On the 30th of October 2014, Bhavna Sharma and Elizabeth Wagemann led a Bamboo Workshop for 30 architecture and engineering undergraduate students in the Architectural Engineering: Building Innovation course, jointly offered by the Architecture and Engineering departments at the University of Cambridge. Some of the students were familiar with bamboo but had no prior experience building with the material. The workshop served as an introduction to the material and showed the students the basics of building with bamboo. The students were given a brief introduction on the modern uses of bamboo in construction and the use of connections. Two techniques were explained in detail, cross and diagonal lashing, which were also used by the students in the construction of the bamboo structure.
The students were divided into five groups interdisciplinary groups of engineers and architects to build the primary reciprocal structure. Each group was assigned a quadrant of the structure and given bamboo culms, sisal twine, and scissors. The students then applied the different lashing techniques to erect the primary structure. The next phase allowed students to innovate and add on to the primary structure.
Additional diameters and types of bamboo were provided to allow the students to learn about the variety of material properties and forms.
Through the workshop, the students gained experience and a greater appreciation for the possibilities of bamboo in design and construction.
Bhavna Sharma is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Architecture, and Elizabeth Wagemann is a PhD student in Architecture.
For more information about the project see EcoHouse Research
For more information about the research group see Structural Bamboo