Structural Bamboo Composites

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The aim of this project is to establish the properties of natural bamboo, and of engineered composites made from it. These products are comparable to timber-based materials such as glulam, plywood and oriented strand board - but the bamboo equivalents have not as yet been thoroughly investigated in terms of their structural strength, and thermal properties such as conductivity, capacitance and moisture permeability.

A major focus of the project is to enhance sustainability of building products through the development of a lower-carbon alternative to conventional structural components. Furthermore, well-designed buildings incorporating bamboo composites will have lower operating energy use, and thus emit lower levels of carbon throughout their life cycles.

This 3-year project has partners in the Department of Architecture in the University of Cambridge, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and University of British Columbia (Canada). It is supported by the Research Councils of the G8, with funding channeled through the Research Councils of each of participating country: thus the UK component is grant-funded by the EPSRC.

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