Engineered bamboo

Engineered bamboo is a set of composite products produced from bamboo. It is designed to be a replacement for wood[1] or engineered wood, but is used only when high load bearing strength is not required[2] because building standards for this type of use have not been agreed by regulatory bodies.[3] Engineered bamboo comes in several different forms, including bamboo scrimber and laminated bamboo,[4] which has three times the structural capacity as normal timber[5] and is defined and regulated by the ASTM International Standards.[6]

Engineered bamboo has been used as paneling, vehicle beds, concrete formworks,[2] lightweight building construction[7] and even for shelters after the 2004 tsunami.[8] In comparison to the woods that have been traditionally used, a number of benefits and drawbacks have been identified. Lower cost, especially when replacing wood that would otherwise have been imported, is a key advantage.[9] Further benefits include greater hardness and shape retention, especially in high temperatures.[10]

However, bamboo is not as resilient as most woods and will decay more rapidly than other woods if not treated with preservatives.[11]

New building methods have had to be developed for engineered bamboo as its properties are sufficiently different, and make normal wood-working methods used with (non-engineered) bamboo unsuitable.[12]

In order to overcome the typical loss of strength bamboo incurs when bending takes place post-harvest, an alternative method to overcome this has been developed.

Pre-harvest bending of the bamboo stems in zig-zags, allows the bamboo to later form a Warren truss.[13]

Alexander Vittouris has proposed a much simpler 2D S-bend shape, which — after harvesting, and in sufficient quantities — could be assembled into a variety of 3D shapes. The arboriculture technique used to make both shapes is similar to tree shaping, and result in parts similar to woodworking knees.[14][15][16][17]


  1. Yan Xiao; Masafumi Inoue; Shyam K. Paudel (2008). Modern bamboo structures: proceedings of First International Conference on Modern Bamboo Structures. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0415475976.
  2. Wan Tarmeze Wan Ariffin (March 2005). "Numerical Analysis of Bamboo and Laminated Bamboo Strip Lumber (PhD paper)". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  3. "Sustainable building: Building Codes". International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. Archived from the original on 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  4. B. Sharma; A. Gatoo; M. Bock; H. Mulligan; M. Ramage (October 2014). "Engineered bamboo: state of the art". Proceedings of the ICE - Construction Materials. 168 (2): 57–67. doi:10.1680/coma.14.00020.
  5. Wu Xing (March 31, 2010). "My Boo (Lamboo)". Architerials. Archived from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  6. "Lamboo Inc. Recognized Within ASTM International Standards". Woodworking Network. August 16, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  7. Jorge A. Gutiérrez (2000). Structural Adequacy of Traditional Bamboo Housing in Latin America. National Laboratory for Materials and Structural Models, Civil Engineering Department, University of Costa Rica. ISBN 8186247440.
  8. Subir Bhaumik (18 December 2005). "Andaman tsunami victims still homeless". BBC. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  9. Merlyn Carmelita N. Rivera. Silvicultural management of bamboo in the Philippines and Australia for shoots and timber. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. p. 11.
  10. Bansal, Arun K.; Zoolagud, S.S. (2002). "Bamboo composites: Material of the future". Journal of Bamboo and Rattan. 1 (2): 119–130. doi:10.1163/156915902760181595.
  11. W Liese (2004). "Preservation of bamboo structures". Ghana Journal of Forestry. 15: 156.
  12. Bhavna Sharma; Kent A. Harries; Khosrow Ghavami. "\"Work in Progress – Pushover Test of Bamboo Portal Frame Structure\"". University of Pittsburgh.
  13. Cassandra Adams. "Bamboo Architecture and Construction with Oscar Hidalgo".
  14. Alexander Vittouris and Mark Richardson. "Designing for Velomobile Diversity: Alternative opportunities for sustainable personal mobility" Archived 2012-09-16 at the Wayback Machine. "Section 4.4: Structural pre-harvest deformation of bamboo". 2012.
  15. Kimberley Mok. "Ajiro Bamboo Velobike: A "Grown Vehicle" That's Farmed, Not Factory-Made". 2011.
  16. Brit Liggett. "The Ajiro Bamboo Bike is Grown From the Ground Up". 2011.
  17. Stephen Cauchi. "Bamboozled? Give it a grow" 2011.

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