Building with Bamboo: A handbook Paperback – 1 Jan 1995
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For those with any interest on the topic Janssen's book is a great place to start for an introduction to the nearly endless realm of bamboo construction. Beyond the great information that he lays out in very easy to follow passages, the book concludes as all good scholarly works do, with a sizable bibliography. This is what makes a good primer. Worth every bit of the cover price.
It’s written that the book only contains 56 sides, but actually it totally are having 76 sides, of which the 57 contains the writings about Bamboo, where even the sides with the Contents and the Index are outside these 57 sides, as they are placed before the side 1. So the book is not quit as thin as we might first bee thinking.
In the Contents on the side v, we learn that the book has its roots back to a book printed in 1979, and in 1979 used as a manual for being used by field engineers and community development workers in tropical countries. And on the same side we see that we in the book are having these Chapters:
1 Introduction 1
2 Harvesting and preservation 4
3 Mechanical and economic considerations 12
4 Housing in general 18
5 Floors and foundations 20
6 Walls, doors and windows 27
7 Roofs and ceilings 30
8 Trusses 33
9 Bridges 44
10 Concrete reinforcement 49
11 Woven bamboo 53
Case study – Construction of bamboo houses in Costa Rica 59
References and sources of further information 63.
In all of the 11 numbered Chapters, except in the number 10, we are getting many good drawings in the 49 figures, and actually in many of them more than one single drawing, And these are very fine drawings in helping by showing precisely which details we are reading about. And besides we also have 5 photographs, of which one show an 8 meter, (26.2 Ft.’s), wide Roof Truss which is laying on the floor while being tested for how much Force it can manage, and 3 photographs concerning Bamboo Mats, and Sheets, and the fifth showing a Joint connection.
The book is very interesting with many details, for example concerning harvesting the Bamboos we learn that it’s smartest each year to put a mark on all the Bamboos, and thereby recognize how old they are, which ells is very difficult. And we learn that the fibers are more straight lined in the Asian than in the South American Bamboos, and thereby some works with Bamboos are easier in Asia. And besides we also read about Bamboo in connected with the Concrete, instead of, as always, using Iron together with Concrete; an idea which I never would have been thinking on.
As earlier mentioned, we in the book are having many drawings, of which some are showing how to make the floor, either wrong (where the rats will move in) or right, other showing the foundations without connection to the earth, and other showing the many different connections between the Bamboos when they are connected, the Joints between the Bamboos, other showing walls, doors and windows. Naturally the door without any use of iron, and the 3 window figures all without glasses. And concerning the Roof and the Trusses he also writes about the ventilation, how it helps in cooling, and which way to turn the openings if the wind speed gets too high, to protect the Roof in disappearing from the house.
But technically he goes more into the engineering thinking, concerning the geometrical connections between the Bamboos when we come to the chapters concerning the Trusses and the Bridges. And in the Trusses Chapter we are getting 9 Joint sub writings, with many small drawings in most of the figures, and we have 5 drawings showing different roof Trusses. And concerning the Bridges we read about 4 different models, of which the first one only is called a footbridge, as it by the feet only is a bit less than 1 Ft. wide, and 3 Ft. higher up, the railing, there it is 6 Ft. wide. But the next Bridge is for light traffic with a 2 m (nearly 7 Ft.) wide floor, while the Bridge C is for even lighter traffic and only with a 1.1 m wide floor. And then finally the Bridge D is one which from one side is tipped over an around 3 m wide river.
But to me especially the Chapter 3 “Mechanical and economic considerations” catch my interest, as I in the first lines wrote, that I wanted to get some information about how strong the Bamboo is when compared to the wood we know from Europe and USA. We always see that it’s stronger, but how much?
On the side 12 he by with the Example 1 starts for “Calculating the allowable stress”, in the Bamboo and here writes about the density in the Bamboo. And then in the following Example 2 we get a more actual case by finding the allowable stress for bending a Bamboo of which we have a drawing were we see the 8 places where the wall thickness (w) is measured, and 4 places for the diameter (D), so that we in the connection with this and the height (length), (H), finds the material volume. Then by this in connected with the total weight, we find 608 [kg/m³], ( 38.0 [Lbs/Ft³] ), and we get an idea about the quality of the actual Bamboo, and in connection with the Table 1 find the allowable Stress for Bending to be 12.2 [N/mm], (around 69.7 [Lbs/Inc.]).
Then he on the side 15 start on the Example 3 concerning a Footbridge having a big span on 4 m, (13.1 Ft.), using Bamboos with a mean outside diameter of 90 mm, (3.54 Inc.), and where the middle thickness is found to be 7.0 mm, and we thereby in the Table 2 finds the Modulus of the section and thereby calculate the Momentum M, and find the allowable load = 0.267 [N/mm], (around 1.5 Lbs/Inc.). And with a uniformly load on the Bridge allowed to be 1 [N/mm], and each Person weighting 750 [N], (168.6 [Lbs]) and walking with 0.75 meter, (roughly 2 ½ Ft.), between them, then we shall use 4 parallel Bamboos.
And he then shows the formulas which we use when calculate the deformations f, [mm], as well. Respectively the formula for a uniformly distributed load, q, [N/mm]:
A. f = ( 5 / 384 ) * (( q * L^4) / ( E * I )) , [mm]
And the one for a concentrated load F at the midpoint:
B. f = ( F * L^3 ) / ( 48 * E * I ), [mm]
And we then read that the E, the Young’s Modulus, for the Bamboo is 20,000 [N/mm²]. And as we see in the 2 formulas just written, both E and I are denominators in the formulas so the bigger they are the better, because the les the resulting down bending. And after learning the E for the Bamboo, I then went looking into my Danish books about Danish woods, and found that the best Spruce wood (the Christmas tree) has the E = 10,500 [N/mm²], and the worst on only 7,000, and the Beech wood, and many other, with the E = 12,000 [N/mm²]. And besides concerning the Steel, or this we have E = 210,000 [N/mm²].
So we automatically by these E values see that by the equal acting forces the Bamboo will be bending half as much as the best Spruce wood, when for bout of the beams their E, F and L, are equal.
But for making the book more complete we in the book are missing the formulas for the Moment of Inertia, I, [mm^4]. For this mostly used ones are the following:
C. I = (1 / 12) * B * H^3 and D. I = ( π / 64 ) * D^4
Were the first one is from a four sided axel (or beam) and the send for a round axel. Where B = wide, H = height, D = Diameter.
And on the side 16 he calculates the deformation ( f ) of the Bridge, and then finally in this Chapter, , on side 17, under Economics”, he calculate on the price between Bamboo and Timber. And here he come to finding how much volume there actual is in the Bamboo we are using because the Bamboo, opposite to the Timber, is hollow. And he talks about how much more weight of Timber we need for manage the same force as Bamboo.
But if instead we uses the formula D, and are knowing that the Bamboo has an I value double as big as the Spruce wood, and using the Bamboo for the Bridge, with the outer diameter 90 mm, and the wall thickness 7 mm, then we by doing so:
(π / 64) * (90^4 – 76^4) = 2 * (π / 64) * ( X^4)
And by this we find that the Spruce wood beam has a diameter on 89.62 mm. And when we then calculate the volume (square area), we find that there are 3.5 as much in the Spruce wood beam for here fight against the same force, and as the cubic weight is around beam the same, thereby the Spruce also weighting 3.5 times as much, by which it bend a bit more, but especially are costing much more, as there are 3.5 kg, or Lbs. as much being used.
But finally, and again, a very interesting book about the Bamboo, especially concerning the use of the beams to most parts of a House, and the interesting Bridges. A highly recommend book for its many good drawing, small examples and calculations. But the book is mostly meant for use out in the Asia and South America, which we also see by the much writing about the small Bridges.
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