Bamboo as a building material has high compressive strength and low weight has been one of the most used building materials as support for concrete, especially in those locations where it is found in abundance. Bamboo as a building material is used for the construction of scaffolding, bridges and structures, and houses.
Various Structural Shapes of Bamboo as a Building Material
Bamboos are treated in such a way that they assume desired shapes and structures while they grow:
1- Squared cross-section can be obtained by compressing the growing stalk of bamboo within a square section.
2- Arch shapes of bamboo can also be created by compressing the bamboo’s growth into the desired shape. This would cost lesser than it would get the same form with normal timber.
3- Curved and Flat shapes of bamboo are achieved through traditional techniques like applying heat and pressure.
Methods of Working on Bamboo
For bamboo to be used as a building material, it must be worked on to create the desired shape, bend and length to be used for structural or other purposes.
Following are the different works involved with the use of bamboo
Advantages of Bamboo as a Building Material
The various advantages of bamboo are as mentioned below:
1- Tensile strength: Bamboo has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibers run axially.
2- Fire Resistance: The capability of bamboo to resist fire is very high and it can withstand temperatures up to 4000 C. This is due to the presence of a high value of silicate acid and water.
3- Elasticity: Bamboo is widely preferred in earthquake-prone regions due to its elastic features.
4- Weight of bamboo: Bamboos due to their low weight are easily displaced or installed making it very easier for transportation and construction.
5- Unlike other building materials like cement and asbestos, bamboo poses no danger to health.
6- They are cost-effective and easy to use.
7- They are especially in great demand in earthquake-prone areas.
Disadvantages of Bamboo
Bamboos come with their own set of drawbacks such as:
1- They require preservation
2- Shrinkage: Bamboo shrinks much greater than any other type of timber especially when it loses water.
3- Durability: Bamboo should be sufficiently treated against insect or fungus attacks before being utilized for building purposes.
Jointing: Despite the prevalence of various techniques of jointing, the structural reliability of bamboo is questionable.