Bamboo for sustainable building

Dr Maximillian Bock (Department of Architecture) is investigating bamboo as a viable alternative to current building materials to help meet CO2 emission targets.
The overall aim of this project is to lead architects and
engineers to a greener and more sustainable future. Some bamboos are very fast growing, and can reach 60ft to 90ft in the first year, making the genus an ideal candidate for research in sustainable construction practices. Dr Bock is studying the strength and environmental impact of bamboo species to evaluate the potential of different bamboo products for reducing emissions in the construction sector, which accounts for almost 40% of CO2 emissions globally. This work is part of a wider project run between University of Cambridge, MIT, University of British Columbia and Cambridge Architectural Research. For more information, please visit the link to the left.

Cultivating exotic bamboo species in Europe's climate can be very challenging and therefore Dr Bock sought the assistance of Pete Michna and his student at the Botanic Garden in Cambridge to cultivate a range of common and rarer bamboo species. The different bamboo culms will be subjected to structural tests, once mature (commonly 3 to 5 years after planting).