What Lies Beneath Image Credit: d+a
What Lies Beneath Image Credit: d+a

What Lies Beneath

It doesn’t look like much but this project has the potential to become a game-changer: Replacing construction steel with a bamboo fibre composite material as reinforcement in concrete. The Alternative Construction Materials team at the Future Cities Laboratory of the Singapore-ETH Centre is proposing this.

Low Shi Ping

“Many recognise the strength of bamboo, but few know that its tensile strength is up to two times greater than that of construction steel,” says Dr. Alireza Javadian a senior researcher on the team. “This can greatly reduce the cost of construction in developing territories that are heavily dependent on steel imports for construction, while at the same time reduces carbon footprint by lowering the need to transport steel from across the world.”

Already, start-up Widuz, in collaboration with the Centre, is looking to commercialise the reinforcement system in developing countries. It is also exploring other ways to apply the bamboo fibre composite material – one way is to use it in the structural framing system of prefabricated modular housing units.

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