International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

UK-China Business Summit brings new MoU for INBAR and partners

2 Dec 2013

Left to right: Prof. Fei Benhua, ICBR Executive Deputy Director General, Dr. Helen Mulligan, CAR Director, and  Dr. Li Zhiyong, INBAR Deputy Director General,  signing MoU agreement at the UK-China Business Summit

New Initiative to Classify Engineered Bamboo Structural Products launched at UK-China Business Summit, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Beijing. Several international organizations are coming together to help bamboo become more widely-used in the construction of modern buildings. On December 2, 2013, INBAR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd (CAR), the University of Cambridge, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the International Center for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR) to work on the classification of engineered bamboo construction products in English and Chinese.

The MoU provides the platform for the development of the world’s first paper on engineered bamboo nomenclature. When published, this paper will provide a proposed common terminology for research institutions and enterprises around the world, thereby helping to promote increased use of these low-carbon, green building products in modern buildings.

In recent years, there has been a wave of innovation in the bamboo sector, with an ever-increasing number of structural engineered bamboo products that have similar properties to glue-laminated wood products, Oriented Strand Board (OSB), plywood, entering commercial markets. However, in the face of rapid innovation, classification of these products, as well as the pre-processed bamboo elements and processes that go into making them, has failed to keep up. There is now a great amount of duplication in terminology used across industry and the research community, with some manufacturing processes also having misleading names.

Furthermore, engineered bamboo construction product nomenclature often fails to follow norms set by the timber industry, which makes it harder for the wider structural timber industry and research community to classify and work with bamboo alternatives. Therefore, this new collaboration of leading research institutions from the Canada, the USA, the UK, and China is expected to have long-lasting benefits for development of the bamboo sector, both in China and internationally.