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Intro to bamboo and bamboo building

Intro to bamboo and bamboo building



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Published by Evan Schoepke
This is a wonderful introduction to bamboo as a building material.
This is a wonderful introduction to bamboo as a building material.

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Published by: Evan Schoepke on Feb 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Bamboo as a building material
Bamboo species Guadua angustifolia
Building with bamboo looks back on an ancient traditionin the regions in which plant grows in abundance, such asSouth America, Africa and, in particular, in South-East-Asia. Bamboo is one of the oldest construction materials.
Bamboo as plant
Botanical classification
Several bamboo species
In 1778 Carl von Linné introduced thedescription bamboo into sience based on theindian word "Mambu" or "Bambu".The family of the gramineae (grasses)incorporates the subfamily of the bamboos. Thegramineae also comprise the rice, corn andsugar cane. There are existing 500 differentspecies of bamboo with partial some hundredsubspecies.The term bamboo describes all tree- or bushlikegrasses having a durable woody or branchedstem. The lignifying cell structure of the bambootissue and its technological properties are verysimilar to the wood tissue proper. Bamboo maytherefore also be termed wood. Contrary towood, the bamboo have a hard outer surfaceand is soft inside.Characterised by the type of rhizome and theformation of upright canes there are three main
groups of bamboo.The first group is called monopodial bamboos.They form long and thin extensions of therhizome whose buds produce single shoots areregular intervals.The sympodial bamboos constitute the secondgroup. They have short, thick rootstocks the tipsof which produce the canes.The third group is called climbing bamboos.They can grow very irregularlyand may formimpenetrable thickets.
Geographical distribution, climaticand soil conditions
Geographical distribution
The main area of distribution are the tropics, inparticular, South-East-Asia. Bamboo grow atsea-level and can be found at altitudes of up to3800 m.Most bamboo species grow at temperaturesfrom -28°C to +50°C. Bamboos grow mainly onsandy loam to loamy clay soils. They prefer welldrained soils but grow also in wet and evenmarshy locations. They do not tolerate salinesoils.
The growth pattern of the bamboos is a singular combination of grass, leaf-bearing tree andpalm.Like the grasses they have tubular blades,lancet-shaped cover leaves and panicular flowers and from a subterranean rootstockbranch extensively to form dense to loosebushes. The following characteristics distinguishbamboos from grasses: the longevity of their canes, their branching and the lignification.Like leafbearing trees they increase their crownevery year by throwing out new branches andalso shed their leaves each year.The growth pattern of the trunk is similar to thatof the palm tree. Emerging with its definitivecircumference from the soil without increasing indiameter later. The species "Guaduaangustifolia" will reach lenth of up to 20 - 25 mwith a diameter of 12 cm.
Monopodial species
Bamboo has durable rootstocks, the rhizomes.After a seedling has produced the first rhizome,the differentiated rhizome system will begin todevelop. Its circumferential and longitudinalgrowth increases annually. It is only after twelveand more years that canes of full thickness andheight will be produced. According to the type of branching of the rhizomes the main group of thebamboos is called monopodial, whereas theother group is called sympodial.The monopodial species grow horizontaly over large distances. A rhizome stolon will grow inlength by 1 - 6 m per annum with an average lifespan of ten years. At irregular intervals thelateral buds produce single cane stems fromwhich new canes grow upwards. These speciescan be found in subtropical regions with atemperate climate
Sympodial species
The sympodial species develop horizontaly over short distances growing in a circular spreadingpattern by 1 -3 rhizome bulbs per originalrhizome. Their points bend upwards and allowthe new cane to mature. These species arecharacteritic of the tropics.Several root systems can penetrate and overlayeach other, resulting in cumulative root stolon.The bamboo root network thus forms asupremely effective protection against erosion, itdelays the draining and soaking-away of rainwater and thus serves as a moisture store.

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