structure

Figure 10. Bamboo Pavilion with PVC membrane

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Bamboo Cathedral by Simón Vélez at Pereira, Colombia

The supports of the cathedral clums are made of Guadua type of bamboo that run up from the ground to the roof. This slenderness is possible with stiffening braces that prevent building from buckling. This building was temporary.

 

Figure Fig. 3.7. 11. Interior of bamboo Cathedrale by Simón Vélez

Scaffolding

Bamboo scaffolding is widely used in China with nylon straps tied into knots as couplers. Although this structure seems not stable and fragile, in Hong Kong there are about 1,835 registered bamboo scaffolders. Those Chinese, skilled workers can build the scaffolding around buildings up to 300m above the ground! Some of those structures don’t even have platforms, while workers must support themselves at each level by wedging their feet between the polls. The main advantage of bamboo scaffolding when compared with steel are its lightness and low cost. Bamboo scaffoldings are also tailored and can easily suit to the building shape. Figure 12. Chinese workers on the scaffolding

13. A encased building in encased in Fig. 3.9.Figure A building bamboo bamboo scaffolding in Honk Kong

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

3.3.

Public buildings 

Green School, Bali, Indonesia by Ibuku

This building is a part of Green Village concept based on building a community a made od spiraling canopy of bamboo. Everything is made of bamboo, from window frames to the staircase, furniture and walls. This school was awarded for the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture for its sustainable merits.

Hf

Figure Fig. 3.10. 15. Green School by Ibuku; Bali, Indonesia.

Figure Fig. 3.11. 14. Bamboo spiral - Green School by Ibuku

Bamboo Car Park, Leipzig Zoo, Germany. Krahnstöver & Wolf Architects.

Even though the parking space is not the most interesting, but very crucial part of public building design and can also be very impressive by it’s elevation. This happened with bamboo fascade in Leipzig Zoo car park in Germany. Bamboo sticks are placed in intervals of 7.5 cm making modern and futuristick outlook.

Figure Fig. 3.12. 16. Bamboo Car Park, Leipzig Zoo, Germany

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

3.4.

Other 

Bridges

By joining bamboo beams end to end, designers have an ability to make structures with a long-spans, towering ceilings and overhangs that together can create constructions such as bridges. UnderneathBamboo Bridge in China by Simón Vélez.

Figure Fig. 3.13. 18. Bamboo Bridge in China by Simón Vélez

Figure Fig. 3.14. 17. Bamboo bridge construction detail

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

4. Bamboo building systems Since the material presented in the report shows an overview of bamboo’s structure as a plant, its material features and forms of usage in building industry, now the time has come to reveal the methods of building systems in the bamboo structures. Just like every building material bamboo has its own positive and negative sides and requires special treatment while applying to building structure.

4.1.

Requirements

Before bamboo clum can be used in a building industry as a structure is has to go through certain demands, starting from harvesting and grading selected steams to treatment and application. o o o o o o o o o o

Bamboo clums cannot be harvested when they are younger than 3 years. Cannot be cut lover than second node or higher then 30mmm above the ground. All bamboo clums should be as straight as possible. Change in diameter over length should be kept minimum. Maximum taper of 10mm per meter is acceptable for length up to 3 m. Columns and roof members should be a minimum of 70-100mm in diameter at thin ends Wall thickness not less than 10-12 mm Distance between nodes should not exceed 300-600mm (they are the strongest points in the clum) While processing it should be set out to dry for around 2-3 months to evaporate 90% of it’s natural moisture content There should be non- toxic treatment applied It is better no to use nails and screws due to the danger of splintering between longitudinal fibers.

Once we have our material prepared, we can start use them in a construction. With modern technologies it is possible to combine bamboo clum with steel and concrete, but first of all it is crucial to know how to bind clums to each other.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

4.2.

Joinery

Round and hollow section of bamboo pole is uncomfortable fact for the joinery and create many problems with modulation and prefabrication of elements. Though it is possible to change its shape. Due to bamboo flexibility, various shapes may be made by training the plant while it grows. Squared bamboo is created by compressing the growing stalk to the square form which provides more flat surface for the connection. Unfortunately those methods are not common and requires more effort to achieve desired shape. Joining bamboo members to transfer load are the basic and Figure 19. Square-shaped bamboo clum the most important part in the building process as their function it to transfer load equally down to the foundations. We can divide bamboo connections into two types: o o

Low-technology connection High-technology connection

The basic difference between those types is that the Low-technology requires cheap and simple connection system and also doesn’t expect specialized labor. High-technology joints include using components such as steel plates and bolds. It is usually used for connecting more than 4 bamboo clums or for the difficult details. The most common ways of joining members are: parallel, orthogonal and angle joints. We can easily join 4, 5 or even more bamboo clums following special technologies. 

Low-technology connection 

Friction-tight rope connection,

Is the basic connection, usually used with natural materials such as: cocos/asgo palm fiber, bast, strips of bamboo or rattan or more industrial materials: iron wire and plastic ropes. Lashing can also have variations of complexity. Bamboo pieces can be cut and attached to each other or can be lashed with pre-drilled holes in each of the piece and the rope tied through them.

Figure Fig. 4.2. 22. Connection with bamboo strips

Figure 21. Rattan connection

Fig. 4.4. Figure Rattan 20.connection Rattan connection through through drill holes Page 19


Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Plug in connection

Connection with steel tension clamp

Those connections are very similar to those in wood with mortise and tenon and are quite seldom used in bamboo connections. However bolds and consoles you can find very often. The bamboo pieces are appropriately cut and in between them the plug is inserted (preferably wood block). An additional fastening with rope is required to prevent from unplugging and slipping the beam.

Still considered as lowtechnology connection, steel element is used. With this attachment more connections are possible, but we should avoid those places where forces are going vertically to the cane axis-they may destroy bamboo clum.

Fig. 4.5. mortise and tenon Figure 23.Bo Bamboo mortise and tenon connection Figure Fig. 4.6. 24. Connection with steel clamp

High- technology connection

Interlocking connections

Those connections involve gluing or shedding of members that are in or around bamboo. For instance a woodcore connection is based on applying a wood piece in the inner surface of bamboo and gluing it. We should be careful and made two slots in the bamboo steam to prevent it from cracking while applying the wood block. This member can be later attached to the steel plate and those can be welded together forming steel box.

Figure 26. Woodcore connection system

Figure 25. Space truss, with center steel box element Page 20


Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Bamboo –Tech

This is an innovative invention by Bruno Huber for those bamboo clums that are slightly oval in a section, so that they are a bit harder to bind with. This method eliminates weak pints in bamboo cane. It is based on having the bamboo cut at certain lengths and having both ends with artificial caps (can be synthetic, steel or aluminum). Caps are hold to the bamboo thanks to the circular notches on the inside of the cap so that there is strong friction connection between cap and bamboo. Sometimes they are welded too.

Fig. 4.9. Figure Drawings 27. Drawings by BrunobyHuber Brunothe Huber patetnt the patetnt

Induo-anchor technique

For big bamboo diameters this type of connection transfers nearly 100% of the maximum load of the cane cross section. This anchor consists of a cast iron con with connection teeth on its sides. It can be easily sheded with bamboo clum with concrete or artificial resin inside. The big advantage of this connection is that can be used in any available knot-connection system, but it’s high in price.

Figure Fig. 4.10. 28. Induo-knot construction

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

4.3.

Foundation

Bamboo is basically an above-ground material. Unless undergoing proper treatment it can last about 2-3 years underground. It is impossible to put bamboo post directly to the ground, however the bamboo clum can be embedded into the foundation or plinth. Of course there are several regulations for bamboo for foundations:     

Bamboo canes should not touch soil, since they should not be exposed to the moisture Height of the plinth in which bamboo is set in should be above the flood water line or min 350 mm above ground level Minimum diameter of bamboo posts at thinner shall not be less than 70 mm The highest post can be up to 3m, if the height is greater, the post should be supported by horizontal tie/beam Use only mature Bambusa Balcoa for structural and main beams 

Foundation plinth

To install bamboo post into foundation, a 300mm deep and 100mm diameter hole should be made in the plinth beam. Before inserting post, bamboo must undergo Tar or Creosote treatment at the bottom. Then the spaces between clum in the hole must be filled with the sand

Figure 29. Fixing detail of bamboo post into plinth masonry Figure 30. Filling the gaps with sand

 anchor bolts

Foundation plinth with

Other possibility allows fixing bamboo post and foundation with bolts and steel brackets and anchor bolts. At this point bolts should be embedded at appropriate place at the same time of casting plinth beam

Figure 31. Fixing detail of bamboo to plinth using bolted connection

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry



Foundation with brick pedestal

This kind of foundations are earthquake resistant and can be use even for brick wall houses. After soling bricks on the ground level, we pour and spread the concrete and mark center for vertical bamboo post. Then going up to the ground level, bricks should be put in such a way to make 120x120mm gap inside to fill with the concrete. After creating foundation plinth, the reinforcement and pipes can be put on the top as the final foundation layer.

Figure 32. Foundation with brick pedestal



Figure 33. Plinth with brick pedestal

Bamboo concrete column

An innovative development includes the casting of a concrete extension to bamboo post using plastic tube of the same diameter. The result is a bamboo post with extended, durable foundation.

Figure Fig. 4.16. 34. Composite bamboo/concrete column

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

4.4.

Walls

There are many possibilities for bamboo usage in the wall constructions. The major elements such as posts and beams are part of structural framework and has to carry self-weight, load from the building and external impacts (such as weather). To complete the wall the infill between framing members is required to protect against rain and wind and ensure overall stability. This can be vertical or horizontal bamboo clum, flattened bamboo, bajareque (explained later),wattle or woven bamboo with or without plaster.

Whole or halved bamboo

Preferred orientation is vertical as it increases shear resistance and is better for the rain falls. Vertical beams can be driven directly into the ground with or without battens.

Split or flattened bamboo

Boards can be stretched or covered by wire mesh to provide good surface for plastering

Bajareque

Type of construction commonly used in Latin America that is based on horizontal bamboo strips tied or nailed to both sides of the posts. The space between is filled with mud or stones. This construction is strong and massive and earthquake resistant

Wattle bamboo

Commonly used in India, Peru and Chile. Thick woven panels of bamboo strips are attached to bamboo supporting beam and covered with plaster

Woven bamboo

The same type a wattle bamboo wall but the bamboo strips are arranged closer and thicker which don’t require external plastering

Figure 35. Types of bamboo walls Page 24


Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

4.5.

Floors

Bamboo is a great material also for the floors construction. It is well know in Europe as a Bamboo floor panels, but it can also be used as a type of construction to raise the floor above the ground to avoid putting floor on compacted earth. This improves comfort and insulation. Basic floor structure is supported by joists that lay on the beams putted along the perimeter of the house. Joist diameters are about 300-500mm, but depending on the floor decking secondary joists can be required with the diameter of 70mm.

Figure 37. Joist arrangement -primaries

4.6.

Figure 36. Joist arrangement -primaries and secondaries

Bamboo floor decking

There are several types of bamboo decking, that can take different forms. Starting from small bamboo clums tied and nailed together, spited along in a half bamboo clums that can be fixed directly to the joists, bamboo boards and woven bamboo mats with different patterns to the typical bamboo parquetted and panels. Those last one are often compared to hardwood floors as they are easy to maintain, water resistant, the same price as typical hardwood and very durable. In Janka ratings (it measures resistance of sample of wood to denting and wear) the hardest bamboo woven floorings range from 3000 to 5000, when other materials rates: red oak- 1290, while oak- 1360 and rock maple- 1450. Figure Fig. 4.19. 38. Bamboo floor panel

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

4.7.

Roof

To fulfill bamboo potential usage in house building it is possible to build whole bamboo roof starting from truss construction and finishing with bamboo roof covering. With this material purlins, rafters, battens or triangular trusses can be made. Playing with bamboo flexibility it is even possible to make various types of lightweight sheltering construction, depending on desired ideas and calculated loads. For the simple housing there are 3 types of trusses configurations. The idea of building bamboo trusses is basically the same as with the wood ones. All matter is based in the joining. The advantage of bamboo roof structure includes bigger span distances, usage of shorter components that provide light construction effects of bowing, crooking an tapering and the possibility of prefabrication Figure Fig. 4.20. 39. King-post truss usage that provide light constructions. However the bamboo

beams are weak for compression perpendicular to its length, which make the roof structure prone to deformation at the joints. Truss configurations allow to make traditional King-post and Fink trusses with the span of 4 m. In addition Jansses truss configuration achieved an 8m span using improved jointing with Figure Fig. 4.21. 40. Fink truss

the clum diameters range from 40-100mm. It is also desirable to provide main beams of second bamboo clum support for distance span more than 4 m.

Fig. 4.22. Janssen truss truss configuration configuration Figure 41. Janssen

Modern techniques with the ends with metal couplers, concrete or plastic bottles and usage wire connections protect construction against lateral forces

Figure 42. Bamboo rafters with metal couplers

For bamboo round shape, It is relevant to remember about precise detailing of the inconvenient areas. Where the rafters cross ridge, purlins and eaves beams sarking (supporting panel) has to come along the rafter to avoid hollow area. Figure 43. Preferred ceiling (sarking) detail Page 26


Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

4.8.

Roof covering

The roof covering can be integrated part of the structure as well as provide non structural function. There are several examples: o o o o

Bamboo tiles Bamboo shingles Bamboo mats Corrugated bamboo roofing sheets Figure Fig. 4.25. 44. Bamboo tiles

o

Plastered bamboo

Bamboo tiles are basically at the same function as ceramic mission tiles. The bamboo clums are halved and overlapped. However, this type of covering can lead to leakage. Bamboo shingles are cut from green clums and shaped in a traditional tile measurements (30-40mm width and 400600mm length). They are usually hooked onto bamboo battens with a simple tongue cut underside to provide overlap.

Figure Fig. 4.26. 45. Bamboo shingles

Other kinds of bamboo mats and sheets include layers of bitumen compressed between two mats forming covering panel. Then the mats can be fixed to the rafters in up to 5 layers. This products are strong, lightweight and provide good insulation.

4.9.

Other types of bamboo usage in constructions

Fig. Figure 4.27.46. Bituminised Bituminised bamboo bamboo mat mat

To prove that bamboo is worldwide and multi usage material I want to show the various and different type of forms used in building industry. 

Doors and windows

Even though it’s not really desired modern design for housing, it is possible to make hinged or sliding doors. They are hollow in core and covered by bamboo mat board or flush skins. Bamboo windows are typically unglazed, but for the higher grade buildings it is possible to make them with glass. Fig. 4.28. Figure 47. Bamboo windoe

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry



Gutters/ pipes With the diaphragm removed, the whole bamboo clum can be used as water pipe either below or above the ground. To ensure waterproof connection for underground pipes the ends of the clum part are fitted into short sections of metal, pvc. Before applying them underground, pipes has to be treated with insecticide to control insect attack. It is said that correctly treated bamboo pipes can provide good service for 10 years

Figure 48. Jointing of bamboo pipes below ground



Bamboo reinforcement

Seeming unprofessionally, but there are several good reasons why bamboo can be used as the reinforcement for concrete. Its low cost compering with steel, availability and its high strength to weight ratio compared to steel make it potential material for reinforcement. Of course some characteristics don’t allow its application in concrete. For example when on the dry bamboo, we pour concrete, it will absorb water and swell. After bamboo dries, the reinforcement with shrink and break the block. With the use of green (not dried) bamboo it will loose water and again shrink and break the bond. But there are more methods to prevent this damages. Bamboo clums should be at least 3 years old. It is better to use bamboo strips rather than whole Figure 49. Bamboo strip reinforcement clums, for the reason of developing better bend with inner surface than the smooth outer surface. For the moisture barrier the bitumen coating can be applied. To improve bond sand, nails and thin rope can be used in conjunction. The next problem will consider relatively low module of elasticity, when bamboo reinforcement element will crack and deflect perhaps 50% more than steel at equivalent section and about 10 times more bamboo is required than steel for reinforced section. To sum up, while bamboo can be used to reinforce beams and suspended slabs it is best used in floor slabs, roads and lightly loaded elements such as wall, where cracking would not be critical. It is still better to use steel as reinforcement for foundations or columns. But at this filed we can still give a try to our bamboo material.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

5. Bamboo as sustainable material 5.1.

What is sustainability?

Before getting deeper look into bamboo as sustainable building material itself, we should describe what sustainability is. According to Wikipedia, we can shortly say that “sustainability is the capacity to endure”. Other key words describing it are: equilibrium, renewable, maintenance or in one wordbalance. In other words sustainability means that things can keep going, can support themselves, can continue to the future and go on for forever. Sustainability is created when 3 main demands are related: environment, society and economy. The Brundtland Commission of United Nations on March 20, 1987 created sustainable development concept saying that “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of Figure Fig. 5.1. 50Venn Venn diagram of sustainable development at the confluence of future generations to meet three constituent parts their own needs”. Simplifying this words, nowadays it is crucial for us to create present life and also think about the future effects. Sustainability requires reasonable decisions that minimizes negative impact in future life in every aspect. Economy, ecosystems, countries, neighborhoods, home gardens, individual lives, goods and services, lifestyles and behavior patterns are all connected to create sustainable concept. So how this sustainability reflects in our everyday life? The easiest example appears in consumerism. When for instance single individual is facing with the fact of buying a TV. Seeing all those products on the market, he needs to decide if he chooses more expensive, good television that will last

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

longer or low quality brand production from the billboard commercial for a short term of usage. Buying cheap TV, he arises production of cheap products- meaning that after short period of time he needs to buy another one. By this simple purchase he defines demand on this kind of item. At the same time, he increases amount of new TV factories to be build and what we all know, factories and their pollutions are not good for our environment. So basically this is how we run the world against sustainability. The time has come for national wake up call and new type of living. But then here comes a question. How simple plant like bamboo can improve our environment and sustainable lifestyle?

5.2.

LCA- Life Cycle Assessment

In a time when global warming, depletion of resources and deforestation threatens the balance of delicate natural world and it’s diverse ecosystems, bamboo is making a viable solution and resource that is both remarkably useful and environmentally- friendly. Bamboo now is being more and more researched material on a market considered to be sustainable, renewable resource known on the planet. There are many reasons that stands behind this statement. Most of them are even scientifically explained, by using commonly accepted methodology- Life Cycle Assessment(LCA). It asses environmental impact of a product or material over the full life cycle, thus from extraction of resources, phase of usage and end of life phase, which is demolition or recycling. LCA clarifies how for instance, production of bamboo chair and its usage affect on environment. It can show us how big damage cause it while left for demolition or if it can be possible to recycled and turn to another product. Then we can easily understand, if by buying this kind of chair and by it’s production process, we deteriorate our ecosystem. Explaining the reasons why we call bamboo sustainable we need to remember about 3 basic pillars of sustainability: economy, environment and society.

Figure 51. Environmental costs ( in mPt) of 1 kg bamboo panel per part of the production process, including transport from China to Netherlands Page 30


Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

5.3.

Environmental benefits 

CO2 emissions

Nowadays world is facing with the CO2 emissions on our atmosphere. Bamboo as the largest growing grass can sequester 17 times more carbon dioxide than a normal tree (according to Zero Emissions Research Institute). It is said, that there are species that can absorb up to 12 tons of CO2 from the air per hour unit and at the same time bamboo produce 35% more oxygen than a typical pine. It is essential in bamboo plywood production, when this product before ready to use has to pass the chain of processing. Starting from plantation, harvesting, strip manufacturing, sawing, gluing to the several transportations till the final product reaches our homes. In the report form IXth World Bamboo Congress titled “Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Sequestration; the Environmental Impact of Industrial Bamboo Products” LCA is explained based on 3 layer carbonized laminated bamboo board- a material which is often used in flooring or table tops. The results of calculations are based on carbon footprint ( total sets of greenhouse gas emissions caused by product) including the effects of carbon sequestration from bamboo plantation area growth over a 5 year period.

Figure 52. Carbon Footprint over Life Cycle (kgCO2eq/kg bamboo product) for carbonized 3-layer laminated bamboo board- source: IXth World Bamboo Congress

From the results it can be said that bamboo plywood is “CO2 neutral or even better”. Note that this graph shows production of bamboo board in Europe, so in the country of production like China the results can be even more positive. What is more, durable bamboo products with long shelf lives maximize time sequestered CO2 that remains in the wood. From End-of-life Calculations from above mentioned report shows that while bamboo product is spent, most of this waste ends up in an electrical power plant and only about 10% in (Western Europe) ends up in landfill.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

To another environmental impacts of bamboo sustainability is that other parts of bamboo plant like leaves, stems and stalks can be used for biomass to generate energy. This plant also prevents soil erosion as its extensive underground network bands soil when land is washed away. 2 year forest can even reduce soil erosion up to 75%! 

Deforestation

With the population grow, mankind is extracting more resources than planet Earth can regenerate. Deforestation is one of the major aspect considering our global climate change. According to European Commission: � Forests cover roughly 30% of the world's land area. Three percent of the earth's forest cover was lost between 1990 and 2005 and there has been no significant decrease in the rate of deforestation over the past 20 years. Some 96% of deforestation occurs in tropical regions.� . Knowing that forests are established for the carbon dioxide absorption, deforestation is responsible for over 20% of global CO2 emissions.

Figure 53. Forest area as a percentage of total land area by country, 2010

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment from 2010, most of the continents have deficient resources in forest cover, that in past years doesn’t seem to decrease. Mostly Latin America, South Asia and Australia and Oceania. Indicated in this report: “In Europe the forest area expanded over the period 2000 to 2010 by just under 0.7 million hectares per year, in comparison with slightly less than 0.9 million hectares per year in the 1990s”, while “Forest area continues to grow rapidly in East Asia due to the afforestation efforts in China, while in Western and Central Asia the forest area is expanding slightly”. Although the newest data for those countries is promising, the other half of the world is still dragging forecasts down. This is why it is important to use the hectares of land available globally in an increasingly efficient manner. Since humanity requires different resources for different needs ( cropland for food, forests for materials) in combination with the increasing deforestation it is crucial to reforest degraded land. How can then bamboo stop developing this issue?

Figure 54. Annual change in forest area by country, 2006-2010

As we already know, bamboo is the fastest and the highest growing grass that can easily create field that can be called- forest. It has amazing ability to grow on inconvenient for trees degraded sloped grounds, so that the range of possible surface is increased. We can also add the fact that bamboo forests creates new habitats for animals, which is also important fact for the environmental aspect of this material.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

5.4.

Economic benefits

Improving bamboo plantations, this large grass can work as an alternative for building materials such as timber. Instead of cutting down trees that need 30 years to grow, we can harvest bamboo with the ability to grow 1,2m in a day! For the comparison, while establishment time of plantation of tropical giant bamboo species such as Guadua come to maturity less than 10 years, while wood plantations range from 15 years (Eucalyptus), 30 years (Teak) to 80 years (European Oak). Together with its relative high hardness and strength (like hardwood) giant bamboo species can be converted for both A-quality (Strand Woven Bamboo material) and B-quality(finishing materials). By its properties, bamboo plywood requires to use less raw material to the product, which requires less energy to its production. This simply shows that bamboo material is more efficient than regular plywood. It is assumed that in future bamboo might be a substitute for steel. These varied uses allow for use of this renewable alternative material in applications ranging from civil engineering to end-consumer goods. This approach guarantees optimal capitalization on material being produced.

5.5.

Social benefits

Nowadays, when bamboo material in industry is still developing, this lumber is also highly expandable, where numerous downstream and subsidiary industries- such as manufacturing of furniture and household utensils- can be established to further process and increase the value of the raw materials produced. Growing industry provides growing employment. At this point we can say that bamboo industry can prevent form poverty allowing poor people finding a job. By the possibility of easy harvesting (using only simple tool axe). Local people can cultivate, process and trade the product all over the world, without using heavy machinery. Bamboo can provide simple sheltering both temporary or for long-term use providing homes for poor people. This plant is so efficient, that even some offcuts can be given to cottage industries to help in production of traditional wares. As a material itself, bamboo is a good example of ecological product improving education about sustainability.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

6. Bamboo prospects in China 6.1.

Bamboo World cover in numbers

In the status presented in The Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) in 2010 Asia leads with area of bamboo forests (17 360 000ha), followed by South America (10 399 000 ha) and Africa (3 627 000ha). It gives 4th place for Oceania (45 000ha) and 5th for North and Central America (39 000 ha). Researches in Europe gave totally 0ha of natively grown bamboo plantations. Summering total world area covered with bamboo till 2010 gives number o 31 470 000ha.

Figure 55. Area of bamboo by country, 2010

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

China leads with the varies and areas covered by bamboo. It has ¼ world area covered by this plant and 1/3 production of bamboo comes from that country. Introducing more numbers, about 4 milion hectars are plantations and 3 millions of bamboo forests are in mountain clumps. This makes amazing 7 milion hectares of bamboo. Nothing strange that Chinese people are taking advantage of those calculations and cultivate and use this plant as efficiently as possible.

6.2.

Bamboo Everyday forms of usage in China

The basic inspiration of researching about bamboo is its potential of usage in every field. It has great features that allow to adopt it into different forms all over the world. My first observations started in typical Chinese village Suzhou placed about 100km on the west of Shanghai metropolis. This place is kept in traditional Chinese culture and atmosphere. I could see Chinese people selling handmade bamboo baskets and broom made of bamboo branches with leafs. Their traditional art is based on bamboo paintings made on bamboo paper, as for Chinese culture is the symbol of longevity. Musical instruments such as Dizi flute or oboes are also made from this wonderful plant. In Chinese medicine bamboo is used as medicament for infections. What is more, a bamboo shoots can become a basic ingredient in typical Chinese meal or well-known food for animals such as panda. In addition, well processed bamboo fibers can be used for cloths material production. Going to extreme bamboo can be used for diesel fuel production, desalination filters or even airplane “skins”. Also in Shanghai- one of the most modern and newest city in China I could easily find bamboo scaffolding in each building site. It is banned to use them for more than 6 storey buildings, but I could find them in some skyscraper building sites too.

6.3.

Traditional bamboo housing in China

In traditional Chinese houses, especially those in Northern china people use bamboo for framing membranes, floor joists, roof components (rafters, purlins and ridgepoles and walling forms). According to Ronald G. Knapp “Chinese houses- the architectural heritage of a nation” book: “For wallings bamboo culms are split into thin flexible splines that are interlaced at 90 degree angle to form kind of woven lattice or lathing matting that can be used for all or part of wall. Bamboo plaited curtain walls are often sealed with a mud or mud and lime plaster on both sides to make wall tight to air and water (Sichuan and Jiangxi)”. It is said that 2/3 houses in southern China has this kind of walls in so called ‘zhulou’ houses (stilt bamboo storied-houses which are elaborate structures with multiple roof pitches).

6.4.

Eco-costs savings of bamboo in China

Materials used in a country of production have even bigger impact to environment. First of all, eco-cost is reduced due to the fact of decreasing eco-costs for transportation. For instance eco-costs of bamboo plywood is reduced by 25-28% only considering transport reduction. Together with high local availability and lower input requirements for housing, furniture and household products (in comparison to West Europe) the usage and the market is higher in the bamboo producing countries. This way Chinese bamboo for the short production process is the most environmentally friendly alternative(even better than locally grown softwood). What makes this product more affordable in a producing country is that factories are placed close to the plantations, allowing using simple machinery for transport.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

6.5.

Plybamboo

China is well known for being one of the biggest bamboo plywood export for all over the world and it extremely popular in building industry. Taking under consideration it’s tensile strength, bamboo plywood thickness is less than a conventional plywood, so that it requires less material and energy to produce it. Bamboo plywood is widely used as interior boards in automobiles, floorboards, furniture ect. As a raw material (bamboo mats) are needed in a plywood production. With an annual production capacity of 5,000 cubic meters, 400 bamboo mats are required per day. This way Figure 56. Plybamboo plywood can improve social benefits. Mats can be hand-made by local women in a free time increasing its value by 1/3. This way is also develop employment. In a past 10 years bamboo plywood experience huge boom for its production and marketing. China annually is producing 200,000 cubic meters and often export it to Japan, USA, Hong Kong and Taiwan. However there are several problem with bamboo plywood production that China has to face with. Firstly, the production capacity remain small. The annual production capacity in many plants in China is just about 5,000 cubic meters. This makes limits and reduced economic efficiency. Another fact is that technology being used in a production is out of date. Knowing that bamboo properties (such as small diameter, thin wall and hollowness) are different than normal wood it makes it more difficult to process. This also requires professional processing factories. What is more the utilization ratio is low, usually between 40-60%, but what so ever, the large quantity of waste are still burned as fuel. Developing awareness of importance of protecting global warning, bamboo plywood industry gives a big role in wood manufacture. It is now found a substitute to normal wood improving Chinese bamboo production all over the world

6.6.

Poor Man’s Timber

A Poor Man’s Timber- this is how we can call this wonder plant, that today, bamboo is again much prized. It is a multipurpose plant with economic benefits. By its extraordinary features it is recognized to be sustainable material. But what is it called like that? Surprisingly bamboo is being used less and less in Asian countries because of this label. Dr. Wei Chin Lin, head of the Taiwanese mission for the capacitation of bamboo craftsmen said that this material was considered for poor even 10 years ago. As soon as this plant is handy and as rural people have access to bamboo wood it gives some kind of social status and position as the poorest member of society. Those factors are important for promotion of the product. It is basically south-east Asia citizens that still use bamboo as last resource on a “better than nothing” basis. Ones can say that they are right to call it this way, but the question is, if this has negative impact in people’s attitude towards bamboo? It is typical that resources that are common for ages in one place are not that valuable in people’s mind in places where they can’t find it. In Asia it might be called poor man’s timber while in Europe we still consider it as an exotic plant.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

7. Bamboo prospects in Europe It is well known that bamboo is not local European plant, it has been introduced over 150 years ago in horticulture, gardening and landscaping. It was destroyed in World War II and since then the popularity of bamboo raised as it is considered exotic plant. This material still exists in European market and is mostly imported from Asia, but why it is not possible to cultivate this plant on our grounds? European bamboo industry has to face with several difficulties in manufacture in this region.

7.1.

Can bamboo grow in Europe?

First of all, it is possible to grow small ornamental species of bamboo in our garden. Bamboo s can be propagated via seeds, rhizome, clum cutting, via clump division, depending on the species. It is said that in Europe the best way to multiply bamboo is via division of clumps. In south Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal) bamboo can grow to its original height- 20m and in the West Europe just several species in gardens. Higher latitudes face with the shorter growing seasons and colder temperatures that allow this plant to grow in smaller size (Belgium 5m). In general bamboo plantations in Europe are limited to those in our garden yards with an aim of decoration or for some industrial purposes such as biomass production. Once there were conducted an experiment where at the three sites of Europe (Belgium, Portugal and Spain) bamboo was planted at different planting densities to assess survival rates and growth under filed conditions. To this experiment 10 different species were used. After 3 years of observation different species performed differently. Some species in Belgium like Phyllostachys aureosulcata performed very well, they survived and showed good development. Some required replanting and substituting, which is far too expensive and others (Sasa and Pleioblastus) died in field condition. The main aim of this experiment was to assess best planting distances to increase density of grow for each species to assume potential tons per hectare of material for biomass.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

7.2.

Problems in bamboo manufacture

As mentioned above the first difficulty is to provide every species growth in a field. We still don’t know if the bamboo from our garden can grow equally on a field plantation. Secondly, prices of bamboo planting in horticulture are too high and availability of plants is limited for large scale planting. The next issue includes harvesting. Bamboo plants should be harvested mechanically since wages are much too high in Europe to allow manual harvesting and selection of good quality clums. What is more, industry should be able to use bamboo without adaptation of their machinery, which indeed is not adopted in Europe. This requires more invest in production. And of course a quality of bamboo products. European manufactures still don’t improve product quality as well as in Asia. Another problems considering bamboo usage in building industry in Europe is the lack of knowledge, trust and good examples. There are no specified construction codes, fire safety requirement ect. However, INBAR is developing several international building codes for bamboo and some of them were submitted to the ISO (International Standards Organization) and acknowledged in 2004. Nevertheless, there is a lot systems to testify and classify. This are the reasons why usually clients don’t want to tests this material in their investments One of the main reasons why bamboo industry is not improving in Europe is that for growers there is no need to enlarge and improve quality of bamboo agroforestry , because bamboo plant prices are still very high in comparison to other plants and it is still popular in a rich society.

7.3.

Eco- costs and annual yield

From economical point of view, higher density planting requires higher investment. Perhaps in future when planting prices will be cut, then planting itself can become more flexible. In terms of eco-costs, the further away the bamboo stem is industrially processes, the more artificial resins are added and the further it it transported the higher the eco-costs of bamboo material are. That way it becomes less competitive to locally grown wood like timber. In the table below it is shown an comparison in eco-cost and annual yield between specific bamboo material (from Moso bamboo type and Guadua) and its European alternative.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Figure 57. The environmental sustainability based on eco-costs and annual yield for various bamboo materials in sustainable markets in Western Europe compared to relevant alternatives

The signs explanation is following: -+/+ ++

very bad (eco-cost twice as high, annual yield-twice as low) bad (eco-costs 1,23-2 times as high, annual yield 1,25-2 times as low) reasonable (eco-costs 0,75-1,25 times as low/high, annual yield- 0,75-1,25 times as high/low) good (eco-costs 1,25-2 times as low, annual yield 1,25-2 times as high) very good ( eco-costs twice as low, annual yield twice as high) By this research we can read that eco-costs of plybamboo compering to any normal plywood is very bad, but has very good annual yield in European countries. This is caused by transportation aspects that arise bad environmental impact of bamboo products. Therefore we can see that bamboo actually has a lot of competitive in terms of environmental sustainability. Although in terms of annual yield it was found that bamboo stem was best performing renewable resource around Europe if was used as semi -finished material in a durable application. For the higher bamboo species such as Guadua used for production of industrial materials, they have higher annual yield than other wood alternatives. All in all, due to the higher processing efficiency and the short harvesting time (1-2 years) the high annual yield of bamboo is utilized the best in pulp and fiber for industries such as paper, textile and composite industry in Europe.

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

8. Summary & Conclusion 8.1.

Summary

Looking for a perfect title for my report about bamboo I wanted to gather all the most interesting facts about bamboo and describe them in a building industry context. I found out how many possibilities this plant can perform, but as every building material it has advantages and disadvantages. For the summary I want to conclude all of the pros and cons and present them in a simple tables in 3 different aspects. First- positive and negative facts of bamboo being a building material, Second- good and bad sides about its sustainability and the last one- find pros and cons about building from bamboo in Europe. Later on each part will be discussed and summarized.

8.2.

Positive and negative sides of bamboo as building material

Positive + the fastest growing grass + strong load-bearing capacity + good comprehensive strength + better strength on tension than steel + stiffness + flexibility + elasticity + wide range of species + low weight

Negative - round hollow shape - tapered - irregular shape - no cross fibers - longitudinal fiber bad for cross direction loads - easily attack by insects and fungi - natural durability up to 2 years

Taking bamboo under consideration as being a building material, we face with the facts that this is not a tree but a grass with amazing natural properties. For the best thing it is always pointed out bamboo stiffness and its availability to fast grow. This makes the material widely in usage as a substitute to normal wooden materials in buildings. Also compared with steel it has many advantages like lightness, strength on tension and elasticity. From the negative point of view, bamboo natural shape makes a lot of problems for carpenters. Round shape beams provide less surface for attachments, irregular shape of clum can provide many problems in load bearing for columns and the natural fiber properties also provides many negative sides. Lack of cross fibers limits bamboo clum usage for bracing and columns to avoid cross direction loads. It is also difficult to use screws and nails to avoid splitting canes while they

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

hammer between longitudinal fibers. What is more, possible bamboo beams need to undergo special chemical treatment to extend its natural durability and avoid insect and fungi attack.

8.3.

Positive and negative sides of bamboo as sustainable building material

Positive + the fastest growing grass + absorbs CO2 + recyclable + biodegradable + fast spreading plant + creates animal habitats +prevents from soil erosion + requires less energy in production of bamboo plywood than normal softwood + short production process of clums + easy to harvest + decreases poverty in country of production

Negative - more complex production process for industrial products (like floor panels) - eco-costs of production are high in a countries where the plant doesn’t grow

From the first glimpse at this table, we can see that there is majority of positive impact of bamboo in our life. Starting again from bamboo possibility of the fast grow and growing extension is vital nowadays when we are facing with the fact of deforestation. Enlarging forest area, we are provided with bigger CO2 absorption. Bamboo forests can sequester 17 times more carbon dioxide than a normal tree forest and provide natural surroundings for animals! Within an extensive underground network it prevents from soil erosion and can grow even in uncomfortable grounds. Easy to harvest, uses less energy in bamboo clum or plywood production. This plant is biodegradable and recyclable. This means that any bamboo wastes are generated into other textiles or convert into biomass. To sum up positive impact, by bamboo cultivation, this plant provides more job for poor and decreases poverty in country of production. Being totally natural product, it is difficult to point out negative impact on environment. This plant is simple and easy to process, so the only disadvantage in sustainable production, can be caused by more complex products that require usage of more pesticides and energy. Overall, eco-costs in country of production are very low and they can have bad impact while transported to the country where the plant doesn’t naturally grow. The further away the bamboo steam is industrially processed and transported, the more artificial resins are added and the higher eco-costs are.

8.4.

Positive and negative sides of bamboo as a building material in Europe

Positive + timber substitute + good bamboo floor quality + considered exclusive material + many possibilities of usage + becoming more popular + interesting design + not expensive material to purchase + prefabricated elements are available + good finishing material for small constructions

Negative - lack of legislation, building codes - requires special labor and qualified engineers - requires different machinery to harvest - requires special treatment - not good in contact with concrete - difficult to grow a plantation - requires extra tests in bearing capacity of structures and fire safety - mostly high-technology connection needed

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Bamboo as sustainable material for future building industry

Supported by many pictures in this report, we can see that there is a big range of bamboo structures already build both in country of production and Europe, but the difference between those two aspects is huge. Although using bamboo in Asian countries is easier, in Europe it has to face with more difficulties. Bamboo is not cultivated in Europe, because there are almost no plantations for manufacture. This way, the subject of bamboo being a building material is put aside and not many building European codes are improved since people started building from bamboo. For more disadvantages in growing bamboo in Europe, we can point out different machinery to harvest and treatment. Bamboo requires special labor and qualified engineers to provide good and stable buildings. The need of high-technology and complex joinery, makes negative outlook for a client to have a bamboo structure. General lack of knowledge leads to become a negative side of building from bamboo in Europe. But this wonderful material has also a lot of positive impacts. As fast growing grass is a great substitute for timber in structures. It’s the best for finishing material, small constructions and flooring. In Europe, it is considered elegant and exclusive material and is becoming more popular. Although, it has to be transported from countries of production, the cost of purchase are not big. Some structural, prefabricated elements from bamboo, are also available. This plant is also valuable due to its wide usage and it provides interesting design in our homes.

8.5.

Conclusion

Before starting a report my main aim was to find an answer for questions that came up to my mind after my internship in China. Even though in my architectural company we weren’t designing with bamboo material and I even haven’t see any project with this material, I was surrounded by the plant everywhere. Like it is part of identity in China. This made me to research more and find out how bamboo constructions work in Europe and if it is possible to make it standard like other building materials. This report helped me to find an answers for following questions. 1. What kinds of constructions are possible to made from bamboo material? Asking European people, what they know about bamboo, the answers were not surprisingly common: bamboo floor, Chinese scaffolding and gardening plant. Finally I could research that, unbelievably a lot of constructions can be made of bamboo. Simply harvested bamboo clum can make a lumber (such as beam, column, rafter). With this building material it is possible to build houses, shelters, churches, pavilions, scaffoldings and bridges. Basically everything that this material can support. Its properties allow bamboo to be the main structure as well as finishing material. 2. What are the types of building systems in construction with bamboo? Saying that almost every structure can be made of bamboo I needed to get to know how they are build, what are the techniques and what are specific parts of building that can be made of this plant. In countries of production, local people can made whole house made of bamboo. Foundations with plinth, walls, floors, roofs and even doors and windows. All with the great knowledge can result with wonderful building. The difficult part I found is a technical bamboo connections, which are typical only for this kind of building material. Specific joinery for bigger structures, requires metal

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connections to keep building stable. I even found debates about bamboo being a reinforcement and a substitute for steel, but those researches are far exaggerated and not worth investment. 3. Why is bamboo called a sustainable material? Basically, because it is 100% natural material that doesn’t need much energy in production to be ready in application to the building. Fast growing, easy harvested with a little bit of treatment and the basic beam is done. Bamboo is considered to be future timber alternative that can lead to decreasing deforestation by increasing bamboo plantations. Bamboo absorbs 20% more carbon than a normal forest and provides natural habitats for animals. It also provides work for local people decreasing poverty in developing countries. In general, by growing this plant we can supply our environment with a building material, furniture, textile, biomass, food and many other and by its production it don’t cause damaged to our world. It has positive aspects in every filed: environmental, economic and sociological. That makes this plant sustainable- when every part can be reused and transformed to another avoiding waste of energy. 4. What is the difference in bamboo manufacture between China and European countries? The difference is major, basically because Europe can’t be called the country of production. This is main reason why bamboo is not cultivated that much and face with a lot of difficulties with its production in Europe. When the production in China is well known from centuries, bamboo in European market is still a bit of unknown. Chinese factories are placed close to plantations so the transport costs are saved. Chinese workers are qualified from generations and the knowledge about building from bamboo is much wider than in Europe. Machinery is industrialized specifically for this kind of building source. Chinese bamboo buildings are well tested in their climate and latitude and in Europe engineers, architects and designers are still afraid of using this material in their projects. This product requires more investment in European countries, that makes sort of a barrier, but as far as the interest and popularity of bamboo arises, European building industry takes small steps to improve bamboo manufacture. 5. Is it affordable to build from bamboo in Europe? The final question, that also is my conclusion for the report, is the point of building with bamboo in Europe. Since from the very beginning I was hoping to find a lot of positive words about European bamboo market, I could only find difficulties and disadvantages. I tried to defend this plant from constant complains about its durability in European climate, lack of building codes, complicated connection methods and general lack of knowledge in building with this material, I finally got convinced that building whole structures made of bamboo is not affordable and the best idea. Saying whole structures, I mean basically houses that are supported by bamboo columns, beams and with usage only this kind of material. With an aim of having, big a house for other generations fully made of one material, bamboo could be too expensive and not affordable. After weeks of research I

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came up to a conclusion that bamboo the best and the most sustainable usage in Europe is limited to small, temporary structures or as a finishing material for elevations or interior. I would not recommend building structures with a bamboo lumber, as is not easy to find in Europe and the ecological costs of its transportation are making more harm for environment than good. Being a perfect substitute for timber, bamboo interior walls or other supporting beams, parquet or bamboo floor panels, furniture and other kinds of ware made of bamboo, are having the best impact in Europe. They don’t require big structural beams transported from countries with bamboo plantations and are easily available. By purchasing bamboo products, we support bamboo manufacture and industry, that itself is very ecological and affordable. What is more bamboo products create modern look and gives interior a classy style. *** Final question: Is a bamboo a sustainable material for future building industry? I wanted this sentence to include all the aspects I was interested in about bamboo. Describing the keywords asbamboo, sustainability, material, building- I created one sentence and tried to seek the answers for my questions. My research was worth fatigue. Bamboo is an incredible plant. Simple in structure, but so effective in construction. Can be a basic material for house skeleton, as well as it can finish our home interior with an elegant panels or furniture. The bamboo manufacture wastes, can be utilized into fabric or biofuels. This plant is totally natural, ecological and beautiful. Bamboo interested me since very beginning of my internship in China. This plant is used in Asian countries from centuries and the ideology concerned with it, is passing through generations from ages and became part of Chinese history. After coming back to Europe, I could not stop thinking how it can be implemented in my continent. It is difficult to imagine Europeans to cultivate bamboo the same way like Chinese, but I found out that, there are other ways to extract all the best, that this plant can give us. Basically, coming back from China l have noticed the variety in architecture, design and technologies. In this report I presented all the aspect concerning bamboo, that interested me the most. That includes: advantages and disadvantages of bamboo as a plant, its possibilities in constructions, bamboo sustainability and finally, a comparison Chinese and European bamboo market. By all those researches, I was developing my own opinion about bamboo building, with a thought of making project including a bamboo material, as a future constructing architect. I must admit, that I feel disappointed on difficulties in building with bamboo in Europe. This way architects are not allowed to design new, modern buildings, as I wish to design myself. On the other hand, at least we can still have a bit of Asia in our homes, with a help of bamboo products that are easily available in European markets. I hope all of my questions and answers can help to educate people about this great material and maybe, improve bamboo usage in Europe. I think that, by showing other sides of this plant, I made readers realize that there are many ways of bamboo usage. I believe that overall, like me, they can come to the same conclusion that bamboo Is a sustainable material for future building industry and can help to create new, unusual structures.

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List of Figures Figure 1. Modern bamboo furniture in Green Village, Indonesia ......................................................................................................................................................................... 9 Figure 2. Diagram of bamboo plant .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 10 Figure 3. Bamboo treatment process ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 11 Figure 4. Geographical distribution of bamboo (ref. Bamboo Museum in Anji, China) ...................................................................................................................................... 12 Figure 5. Great Wall House ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Figure 6. Great Wall House Interior ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Figure 7. Close-up of bamboo shutters .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14 Figure 8. Passive House fasade ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Figure 9. Bamboo pavilion structure ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14 Figure 10. Bamboo Pavilion with PVC membrane ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 14 Figure 11. Interior of bamboo Cathedrale by Sim贸n V茅lez ................................................................................................................................................................................. 15 Figure 12. Chinese workers on the scaffolding .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 15 Figure 13. A building encased in bamboo scaffolding in Honk Kong .................................................................................................................................................................. 15 Figure 14. Bamboo spiral - Green School by Ibuku ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 16 Figure 15. Green School by Ibuku; Bali, Indonesia. ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 16 Figure 16. Bamboo Car Park, Leipzig Zoo, Germany .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Figure 17. Bamboo bridge construction detail................................................................................................................................................................................................... 17 Figure 18. Bamboo Bridge in China by Sim贸n V茅lez ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 17 Figure 19. Square-shaped bamboo clum ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Figure 20. Rattan connection through drill holes............................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Figure 21. Rattan connection ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 19 Figure 22. Connection with bamboo strips ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 19 Figure 23. Bamboo mortise and tenon connection ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 20 Figure 24. Connection with steel clamp ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 20 Figure 25. Space truss, with center steel box element ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Figure 26. Woodcore connection system ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Figure 27. Drawings by Bruno Huber the patetnt .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 21 Figure 28. Induo-knot construction ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 21 Figure 29. Fixing detail of bamboo post into plinth masonry ............................................................................................................................................................................. 22 Figure 30. Filling the gaps with sand ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 22 Figure 31. Fixing detail of bamboo to plinth using bolted connection ............................................................................................................................................................... 22 Figure 32. Foundation with brick pedestal ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 23 Figure 33. Plinth with brick pedestal ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 23 Figure 34. Composite bamboo/concrete column ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 23 Figure 35. Types of bamboo walls ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 24 Figure 36. Joist arrangement -primaries and secondaries ................................................................................................................................................................................. 25 Figure 37. Joist arrangement -primaries ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 25 Figure 38. Bamboo floor panel .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 25 Figure 39. King-post truss.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 26 Figure 40. Fink truss .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 26 Figure 41. Janssen truss configuration .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 26 Figure 42. Bamboo rafters with metal couplers ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 26 Figure 43. Preferred ceiling (sarking) detail ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 26 Figure 44. Bamboo tiles .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Figure 45. Bamboo shingles .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 27 Figure 46. Bituminised bamboo mat ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 27 Figure 47. Bamboo windoe ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Figure 48. Jointing of bamboo pipes below ground ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 28 Figure 49. Bamboo strip reinforcement ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 28 Figure 50Venn diagram of sustainable development at the confluence of three constituent parts ................................................................................................................... 29 Figure 51. Environmental costs ( in mPt) of 1 kg bamboo panel per part of the production process, including transport from China to Netherlands ....................................... 30 Figure 52. Carbon Footprint over Life Cycle (kgCO2eq/kg bamboo product) for carbonized 3-layer laminated bamboo board- source: IXth World Bamboo Congress ............ 31 Figure 53. Forest area as a percentage of total land area by country, 2010 ...................................................................................................................................................... 32 Figure 54. Annual change in forest area by country, 2006-2010 ....................................................................................................................................................................... 33 Figure 55. Area of bamboo by country, 2010 .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 35 Figure 56. Plybamboo ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 37 Figure 57The environmental sustainability based on eco-costs and annual yield for various bamboo materials in sustainable markets in Western Europe compared to relevant alternatives ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 40

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List of references: Books “Chinese houses- the architectural heritage of a nation” by Ronald G.Knapp, published by Tuttle 2005, ISBN0 0-8048-3537-3 “Fundamentals of the design of bamboo structures” by Oscar Antonio Arce-Villalobos, 1993 ISBN 906814-524-X “Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010. Main report” published by Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO), 2010 ISBN 978-92-5-106654-6

Articles: “Bamboo: Structure and Culture. Utilizing bamboo in the industrial context with reference to its structural and cultural dimensions”, PhD by Xiaobing Yu, The University of Densburg-Essen “Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Sequestration; the Environmental Impact of Industrial Bamboo Products” by P.van der Lugt, J.G. Vogtlander, J.H. van der Vegte, J.C. Brezet, taken from IX th World Bamboo Congress “Bamboo Construction Source Book”, by Community Architects Network (CAN), May 2013 “Bamboo, a Sustainable Solution for Western Europe, Design Cases, LCAs and Land-use” by Pablo van der Lugt, Joost Vogtlander, Han Brezet, INBAR Technical Raport No.30 published 2009 “Bamboo as a building material alternative for Western Europe? A study of the environmental performance costs and bottlenecks of the use of bamboo (products) in Western Europe”, by P. van der Lugt, A. van den Dobbelsteen, R. Abrahams, Delf University of Technology, 2003 “Present conditions and prospects for the development of the bamboo plywood industry in China” by Song Yan, China National Forest Product Industry Corporation, published by FAO Corporate Document Repository

Websites: http://www.inbar.int/ http://www.fao.org/ http://www.guaduabamboo.com/ http://www.asian-bamboo.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/

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