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A Structural Romance with Bamboo

by

Inspiration

Why Bamboo?
64 % of the bamboo species are native to Southeast Asia. 33% grows in Latin America, and the rest in Africa and Oceania. With about 125 species, spread across eighteen genera, the availability of bamboo resources in India is the second largest in the world ranking only behind China. There are 1500 species of bamboo on the earth. This diversity makes bamboo adaptable to many environments. It scores comparably with mild steel, with some considering a few bamboo species to be even stronger than steel in terms of comparative stiffness factor and tensile strength. It definitely scores above other types of timber.

Comparisons

It is very much light in weight compared to steel, timber or concrete and has a higher strength by weight ratio than steel and timber which means that for equal weights of bamboo, steel and timber, bamboo has a higher strength than the other two materials. This high strength and low weight factor of bamboo means that it inherently has a capability to be earthquake and cyclone resistant.

Why or how is bamboo ecofriendly?


Being a naturally growing material it is nonenergy-intensive in the sense that no energy is used as such in its production. It is non-polluting in its growth (unless of course chemical fertilizers are used) or even after it has been harvested and when it is being used. The treatment process may or may not be polluting the choice is in our hands. All natural treatment methods are of course non-polluting and chemical treatment methods can be managed in a non-polluting way by using nontoxic chemicals and re-cycling / re-using the chemicals used for treatment and taking all other necessary precautions.

Being the fastest growing grass in the world (one can literally SEE and HEAR bamboo grow the species Phyllostachys Edullis can grow upto 120cm/day!) it is a high yielding renewable material resource.
To build 1000 houses of bamboo annually, material may be taken from a 60-hectare bamboo plantation. If an equivalent project used timber, it would require 500 hectares of forest cover. With a 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus 2 to 5% for trees, bamboo creates greater yields of raw material for use. One clump can produce 200 poles in the three to five years. Bamboo generates a crop every year. It can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods. A sixty foot tree cut for the market takes 60 years to replace. A sixty foot bamboo cut for market takes 59 days to replace.

Some of our Projects


One of our earliest usage of bamboo constitutes a bamboo reinforced road base, covering an area of 6000 Sqm., at Hotel Sarovaram, Ernakulam, belonging to BTH Group of hotels. The soil at Sarovaram is of a weak marine clay kind and the site is bordered by backwaters on the western side.

Bamboo culverts at Chitrakutir Kalagram

Our other non-building but structural uses of bamboo include the following:
Water tank of capacity up to 20,000 liters Culvert of length 14 m and width 4 m Retaining walls 3m high for over 25 m length

. . . all at Chitrakutir, an artists village near Mumbai. And we are proud to add that all these structures have stood the test of time and nature by withstanding the recent floods in and around Mumbai.

Our own office premises in Eroor, Kerala, covering an area of 2750 Sft, is a first of its kind structure and an experiment where we have attempted to develop a technology for using bamboo in floors, walls and roofs in ways that meet our contemporary needs. . . .an effort for which we have been honoured with the National award by HUDCO.

Basically, the building is a framed structure designed for a loading condition of approx. 400kg per sq.m live load and to withstand wind speeds of up to 200 km per hour. The basic advantage is that because bamboo is a light material, the entire dead weight of the building has been reduced to almost 1/3rd of a similar building done with conventional RCC slabs and masonry walls. This has helped in bringing down the cement and steel consumption by almost 70%. The other advantages are the thermal insulation provided by the hollow cavity of bamboo and additional carpet area because of reduced wall thickness. The two storied building is built on column footings about 3 feet deep. The structure stands on stilts, which reduces the chances of dampness seeping in as well as the attack on the bamboo by wood by rodents and insects. All bamboo used has been given preservative treatment.

Wall

Wall Corner

Details
Interiors

Roof

A Resort at Kumarakom, for Abad Group of Hotels, is the place where we have taken the afore mentioned technology to a higher degree of perfection (by pre-fabrication of certain elements), where it caters to the high end clients of the tourism industry luxurious and serene cottages & pool villas in a natural setting, at around Rs.Eight thousand to Rs.Twelve thousand per night.

We at Inspiration have the backing of over 15 years of research done in structural application of bamboo by Shri K.R. Datye and Shri V.N. Gore of Geo-Science Services, Mumbai
Preservative treatment of bamboo with non-toxic pressure treatment Preservative treatment of bamboo using coal tar Creosote oil Cold dip with LOSP (Liquid Organic Solvent Preservative) treatment. Use of Split bamboo and reinforced plaster combination in walling Use of Split bamboo and reinforced plaster combination in floor slab and roof slab Use of full bamboo screen and reconstituted bamboo-wood composite for soil retaining structure Use of Re-constituted bamboo-wood composite for soil retaining walls for construction of water retaining structures Use of combination of Geo-fabrics and preservative split bamboo mesh for reinforcement in clayey soil as road base Use of bamboo crating for packing dry rubble as retaining walls

With the above input, Inspiration creatively combines a group of architects and planners, infrastructure engineers and technical experts, product designers and interior designers, construction management and business management personnel, trained artisans and technicians, all under one roof. Inspiration today, professionally undertakes design and construction of skillfully crafted site and need specific buildings with all infrastructure facilities right from individual residences to resorts, bigger building complexes, institutions, villages and townships.

Cholayil MEDIMIX Ayurvedic Retreat, Chennai, Tamil Nadu


An exquisite reteat with an wholesome treatment facility along with deluxe and executive cottages, numbering 30, with the highlight being making use of the available bamboo on site for the entire construction walls, floors and roofs.

Bamboo house research project with Kerala Forest Research Institute

Bamboo house research project with Kerala Forest Research Institute

Bamboo for Staircase

Bamboo for built in seats

Prefabricated Bamboo House at Kallar, Kerala

Bamboo for Roof Trusses and Column Supports

Bamboo for floor slabs including cantilevers

Preparation for prefab bamboo panel fabrication

Fabricated of bamboo panels

Bamboo on steel frames for walls and roof

Bamboo for partition walls

Bamboo office for Socio Economic Unit Foundation

THANK YOU!
Inspiration, Opp. Bhavans Vidyamandir, Eroor (W) P.O., Tripunithura, Kochi -682 306, Kerala, INDIA. Tel. (0484) 2779462/70/73 Fax. (0484) 2781324 E-mail: inspire@vsnl.com, inspiration@eth.net Web: www.inspire-india.com