PH cross-laminated bamboo, a 'promising' construction material: study

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2023 07:45 PM

Handout photo.
Handout photo.

MANILA — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has recently discovered that cross-laminated board made from local bamboo species is a "promising" construction material.

In a recent study, the agency's researchers measured the strength of cross-laminated bamboo (CLB) made from two local species, kawayan tinik (Bambusa espinosa) and giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper).

“We produced CLB by gluing layers of bamboo slats on top of each other, with the grain of adjoining layers running in opposite directions. This type of lamination gives the board strength in two directions,” said project leader Christian Camacho. 

“The results were encouraging: our CLB met the strength requirements of some cross-laminated timber products. Their density, hardness, and bending strength are promising for load-bearing walls, floors, and ceilings,” he added.

Dr. Rico J. Cabangon, DOST's Forest Products Research and Development Institute deputy director explained said that cross-laminated bamboo is one type of engineered bamboo that are "often stronger and less prone to warping than equivalent solid woods."

"Engineered bamboo refers to various kinds of composite boards that come from processing raw bamboo. Several layers of bamboo strips or slats are glued together and pressed to form boards that can be used for specific purposes — furniture, decors, and house parts such as walls, doors, ceilings, and floors," he said.

Camacho explained that his inspiration for studying CLB was cross-laminated timber or CLT, an innovative panel currently gaining attention worldwide.

“With the local housing demand currently at an all-time high, there is space for CLB in the Philippine building industry, especially in prefabricated housing," he said. 

"In the US alone, the demand for prefab houses is expected to reach 145,000 units next year. This makes CLB a potential exportable construction material.”

Made from a fast-growing, renewable resource, DOST said that CLB can help provide livelihood to local bamboo farmers and other players in the bamboo industry. 


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