Structural Solutions for Low-Cost Bamboo Frames: Experimental Tests and Constructive Assessments

Materials (Basel). 2016 May 7;9(5):346. doi: 10.3390/ma9050346.


Experimental tests and constructive assessments are presented for a simple bamboo framed structure with innovative low-cost and low technology joints, specifically conceived for small buildings in developing countries. Two full scale one-storey bamboo frames have been designed by using the simplest joints solution among three different tested typologies. The entire building process is based on low-technology and natural materials: bamboo canes, wooden cylinders, plywood plates and canapé rods. The first full scale specimen (Unit A) is a one-storey single deck truss structure subjected to monotonic collapse test; the second full scale specimen (Unit B) is a one-storey double deck truss structure used to evaluate the construction time throughout assembling tests. The first full scale specimen showed ductility in collapse and ease in strengthening; the second one showed remarkable ease and speed in assembling structural elements. Finally several constructive solutions are suggested for the design of simple one-storey buildings; they are addressed to four purposes (housing, school, chapel, health center) by the composition of the proposed full scale bamboo frames. Ease of use and maintenance with a low level of technology contribute to application in developing countries although not exclusively.

Keywords: bamboo; experimental tests; full scale testing; low-cost construction; one-storey buildings.