Although bamboo is not a modern material for structures, often considered to be poor man’s timber, it is one of the most flexible and light materials to build houses. Though there are sophisticated materials available on the market, bamboo isby far the best that would be able to withstand an earthquake.
Around 70-percent of the people in Bangladesh live in bamboo houses because they are easy to build and because the simple structure plays a vital role in safeguarding people’s lives in case of natural calamities.
Studies have shown that only 60-70 bamboo trees are required to build 1,000 houses whereas nearly 600 trees would have been destroyed to build the same houses using timber. Bamboo provides pillars, walls, window frames, rafters, room separators, ceilings and roofs.
Because of its light weight and rubber like properties, the bamboo houses can withstand 7+ ((Richter scale) magnitude earthquakes. The 30 houses that survived the earthquake in Costa Rica (7.6) stand as evidence. People in the Yunnan Province in China still prefer to live in bamboo houses since the officials encouraged them to built such infrastructures and homes.
Bamboo could play a vital role in the future civil engineering. It could be the future steel which could safeguard anyone from the natural calamities such as earthquakes.