With social progress and economical development in the world advancing so quickly the demand for conventional construction materials such as steel and concrete are at an unprecedented high throughout the world. Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly clear that these materials are causing significant environmental burdens to the planet. Especially in developing countries, traditional materials, such as steel and cement, are highly inefficient and highly polluting industrial product. In addition to producing considerable, their means of production consume large amounts of valuable energy and water.
Sustainable development has become a major theme of today’s international community and the concept of “green” building is inevitable. It is important to develop new environment-friendly materials and innovative structures, so as to gradually reduce, or even replace steel and concrete as major forms of building materials. This has become the challenge of the 21st century civil engineering.
Bamboo, as a natural resource, has been utilized by mankind for thousands of years. However, modern structures using bamboo the basic construction material can well become the new breakthrough in the civil engineering field. There are several key characteristics in bamboo based structures. First the source of raw bamboo materials is widely available in many parts of the world, particularly in Asian countries such as china, India and Nepal. Because bamboo is a giant grass and grows much faster than trees, bamboo typically can be harvested in less than every four years and be re-harvested without being replanted. Moreover, bamboo has good mechanical properties and is relatively easy to process for different purposes. Finally, bamboo products are environment-friendly, essentially pollution-free, and suitable for sustainable development. But the fact that bamboo is not fully utilized in modern structures is largely due to the lack of accreditation from testing bamboo’s theory of mechanics, material science, and structural design. Luckily structure developed with bamboo as the main structure material can increase the usage of ordinarily valueless and plentiful bamboo, contributing to the realization of sustainable construction industry.
Of all the advantages of bamboo housing technology, the most important is its low cost that doesn't sacrifice quality, durability or space. Instead it provides an option that is feasible for populations with scarce resources.