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USE OF BAMBOO IN

ARCHITECTURE
A DISSERTATION REPORT

Co-ordinator Prof. Neeraj


Guide

Prof. Chandan kumar

BY:PRABHAT SAXENA

Contents
Table of figures...................................................................................................... 1
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION:.................................................................................1
1.1: Research question-...................................................................................... 1
1.2: Aim ........................................................................................................... 2
1.3: Objectives-.................................................................................................. 2
1.4: Scope-......................................................................................................... 2
1.5: Limitation-................................................................................................... 2
1.6: Methodology-............................................................................................... 2
CHAPTER 2: UNDERSTANDING BAMBOO................................................................3
2.1: Introduction................................................................................................. 3
2.2: Comparing bamboo with timber..................................................................3
2.2: Different species of bamboo........................................................................3
2.3: Advantages of bamboo construction-..........................................................4
2.4: Some defects of bamboo construction........................................................5
2.5: SOME SOLUTION OF BAMBOO DEFECTS......................................................5
CHAPTER 3: BAMBOO AS BUILDING ELEMENTS.....................................................7
3.1: Bamboo structures:..................................................................................... 7
3.1.1: Bamboo truss:....................................................................................... 7
3.1.2: Bamboo floor:........................................................................................ 7
3.1.3: Foundation:........................................................................................... 7
3.1.4: Bamboo roof:......................................................................................... 7
3.1.5: Bamboo walls:....................................................................................... 8
3.1.6: Bamboo door and windows:..................................................................8
3.2: Bamboo as reinforcement in concrete:........................................................9

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION:
1.1: Research questionHow can bamboo be a better alternative for low cost building construction
in India ?

1.2: Aim
To explore the advantages of bamboo usages in low cost construction

1.3: Objectives

To study the advantages, techniques and success of bamboo and


bamboo house, especially to explore the technical soundness of

bamboo in the context of present level of resources and skills.


To study various forms of bamboo constructions and the traditional
uses of bamboo as building elements in worldwide and to analyse
them.

1.4: Scope

The dissertation is an attempt to use bamboo as a main

construction material.
The dissertation will look upon how a more comfortable low cost
building can be made using bamboo compare to a steel and

concrete.
It will be applied for those regions where bamboo is used in
abundance ie; north east India and south-east Asia.

1.5: Limitation

It cannot be applied to all over India or in those places where


bamboo is not available in abundance.

1.6: Methodology

Survey of books, library works and researches which has been done

on bamboo.
To collect the information from site visit, seminars, photographs, and
exhibitions related to research question, and to search out facts and

information's from previous works.


Examine the strength and behaviour of a bamboo and to search out

how it can be more strong and relevant.


Setting up the scope and limitations.

CHAPTER 2: UNDERSTANDING BAMBOO


2.1: Introduction
Bamboo is a very useful material for construction of house and other
structures. From ancient times bamboo has been used for this purpose in
our country and in many other parts of the world. Being a forest product,
it is readily available in villages at practically no or very little cost.
Bamboo is used in many different ways for construction of houses, walls,
roofs and floors of our houses.
(Solomon-Ayeh,
2002)

2.2: Comparing bamboo with timber


Bamboo has many characteristics in which they can lead to timbers,
here are some characteristics which has been compared with timber.
Bamboo
Being a member of grass family it is

Timber
Its growing speed is very slow

one of the fastest growing plant.

comparison to bamboo.

Growing speed up to 100 cm/day.


Bamboo can be harvested every three

Whereas tree ranges 25 years to

years of construction.
Bamboo is heartier than oak and

50 years to be harvested.
Its quality varies from plants to

stronger than steel.


It is flexible, lightweight and is water

plants.
Generally timbers are heavier then

resistant, minimizing the risk of

bamboo and very few timbers are

warping
One of the most cost effective easily

water resistant,
May be easily available but not

available construction material.


Bamboo has several nodes in same

cost effective.
Generally bending property in

interval which allows bending thus

timber is lower than bamboo.

preventing rupturing when bent.


(rao, 1991) (raider,
2001)

2.2: Different species of bamboo


Bamboos are found in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions.
They grow naturally in the forests. Bamboo forests are found up to the
height of 3400 meters above the sea level. Very dense bamboo forests are

found in south east-Asia from India to china and nearby island and from
japan to java.
Except in very dry and hot areas and high mountains regions of
Himalayas, one or the other species of bamboo is found all over, generally
luxuriant bamboo forests are found in Assam, West Bengal, and western
coast areas. With variations in climate, thick or thin bamboo forests and
different lengths of bamboo culms are found in these species.
There are about 109 species of bamboo which are found in our
country of which there are two primary species, dendrocalamus strictus
and bambusa arundinaceaea which are most suitable for construction
purpose. These are found in dry as well as damp regions but not in very
dry areas. The main species of bamboo which are found in Bihar are kata,
balku, bansani, lutang, medar and solia bans.

2.3: Advantages of bamboo construction

Bamboo is easy to cut, easy to handle, repair, and maintain. It

doesnt require any sophisticated tool or any big equipment.


Bamboo is non-polluting material. It does not leave any parts or

crusts that can be considered waste element.


Its circular form and hollow sections make bamboo a light building
material, which is easy to handle, transport and store. Therefore,

building with bamboo saves time.


Bamboo can be utilized for permanent

constructions.
Bamboo are circular in shape and solid or hollow, as such bamboo

and

for

temporary

can be easily cut into required size of split up with the help of simple

tools. This helps in quick construction of house.


The dimension of bamboo- its length and thickness-are such that
bamboo can be conveniently stored and easily used in construction.
On account of this, construction of bamboo house needs less skilled

labour.
The cost of bamboo is very low and it is easily available in north

east India.
Because of the property of bending and gives shock proofing
characteristic a bamboo construction offers superior earthquakeresistance.

The composition of the fibres in the walls of the bamboo allows it to


be cut length-wise or cross cut in pieces of any length, using simple

manual tools like the machete.


The natural surface of the bamboo is smooth, clean, with an
attractive colour which does not require painting, scraping or

polishing.
Besides being used as a structural element, bamboo can also serve

many other functions, like flooring, panelling, water drainage etc.


Another advantage of building with bamboo is, that it can be used in
combination with other types of construction materials, like

reinforcing materials for foundations.


Bamboo possesses only a small proportion of lignin. Its main
component is silicic acid, which gives the shoot its durability and
hardness.
(ray,
1986)

2.4: Some defects of bamboo construction

Due to the dampness of bamboo it starts decaying and rotting very

soon. Once cut, insects may attack bamboo or wood.


Bamboo in permanent contact with soil, like wood, will rot and

attract insects.
Once dried, bamboo, like wood, is flammable.it catches fire very

quickly and is burnt to ashes in no time.


Bamboo does not have an equal diameter over all its length. The

thickness of the internal walls also varies.


The diameter of the bamboo diminishes when drying. If not dried

completely in advance of construction, this has implications.


Quality bamboo construction requires special techniques for joints
and terminals. Inexperienced builders attempt to drive nails into

bamboo which could result in splitting the bamboo.


In case of even a small impact force, bamboos are likely to break
and split up, and the houses are damaged.
(ray,
1986)

2.5: SOME SOLUTION OF BAMBOO DEFECTS

Due to the dampness of bamboo it starts decaying and rotting very


soon. Once cut, insects may attack bamboo or wood. For that reason
it is highly recommendable that bamboo, once cut go immediately

through a special immunization and drying process.


Bamboo in permanent contact with soil, like wood, will rot and
attract insects. For that reason, we discourage bamboo and soil

contact.
Once dried, bamboo, like wood, is flammable. Bamboo can be

treated with a fire-resistant substance.


Bamboo does not have an equal diameter over all its length. The
thickness of the internal walls also varies. For builders unfamiliar
with this characteristic, this might present difficulties. Experienced

builders have no problems.


Quality bamboo construction requires special techniques for joints
and terminals. Inexperienced builders attempt to drive nails into
bamboo which could result in splitting the bamboo. Experienced
builders use fine nails that do not split bamboo. When using thick
nails, simple pre-drilling prevents splitting.
(ray, 1986)

CHAPTER 3: BAMBOO AS BUILDING ELEMENTS


3.1: Bamboo structures:
3.1.1: Bamboo truss:
Trusses offer a number of advantages over bamboo house
construction, including more efficient and economical use of bamboo, the
ability to span larger distances. There are many techniques and
construction methods to make a truss. Types of truss mainly depends on
types of joints, connectivity of purlin and rafters and size of the roof.
(satish kumar, 2003)

3.1.2: Bamboo floor:


The floor of a bamboo building may be at ground level. It consist
only of compacted earth. It may or may not be covered by bamboo
matting. However, the preferred solution is to raise the floor above the
ground up to some height and creating a stilt type of construction. This
improves comfort and hygiene and if perfectly done sometimes it can
provide a covered storage area below the floor.
(janssen,
1995)

3.1.3: Foundation:

The types of bamboo foundation identified are:


Bamboo in direct ground contact
Bamboo on rock or preformed concrete footings
Bamboo incorporated into concrete footings
Composite bamboo/concrete columns
Bamboo reinforced concrete

Bamboo piles
(Y. XIAO, 2008)

3.1.4: Bamboo roof:


The roof of a building is most important component of the
building - this is what defines a construction of a shelter. It is required to
offer protection against extremes of weather including sun, rain and wind,
and to provide clear, comfortable, and usable space. Above all, it must be
strong enough to resist the forces generated by wind and roof coverings.
In this respect bamboo is good as a roofing material due to its property of
strong, resilient and light-weight.
The bamboo structure of a roof consist of many cut components like
purlins, rafters and laths or battens, or trussed assemblies. Bamboo is also
used as a roof covering and for ceilings. Bamboo roof coverings can be an
integral part of the structure, when it is being used as overlapping halved
culms.
More

often, they are non-structural in function. Examples include:


Bamboo tiles
Bamboo shingles
Bamboo mats
Corrugated bamboo roofing sheets
Plastered bamboo
(satish kumar, 2003)

3.1.5: Bamboo walls:

The most extensive and perfect use of bamboo in construction

is for walls and partitions. The major elements of a bamboo wall (posts
and beams) generally constitute part of the structural framework. They
are required to carry the self-weight of the building and loadings imposed
by the occupants, the weather and, earthquakes. To this end, efficient and
adequate jointing is of primary importance
This

infill can take many forms:


Whole or halved vertical or horizontal bamboo
culms, with or without bamboo mats
Split or flattened bamboo, with mats and/or plaster
Wattle (wattle and daub, lath and plaster)
Woven bamboo, with or without plaster
2011)

(mohan,

3.1.6: Bamboo door and windows:


In traditional types of bamboo building, doors and windows are
usually very simple in form and operation. Bamboo doors can be side
hinged or sliding, comprising a bamboo frame with an infill of woven
bamboo or small diameter culms.
(Y. XIAO, 2008)

3.2: Bamboo as reinforcement in concrete:


Another technique used in wall construction is called the plastered
bamboo or bamboo reinforced wall, it is a wall made using a thin bamboo
mat which is nailed on both sides of a braced timber frame, then attached
to the timber of the bamboo frame and the strips are plaited horizontally
between vertically stretched wires. Plaster is then applied to one or both
sides. For plastering, cow dung, mud, sand, lime and Portland cement are
used alone or in combination. These bamboo mats are used for light
partitions and walls, which are suspended from rafters on verandahs as
protection against the sun. Wind and rain.

(Gonzalez, 1999)