Sustainable Design
Bamboo construction
I am planning to do my thesis in such a way whereby I can explore bamboo as a hard core constructional material. Nowadays bamboo is used as reinforcement in concrete slabs and also in foundations. Apart from this CBRI and BMPTC are also working on the materials versatility.
Kanika Agarwal
Bamboo construction
Hi Kanika!

IDC, IIT Bombay had been doing some research in its Bamboo Studio a few years ago. Maybe you find something of your use there. Visit

HUDCO has a book published on the architecture of far eastern states to upgrade the traditional technology. It had lots of stuff regarding the usage of bamboo as building material.

P Das
Bamboo construction
Yes, bamboo can be used as reinforcement at certain places, can be effective and economical material in rural areas of Asia. Apart from government agencies, non-profit organisations can be promoters of the tribal areas of Dangs in Gujarat. Prepare illustrative, analytical and applied concepts which can be in CD format to be shown to actual users. My friend, a radio station director in Dangs, can arrange for your talk about use of bamboo, shall put in contact with him if it interests you. Good luck for your venture.
Dushyant Nathwani
Bamboo construction

I would urge you to look up the work of Japanese architect - Shigeru Ban who has done a lot of work in bamboo.

Below are some book references that may be helpful:

Building Bamboo Fences by Isao Yoshikawa
Bamboo Style by Gale Beth Goldberg
Building With Bamboo: A Handbook by Jules J.A., Dr. Janssen
Bamboo World by Victor Cusack, Deirdre Stewart
The Book of Bamboo: A Comprehensive Guide to This Remakable Plant, Its Uses, and Its History by David Farrelly

Web Resources:

Hope these are helpful.

Anubhav Gupta
Bamboo construction
Hey, that's a got lot of sites. They have been very helpful. I have found out a few organisations who do research on bamboo as a material like Ipriti, Burud and many like these. But what I am interested in more in is research about bamboo essentially as construction material.
Kanika Agarwal
Bamboo construction
Dear Kanika,

The Auroville Building Centre (AVBC) at Auroville, India carries out research in appropriate and alternative technologies. Most of this is ferrocement and earth architecture with reinforcements, for which bamboo may be used. Perhaps you should consider contacting them.
Information might also be available from the HUDCO office at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Good Luck!

Rachna Lévêque (née Gupta)
Bamboo construction
I have worked for the AVBC in the year 2000. And it is true; at that time the center was using a lot of bamboo as a construction material. The interesting thing is that it is a research facility, where they try and test new and alternate materials for construction. I would urge you to contact the group and also individual architects, such as Satprem Maini, Anupamma Kundu and Suhasini. You can find their contacts on the Auroville website:
Anjali Agarwal
Bamboo construction
National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad has a bamboo cell.

They have also set up a Bamboo and Cane Development Institute at Agartala in Assam. Maybe you should contact someone there. One of my friends was teaching there, I will try and get you her contact address.
Vishwanath Kashikar
Bamboo construction
Thanks Vishwanath. Actually, I am looking for a contact from BCDI. I am already in touch with NID, although.

Also, about the bamboo in Dang, Gujarat, the problem is that that particular bamboo is not very good for construction and is essentially being used for paperpulp etc.

While I have not come across Auroville, I have tried contacting them for bamboo and have been unable to get much.
Kanika Agarwal
Bamboo construction

Check out this resourceful book:

Dunkelberg, Klaus. Bamboo as a Building Material. Nr.31 in series Information of the Institute for Lightweight Structures (IL), University of Stuttgart, 1985.

Surekha Shanthkumar
Bamboo construction
I did not see much work been done in bamboo in Auroville when I was working there; you can find alternative bldg. techniques there like earth and ferrocement.
Tushar Koli
Bamboo construction
I am in Auroville presently, working with Satprem Maini, and I don't think they work in bamboo at all.

Also, if I want to get into mainstream bamboo construction, then I have few options in India. If anbody has any suggestions as to where I should start in the field of bamboo architecture, then I would be eager to know.
Kanika Agarwal
Bamboo construction

There are essentially two parts, as I see. One is the theoretical base, which you can get from websites, while the other is practical experience. My personal experience of bamboo studies as an elective tells me that in the long run, the absence of first-hand experience handling the material leaves you halfway. It would be a great boost to your entire process if you could work with someone in a related field.

This person may not be able to give exactly what you want, but nonetheless you would surely find your way; ultimately it's attitude more than just aptitude.

Here a few people you could contact:

Shri Bal Kuwalekar,
Shram Jivi Janta Shayak Mandal,
5 kms before main Koyna Dam, near Kolhaour, Maharashtra.

Shri Deshpande,
Ankoli Village,
near Solhapur Town (Maharashtra).

I am sorry I do not have their contact numbers, but will pass them to you as soon as I get them.
a l
Bamboo construction
Search the web for bamboo architecture in Ecuador. They are doing some good work there.

And give my regards to Satprem please!
Tushar Koli
Bamboo construction
I was reading some discussion about bamboo, and I thought, let us see if we can take it a little further.

I have been working a bit in the application of bamboo for building systems, as and when opportunity presents itself. It would be interesting to see if we can explore some issues related to bamboo and its role in design and architecture. In this discussion we can explore various issues that emerge when we take up specific material like bamboo to design with.
Vaibhav Kaley
Bamboo construction
Dear Vaibhav,

Yes I am aware that you are working with bamboo. I call Venu Bharati the bible for bamboo. I have been a great fan of your father, like many others.

But since a few months I am actually trying to pursue a career in bamboo construction. I mean high-end construction and not just about usage of bamboo for providing low-cost housing.
I was trying with Mr. M.P. Ranjan from NID to do something but it has not worked out.

Also, I wish to apply for the trainig programme under A and D and see if they can offer me something. I was also considering going to Columbia to try working under Simon Velez, but they work only in Spanish it seems.

I look forward to hearing from you, any suggestion or comments. I would like to have your mail ID and would be interested in knowing what are you doing with bamboo presently.
Kanika Agarwal
Bamboo construction
Dear Kanika,

It is wonderful to know that you not only know my father but also you have read Venu Bharati. It gives me such pleasure. I am sure Venu Bharati fills an important vacuum as far as literature on bamboo in the Indian context is concerned, and it reflects the knowledge and perspective my father had developed over his long journey with his dear friend bamboo.

About working with A and D, they have already initiated the second phase of their internship exchange program. You can log on the website and write to A and D and see if they have plans for the third round of exchange.

I am currently in Bauhaus Dessau, Germany and am doing a post-graduate research on urbanism. It was partly by chance and partly by luck that I ended up here doing a urban-research. Starting from interior design with bamboo construction, it was unlikely to end up here, but it is like this.

Last year, I finished a design-supervision of cluster housing project, 50 houses using bamboo as primary construction material near Wardha. The project was funded by National Mission for bamboo applications, Delhi. The outcome of the project was very satisfactory.

Where are you these days? What are you doing? My email id is So, I will wait to hear from you.

Vaibhav Kaley
Bamboo construction
These two articles from Mimar (Issue 20, 1986) just came to my attention and may be of interest to those working with bamboo. The first has very nice sketches on construction of homes with bamboo and grasses.

Communication for Self-Reliance by Yona Friedman

Bamboo City: A Refugee Camp by Brian Brace Taylor.

Ozgur Basak Alkan
Bamboo construction
Dear Kanika,

We are a developmental organisation and will be constructing around a lac sq ft over the next year, largely with bamboo, and can completely understand your fascination for this grass.

This includes project requirements in the areas of, education (gifted child project), primary healthcare in villages, community meeting structures, residential units, and industrial structures.

Incidentally we also have one of the largest bamboo nurseries in the country and work with the Bamboo foundation in Nashik to promote bamboo plantations.

If any of this is of interest, do get in touch. E-mail at prashantazad AT or call 0253-2450154 (Deolali Nashik).
Prashant Azad
Bamboo construction
Hi Kanika (and all)

Did you know about the 2007 International Bamboo Building Design Competition? Entries are due at the end of January. Here's the link:
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Bamboo construction
To change the subject slightly. I feel bamboo would be a light, cheap building material for the fast rebuilding of homes in earthquake zones, such as the Kashmir.

I do not know the exact growth rates of wood to bamboo, but I believe that bamboo is several times faster growing than trees. Surely, it would be both economic and sustainably economic for the wet tropical areas of the World to grow and supply bamboo for building?

Both wood and bamboo are excellent for structural support in construction because they are naturally available flexible fibres. If sugar cane can be grown in plantations, then surely bamboo cane can be grown likewise?
Frank John Snelling
Bamboo construction
Hi kanika

This is an idea to provide durability for Bamboo.

Put hot tar in to the bambo.
Keep it,s out side without any damages.
Indika Prathapa
Bamboo construction
dear kanika,
im a final architecture student and for my thesis i was plannin to incorporate bamboo and a structural material to create a contemporary structure.since u have worked with bamboo it wld be extremely helpful to me if i cld maybe see your design or if you could suggest references which proved to be helpful towards your design or knowledge of working with bamoo.
Shwetha Premachandran
Bamboo construction
hey kanika,
hope you are doing great...i am a 4th yr B.arch student...i am sure your thesis must have gone really well...yours is a very interesting topic...can i get to see your work on bamboo construction???
wish to see your reply soon...
Mishgan Syed


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