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Ancient building material, bright future: bamboo at BARC

INBAR News
18Apr

Construction is one of several major themes at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress

In a world of increasing urban densification, construction needs to become safer and more resilient. This is particularly true in the context of a changing climate, with its more extreme weather patterns. In earthquakes, an estimated three quarters of deaths are due to building collapse, and slow rebuilding programmes can leave people without fixed homes for years. Building codes, earthquake-resilient materials and engineering expertise are all needed to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 11: safe, resilient cities.

Bamboo construction could be one solution. Lightweight, flexible and resilient in earthquakes, bamboo has been a traditional choice of housing material for millennia. More recently, companies and countries are experimenting with even more ambitious materials and structures. Bamboo housing is also used as a material for disaster relief shelters. INBAR has worked for a number of years to promote the safe use of bamboo construction, and will be exploring this topic in a number of sessions at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC 2018).

Nripal Adhikary is the founder of ABARI, a research and design firm that promotes the use of natural materials in contemporary design practices. At BARC 2018, Adhikary will discuss his experiences of using bamboo to rebuild schools in post-earthquake Nepal. As part of a project funded by the Common Fund for Commodities, ABARI and INBAR have worked on a new design for bamboo schools, which has been approved by the government: a first for Nepal, and a hopeful sign for bamboo construction in the country.

As well as ABARI, participants will hear from a representative of Pacific Bamboo Resources, about their work on bamboo latrine designs and the mobile phone app ‘BAMTECH’: an innovative idea which helps users to construct houses at low cost with bamboo. The Base Bahay Foundation will discuss bamboo’s role in disaster relief in the Philippines. Two professionals – Veronica Correa Giraldo, a founding member of bio-construction company Bambuterra, and Hector Archilla, CEO of bamboo services development and research firm Amphibia BASE Ltd, will talk about the changing uses for engineered bamboo.

With more construction sessions and speakers being confirmed every week, BARC 2018 is the perfect venue for all those interested in sustainable construction.

To find out more about our construction sessions, and to register for BARC, click here.