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Bamboo as a Sustainable Building Material


The University of Pittsburgh is conducting state-of-the-art research related to bamboo stuctures. As such, a field research trip was organized to Kalimpong, West Bengal, India, a prime bamboo location. The trip involved a multi-disciplinary team of an undergraduate (Bioengineering) and two Ph.D. students (Environmental and Structural Engineering). A workshop with local scientists, architects, researchers and policy makers was held in which the engineering challenges of the region were discussed. Additional research was conducted on the creation of a finite element model of a bamboo portal frame to explore the seismic performance of the frame. The model was analyzed and compared to previous experimental data. Further research was also conducted on edge bearing compression tests of bamboo. The research was disseminated through several conferences and workshops. Bhavna Sharma was recently awarded a doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh for her bamboo-related research. She was a National Science Foundation IGERT trainee.

Address Goals

In terms of discovery, learning, and research infrastructure, this research related to bamboo has the opportunity to truly advance alternative building materials not only in the US but developing countries (i.e. Brazil and India).