Bamboo is one of the oldest building materials. If we see in history, bamboo was used for construction of houses in areas where there was abundance of plants especially in South America, Africa& south East Asia.
Climate and Bamboo growth:
Bamboo usually grows at temperature of 250C to 500C.The ideal place for growth of bamboo is fully water free area. These trees usually grow on sandy soil and clayey soil. Organic soil hinders the growth of bamboo. Bamboo usually reaches at height 75 ft with circumference of 0.3ft.The life of bamboo tree is usually 20 to 100 years.
Bamboo as the building material:
To make usable the bamboo for the construction, first it is usually harvested and then it is dried. For drying, two methods are used:
- Air drying (It takes 6 to 12 weeks)
- Kiln dryin g(It takes 2 to 3 weeks)
Moisture is one of the big killers of bamboo. As the moisture increases risk of attack of fungi, an insect increases. So the best time for harvesting of bamboo is cooler season.
Engineering Properties of Bamboo:
Tensile strength of bamboo is very high if we compare it with steel. The reason for that is the fibers in the bamboo usually run axially (parallel to its length). It is not in much use than steel because of its lacking in transferring this tensile strength.
Shrinking power of bamboo is much greater than any other t
ype of wood. We can say that it is drawback of bamboo that leads to its less usage.
Bamboo usually has high fire resistant capability. It can bear the temperature up to 4000C.
Bamboo has very good elasticity characteristics. It can be used in earthquake areas due to its elastic nature.
Weight of bamboo:
Bamboo usually has very low weight. So it can be moved to the place of its usage very easily.
Environmental Effect of Bamboo as building material:
Bamboo can be transported and used without any danger to health. As other building materials like cement etc can cause harmful effects to health of its users. Bamboo is quite economical material that can be used for construction. It has great importance in areas where there are high risks of earthquakes. Japan is the country which uses the bamboo in their construction of houses because of too much occurrence of earthquakes.