Student Sustainability Initiative-Structural Uses of Bamboo

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a key consideration of building practitioners, policy makers, and industry alike. As a result, renewable materials like bamboo are gaining immense popularity as they are often claimed to be one of the most effective ways to optimize the use of resources and to reduce the environmental impact associated with mankind's activities. For bamboo to be used with confidence for structural application in the built environment, properties must be evaluated and characterized. This project, a brainchild of two Renewable Materials (RM) undergraduate students – Skyler Mlasko and Danny Way, will lead an effort in evaluating key mechanical properties of bamboo and compare it with other conventional alternatives such as Glulam beams. The project is supported by the Student Sustainability Initiative at OSU and will be overseen by Arijit Sinha, a RM faculty member. This project will answer key questions regarding the feasibility of using bamboo safely as a structural material in the built environment and its potential to compete with traditional materials.  The project has the potential to begin a new research initiative on the future of sustainable building materials. Currently, there is little research on campus on bamboo as a structural material. This project can lead to many research efforts, and show that newer, sustainable materials may have the potential to replace conventional materials for various applications.