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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
close this folderExamples of wall materials
View the documentStone masonry blocks walls
View the documentRammed earth walls
View the documentCompressed soil blocks walls
View the documentBamboo reinforced earth walls
View the documentBurnt clay brick walls
View the documentConcrete hollow block walls
View the documentBamboo walls
View the documentTimber panel walls
View the documentSulphur concrete walls
View the documentWalls from agro-waste
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of roof materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of building systems
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes

Bamboo walls


Special properties

Light, flexible; great variety of constructions

Economical aspects

Low cost


Low to medium

Skills required

Traditional bamboo construction skills

Equipment required

Tools for cutting and splitting bamboo

Resistance to earthquake


Resistance to hurricane


Resistance to rain


Resistance to insects


Climatic stability

Warm humid climates

Stage of experience



• In bamboo-growing regions the climate is generally warm and humid, requiring construction materials of low thermal storage capacity and designs which permit good cross-ventilation. Bamboo constructions ideally satisfy these requirements, which is why they have long been used for housing in warm humid climates.

• Plain bamboo walls cannot be made air-tight or waterproof, so that cross-ventilation is a natural feature, providing indoor comfort and removing moisture.

• The flexibility and high tensile strength makes bamboo walls highly earthquake resistant, and in case of collapse, their low weight causes less damage to people and property; reconstruction is relatively quick and easy.

• Special skills are required to handle bamboo, but these are traditionally available in most bamboo-growing regions.

• The main drawbacks are the relatively low durability (due to biological hazards), the low resistance to hurricanes and fire, therefore protective measures are essential (see section on PROTECTIVE MEASURES).

Further information: Bibl. 13.02, 13.04, 13.05, 13.09, 13.10, 13.12.

Examples of Traditional Bamboo Wall Construction (Bibl. 13.02): Halved bamboo culms arranged vertically like Spanish roof tiles; Bamboo boards (split and flattened culms) interwoven with the frame; Bamboo battens (made from culms split into eight segments) nailed to a light frame; Panels of woven bamboo strips nailed and/ or tied to the bamboo frame

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