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Civil engineers win funding for bamboo construction research

Civil engineers at Coventry University are to lead a £132,000 project to explore the use of bamboo as an urban construction material.

Coventry University and the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, won the $200,000 (£133,000) grant to co-lead the project which will test and analyse the effectiveness of bamboo as a safe construction resource. The money came from Global Innovation Initiative, which is backed by the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the US. Department of State.

Coventry University, civil engineering

Source: Coventry University

David Trujillo, senior lecturer in civil engineering at Coventry University, with an example of the bamboo.

Coventry University senior lecturer in civil engineering David Trujillo said: “Bamboo is one of the world’s oldest construction resources, dating back thousands of years, but we haven’t come close to fully exploiting its potential as a sustainable alternative to current industry materials and techniques.

“This project is chiefly about advancing our understanding of bamboo’s capabilities so that we can harness them to help reduce costs and improve safety in housing in lagging and developing countries, or those which are particularly at risk from natural hazards.

“Being relatively cheap, incredibly strong, lightweight and renewable lends it a unique set of properties which make it well-suited to contribute to major global challenges such as population growth, urbanisation and also resilience in the face of climate change.

“If we can go some way towards empowering the next generation of engineers, architects and builders to be able to use bamboo to meet the demands of the 21st century, then the project will have been a success.”

The two-year Bamboo in the Urban Environment project will also involve several other universities and industry partners.

 

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