The Materials Book

Bring On the Bamboo: A traditional material serves as the basis of an alternative to steel Natural bamboo is widely used as a building material in equatorial countries. Researchers at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and KIT Karlsruhe have developed processes that promise to give bamboo a renaissance as an industrial product that could replace steel. The bamboo fibers are extracted and then reformulated into sheets and beams for use in construction. The composite material is as strong as steel but lighter and cheaper to produce, and it binds carbon dioxide instead of emitting it. Example: Bamboo composite material, seen in the Rumah Tambah project, Batam, Indonesia, by Stephen Cairns, FCL Singapore Contributed by: Alternative Construction Materials FCL Singapore and Sustainable Construction KIT Karlsruhe, Germany 298