International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

Edwin Zea Escamilla

Dr. Edwin Zea Escamilla

Edwin Zea Escamilla studied architecture in Colombia and holds an MSc in Urban Environmental Management from Wageningen University, with an emphasis on sustainable construction. In 2010, he started working as a research assistant at the Chair of Sustainable Construction at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, and received his doctoral degree in 2016. He is currently at ETH Zürich.

Dr Zea Escamilla’s research focuses on the life cycle and sustainability assessment of construction materials and buildings with a global perspective. His work makes special emphasis on the potential use of alternative construction materials, like bamboo, for affordable housing and post-disaster reconstruction projects. As part of this body of work, Dr. Zea Escamilla has developed methodologies for the cost-effective production of life-cycle assessment data for bamboo-based construction materials and an approach to integrate geographical information systems with a life-cycle assessment, in order to analyse the environmental impact of using bamboo based construction materials around the world.

Journal articles

Wallbaum, H., Ostermeyer, Y., Salzer, C., Zea Escamilla, E. 2012. Indicator based sustainability assessment tool for affordable housing construction technologies. Journal of Ecological indicators. 18, 353–364.

Zea Escamilla, E. and Habert, G. 2014. Environmental Impacts of Bamboo-based Construction Materials Representing Global Production Diversity. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2014. 69, 117-127.

Zea Escamilla, E. and Habert, G. 2015. Global or local construction materials for post-disaster reconstruction? Sustainability assessment of twenty post-disaster shelter designs. Building and Environment. 92, 692-702.  [Awarded ‘Best paper of the year’ 2015.]

Zea Escamilla, E, Habert, G, Lopez, L. 2014. Environmental Savings Potential from the use of Bahareque (mortar cement plastered bamboo) in Switzerland. Key Engineering Materials. 600, 21-33.

Zea Escamilla, E., Habert, G., Wohlmuth E. 2016. When CO2 counts: Sustainability assessment of industrialized bamboo as an alternative for social housing programs in the Philippines. Building and Environment. 103, 44-53.

Conference Papers

Cancio Diaz, Y., Archilla, H., Celentano, G., Habert, G., Zea Escamilla, E. June 2016. ‘Low investment costs as key driver for upscaling alternative construction technologies’. No-Cost Housing Conference paper. Zürich, Switzerland.

Celentano, G., Habert, G., Zea Escamilla, E., Göswein, V. June 2016. ‘Re-thinking material selection for large scale post-disaster reconstruction’. No-Cost Housing Conference paper. Zürich, Switzerland.

Goto, Y., Ostermeyer, Y., Zea Escamilla, E., Wallbaum, H. July 2012. ‘Economic, ecological and building physical optimization of a wooden building envelope for Subtropical regions.’ World Conference on Timber Engineering paper. Auckland, New Zealand.

Zea Escamilla, E. and Habert, G. September 2015. ‘Regionalizing the Environmental Impact of Bamboo-Based Buildings by Integrating Life Cycle Assessment with Geographic Information Systems. A Comparative Case-Study in Colombia’. World Bamboo Congress paper. Damyang, South Korea.

Zea Escamilla, E. and Wallbaum, H. June 2011. ‘Environmental savings in the use of vegetable fibres as concrete reinforcement’. 6th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference paper. Zürich, Switzerland.

All papers can be found at: