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close this bookAppropriate Building Materials: a Catalogue of Potential Solutions (SKAT; 1988; 430 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building materials
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building elements
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on protective measures
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of foundation materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of floor materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of wall materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of roof materials
close this folderExamples of building systems
View the documentMud brick vaults and domes
View the documentEarthquake resistant mud/bamboo structures
View the documentAdobe brick house
View the documentModular framed earth block construction
View the documentLok Bild system
View the documentConcrete panel house
View the documentFerrocement housing units
View the documentFibracreto building system
View the documentBamboocrete construction
View the documentBamboo houses
View the documentPrefabricated timber hut
View the documentPrefabricated wooden house
View the documentTimber houses for flood areas
View the documentRha-lime prototype house
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes

Bamboocrete construction


Special properties

Cheaper than other equally strong structures

Economical aspects

Low to medium costs



Skills required

Bamboo and masonry construction skills

Equipment required

Carpentry and masonry tools

Resistance to earthquake


Resistance to hurricane


Resistance to rain


Resistance to insects


Climatic suitability

All except very hot dry climates

Stage of experience



• The bamboocrete house shown overleaf was implemented in 1976 by Dr. U.C. Kalita, et al (Bibl. 24. 11), Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat (Assam), India.

• On a concrete foundation with burnt brick base course and flooring, a framework of secondary species timber provides the structural support for infill panels and curved roofing elements made of split bamboo lattice-work, plastered with cement mortar.

• The use of bamboo to substitute steel reinforcement in concrete is of considerable economic interest, as steel is expensive and often imported. However, bamboo shrinks on drying - over 4 times more than the concrete - so that there is no bond between the bamboo and concrete. Furthermore, the alkalinity of concrete gradually destroys the bamboo fibre, which finally loses all its strength.

• Recent research (Bibl.24.10) has shown some possible remedies: 1.Coating the bamboo with hot bitumen and improving bonding by covering it with coarse sand, driving in 25 mm nails or tying coconut fibre ropes around the bamboo (developed by D. Krishnamurthy); 2. Using only the outer section of bamboo (because of its higher tensile strength and elasticity) and twisting bundles of three split-bamboo strips around each other (developed by 0. Hidalgo Lopez).

• Further research is necessary, especially with a view to fibre deterioration.

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