Bamboo is a fast growing, strong and low energy-intensive resource that is gaining popularity as a sustainable building material. Its natural hollow tube shape is efficient in strength but is difficult to connect. The above image shows a detail of a new engineered building product called laminated bamboo lumber (on left) in contrast to naturally curved bamboo (on right). In this study, UMass Amherst structural engineers Peggi Clouston (Environmental Conservation) and Sanjay Arwade (Civil and Environmental Engineering) developed a fabrication process for this material that is low-energy and low-tech involving hand tools, screw-driven mechanical presses, and widely available, economical adhesives. The intent of the research is to help small communities create jobs and drive economic growth in developing nations. Learn more.
Photo credit: Alexander C. Schreyer