Can Bamboo Become a Sustainable Building Material in Australia?

Miranda, Mari and Thorpe, David and Nguyen, Andy ORCID: (2022) Can Bamboo Become a Sustainable Building Material in Australia? In: 8th International Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society Conference (SEEDS 2022), 31 Aug - 2 Sept 2022, Bristol, United Kingdom.


Bamboo grows rapidly, maturing within 5 to 9 years to a hard, timber-like material that can regenerate within the lifespan of most building products. It therefore has the potential to be a renewable resource for use in the construction industry.

This paper discusses the benefits of bamboo in construction and land restoration, its role in the circular economy, and its contribution in carbon reduction. There is an International Organisation of Standardisation Standard for the design of bamboo structures made from natural round-form bamboo, which is supported by other standards in the grading and test methods for bamboo. A number of countries, including Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru have also included the natural-round form bamboo in their Building Codes. In addition, China and India have developed codes and standards for natural round-form and engineered bamboo, and ASTM International have now added laminated veneer bamboo to their specification for the evaluation of structural composite lumber products. Those countries that have used bamboo for structural purposes have developed suitable trade skills and construction methodologies. At the same time, the use of bamboo for construction use is not well known in Australia.

This paper identifies the underlying factors with respect to why bamboo is not often considered as a building material suitable for permanent structures. It is based on a literature review and research of the bamboo industry in Australia. Based on the research, it can be concluded that using bamboo as a building material is mainly dependent on a number of factors, such as the experience of previous generations, evaluation of its performance during disasters, intuition of builders, and from the practices use its treatment and preservation. This paper also outlines a strategy and further research required to better establish bamboo as a viable design and construction material for permanent structures.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Surveying and Built Environment (1 Jan 2022 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2022 23:14
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 01:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainability, carbon reduction, design, construction methodologies
Fields of Research (2020): 33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3399 Other built environment and design > 339999 Other built environment and design not elsewhere classified
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410199 Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified
40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401699 Materials engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 12 CONSTRUCTION > 1206 Environmentally sustainable construction activities > 120699 Environmentally sustainable construction activities not elsewhere classified
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1903 Mitigation of climate change > 190304 Management of greenhouse gas emissions from construction activities

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