The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 00:00cat

Research into Bamboo as a Structural Material to be led by Pitt

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Research into Bamboo as a Structural Material to be led by Pitt Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Funded by the U.S. and UK governments in collaboration with higher education institutions in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia, a University of Pittsburgh-led consortium is one of 14 ne multilateral university partnerships created by the Global Innovation Initiative. The consortium’s winning proposal, “Bamboo in the Urban Environment,” brings together leading experts in bamboo and sustainable design to engage in extensive, cutting-edge analysis and testing of bamboo as a safe construction resource in urban areas.

The two-year, $200,000 award will support multiple international student and faculty exchanges and three international workshop/symposia including a flagship symposium to be held at Pitt in May 2016.

Industry partners in the UK and U.S. along with the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (China), Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia) and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (India) will collaborate with Coventry University (UK) and be led by the team at Pitt.

"This collaborative research has both significant technical and social relevance through the potential to reduce the cost and environmental impact of safe housing for a significant proportion of the world's population," noted Kent Harries, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and the consortium's principal investigator. "With continued population growth, especially in developing and lagging countries, the need for a sustainable yet safe and strong construction material is an incredibly pressing need. This work addresses the global grand challenges of urbanization and resilience in the face of natural hazards and climate change through the use of bamboo, one of nature's most renewable 'green' materials."

"While the use of bamboo in structures dates back thousands of years, the science is in its infancy. Only in the last decade have bamboo construction standards emerged in India and Colombia, as well as being promulgated by the International Standards Organization (ISO)," Dr. Harries said. "By establishing a pathway to standardization we aim to enable greater acceptance of bamboo as a construction material."



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