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Research into bamboo shows a sustainable and natural raw building material

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Category: research Video duration: Research into bamboo shows a sustainable and natural raw building material
Jonas Hauptman hopes to teach a new generation of students how to use raw natural materials, and turn these resources into something that has a more environmentally friendly impact.  Hauptman, an associate professor in the School of Architecture and Design, is researching bamboo as this sustainable material in hopes that it can be used as a more eco friendly alternative to traditional building constructs.
We research bamboo as a building material, and likely as a product material too. And we do that because we're interested in finding sustainable materials to design and fabricate from. It has huge environmental potential as a greener building material to compare it to concrete or steel, especially, but even if you compare it to stone or wood or other natural materials. Bamboo occurs much, much faster than other materials. You look at a bamboo pole, if you look right on to it. It's not very straight, right? It has, it has bumps and irregularities. And so what we're doing to it is taking some of those irregularities and we're trying to give them some normalizable surfaces so we put a flat on it, and now it has at least one side that's flat. And that flat side allows us to, to place this precisely in the assembly. In the beginning we thought, Oh, we'll turn them into squares. We can control this material like it's a solid. Now we've realized, no the material has to speak to us too not us to speak to the material. And that's what we try to teach our students how to have a dialogue with material. Both because that brings kind of craft into design, but also because I believe that it also brings the possibility of students to develop a more sensitive and sustainable approach towards design where we value people, planet and profit simultaneously, not just profit and people. And so the bamboo is part of the planet and that's where we kind of hope to shift the emphasis. Presently all over the world. But even more so, we leave the western world. The dominant use, whether it's in housing or in larger buildings, is to use concrete and steel. In North America we use mostly wood, but in North America we have lots of softwood trees to harvest for that purpose. In other parts of the world, the ones that are developing the fastest are in the tropics. They don't have the same wood. If we're able to build out of a sustainable material that can be farmed, we can hugely lessen the environmental impact. It's a material that has great structural potential because of its taxonomy, but doesn't take very long for the world to kind of give us, and it regenerates. So we research bamboo because we're interested in reducing carbon and making a kind of greener future for, for the planet and for humanity.