IStructE - Sustainable Bamboo Housing

19th May 2021 6:00 pm

The development of a vernacular-improved affordable, sustainable, and seismically-resilient bamboo housing technology for Latin America and beyond.


Arup has been developing a form of ‘vernacular-improved construction’ for low-income communities in pre- and post-disaster contexts in Latin America and beyond. The design takes a traditional construction system (bahareque - a form of wattle-and-daub) and makes a much more durable and stronger form of housing.

The new design is seismically-resilient, low-cost, and uses sustainable materials such as timber and bamboo/cane. This results in a design with lower embodied carbon. The design has been developed using primarily research, community participative techniques, and full-scale testing.

The project won the IStructE sustainability award in 2015, and the design is now available open source. This is being incorporated into the latest revision of the ISO code on Structural Design of Bamboo.

The presentation will cover the development of the design and how similar approaches and designs could be used to tackle the worldwide housing shortage, while minimising carbon emissions.

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