Introduction – Sustainable solutions

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Introduction – Sustainable solutions

With its partners in many countries, INBAR is at the forefront of international efforts to promote greater use of sustainable bamboo buildings and other constructions. Bamboo, which supplies millions of households across the world with employment and building materials, has the potential to play a major role in addressing the growing global shortage for conventional building materials. Through our work, INBAR aims to formalize and increase local capacity to build with bamboo materials, thereby enhancing the safety, durability, and comfort of bamboo buildings, while also maximizing the environmental and poverty alleviating benefits that bamboo construction can offer.
INBAR’s work on sustainable building with bamboo focuses on three key themes:
1. Knowledge sharing – promoting low-cost technologies

Bamboo has been utilized in construction for millennia and there are many existing, low-cost technologies that INBAR helps to disseminate and adapt across the world.

2. Innovation – new designs and technologies

Among our many achievements on bamboo building, INBAR has helped to develop improved, safer designs for bamboo scaffolding, as well as new laminated bamboo construction technology for prefabricated bamboo housing. Our work in Bhutan has demonstrated bamboo as an effective material in hitherto timber-based structures, and our development of innovative modern raised bamboo buildings in Ecuador has raised the profile of modern bamboo housing even more.

3. Policy support

As part of our policy work, INBAR has played a key role in developing two international standards for bamboo design and testing, and fostered the development and adoption nationally of building standards in Ecuador and Peru that enable bamboo buildings and those who build and use them to have appropriate legal protection and confidence that the buildings are up to standard.

Colombia also developed its building codes based on information from INBAR – draft international standards that INBAR submitted to ISO which were published in 2004 and later informed Colombia’s bahareque national code and a new chapter issued to this code in 2010 on the use of full bamboo culms. In China, we are supporting the development of a draft provincial bamboo building code for post-earthquake Sichuan.