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  • Bamboo is a versatile, strong, renewable and environment friendly material.
  • It is exceedingly strong for its weight and can be used both structurally and as a finish material.
  • Bamboo is recognized as one of the most important non timber forest resources because because of the high socio-economic benefits from bamboo based products.
  • Bamboo can be recombined into useful products and elements such as flooring, ceiling, walls, partition walls, trusses, domes, etc.


Bamboo in Buildings

  • Bamboo has good engineering properties and it is a feasible substitute for other materials for housing and construction sector.
  • Bamboo has high tensile strength, very good strength to weight ratio. It can be easily worked upon by simple tools.
  • It can resist forces created by high velocity wind and earthquake.
  • Bamboo and components made of bamboo are environment friendly, energy efficient and cost effective.


Bamboo: A Building System

  • A building system in which bamboo comprises of various elements and fulfils the structural role.
  • Round bamboo columns and trussed rafters act as the main load bearing element.
  • Composite bamboo grid/cement mortar infill panels act as shear walls to resist wind and seismic forces.


Bamboo Sizes

Bamboo sizes are generally specified by minimum diameter, wall thickness, and length.

  • Column: 80-100mm dia
  • Wall thickness: 10-12mm dia
  • Bamboo strips for infill panels: 18-20mm wide, 8-10mm thick


National Bamboo Mission (NBM)

  • NBM is a centrally sponsored scheme under implementation in 27 states.
  • Objective-to harness the potential of bamboo crop in the country.
  • Envisages promoting holistic growth of bamboo sector by adopting area based regionally differentiated stategy to increase area under bamboo cultivation and to improve marketing of bamboo and its products.
  • To address forward integration, the mission is taking steps to strengthen marketing of bamboo products, especially those of handicraft items.


Bamboo Screens

The use of bamboo as a building material like sunshades is seen in many places. The big value of bamboo screens is the fact that it is open to daylight and air. So the gap between screen and window is very well ventilated. The rays of sunlight entering through the screens look nice but don’t result in overheating of the house.


Bamboo Protection

Bamboo is susceptible to attack by insects and fungi, and its life could be as low as one year when it is in ground contact.

  • Protection by Design: Large roof overhangs prevent direct wetting of walls in heavy rains. Drainage channels to discharge water at a safe distance from the building. The risk of flooring can be reduced by building on a slightly sloping site and using raised masonry or concrete footings.
  • Protection by Preservation: Dip Diffusion Method: Bamboo culms are prepared to size and submerged in Borax/Boric Acid solution which is a water soluble preservative for several days. The preservative enters the culm through ends and holes drilled in internodes. This process is suitable for both green and dry bamboo.




  • Tensile Strength
  • Compressive Strength
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Anisotropic Property
  • Shrinkage
  • Fire Resistance


Bamboo Housing

  • The majority of Bamboo construction relates to the rural community needs in developing countries.
  • Common types of construction include farm and school buildings and bridges.
  • Further applications of bamboo relevant to construction include its use as scaffolding, water piping and as shuttering and reinforcement for concrete.



  • The use of bamboo for foundation is rather restricted.
  • The types of bamboo founsations identified are:
  • Bamboo in direct ground contact:
  • For strength and stability, large diameter and thick walled sections of bamboo with closely spaced nodes should be used.
  • Bamboo on rock or performed concrete footings: Where bamboo is being used for bearing, it should be placed out of ground contact on footing of either rock or performed concrete.


Sustainable Building Materials

To minimize environmental impact of building materials:

  • Use reusable, recyclable, biodegradable materials that can be removed/salvaged.
  • Use renewable resources i.e. sustainably harvested woods.
  • Materials must not emit volatile organic compounds or other toxic compounds.
  • Must be maintained with non-toxic cleaning materials/methods.
  • Avoid high embodied energy materials.
  • Minimize environmental impacts of raw material acquisition (strip mining, dredging, etc.).
  • Minimize packaging and transport.
  • Use durable materials-suitable for the intended application.

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