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10 Dec - "Sustainable construction materials like bamboo to alleviate global warming" Lecture by José Jaime Garcìa Alvarez, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

The visit of José Jaime Garcìa Alvarez is organised in collaboration with Luisa Molari from the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering.

Dec 10, 2019 from 05:30 PM to 07:30 PM

Where Sala Rossa, Palazzo Marchesini, via Marsala 26, Bologna (first floor)

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Worldwide there is a high interest to increase the use of high-sustainable vernacular construction materials. This is particularly relevant to alleviate the housing deficit in developing countries in compliance with the sustainable development goals.   Bamboo is a tall grass displaying the fastest growing-plant record in the world (91 cm/day,  https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com). Thus, it is an excellent candidate to replace conventional materials in many construction applications.  The bamboo species Guadua angustifolia is readily available in various Latin American countries. Guadua forests play an important role to sequester carbon, to regulate the water cycles and to reduce erosion. Guadua has been used as a construction material to develop human dwellings in South and Central America since the pre-Colombian period. Unfortunately, from the middles of the twenty century, Guadua has been replaced by highly contaminating materials like concrete and steel. Nowadays, Guadua is generally regarded as a low-quality construction material, only apt for temporary applications. This misconception is in part due to poor practices during material treating and applications. Consequently, there are no economic incentives for the farmers to increase or even maintain the cultivated areas, that have been gradually replaced by crops or pastures. An increased utilization of bamboo in construction will appreciate the material and create the economic incentives to increment the area of plantations. Although important advances have been made to incorporate bamboo in construction codes, there are still many problems that have to be solved. One challenge is the design of efficient and low-cost structural joints, which could be used to build prefabricated modular elements. We present our approach to solve this problem using thin steel clamps that can accommodate themselves to the irregularities of the material. In turn, these joints can be used to build modular elements for housing projects. Many challenges still remain to apply the academic developments in the real world.  In this context, our global partnership and collaboration is crucial.