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A Full-Sized California-Style Home Made of Bamboo
Uses GluBam® building material hailed by Popular Science in "Best of What’s New in 2008"
April 08, 2009 —
A new type of eco-friendly residential house made with bamboo was recently constructed in Changsha, Hunan Province, China.
House GluBam® Beautiful: 5 bdrm, 3.5 baths, first of its kind
This modern bamboo demonstration house, probably the first of its kind in the world, was designed and constructed by a team led by Yan Xiao, a professor of the University of Southern California's Viterbi School's Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who is also a founding director of the Institute of Modern Bamboo, Timber and Composite Structures of the Hunan University, China.
The demonstration house adopts the GluBam® technology invented by Xiao, a technology named by Popular Science magazine as one of the Best of What’s New in 2008. Xiao and his team built the world’s first modern bamboo truck-loaded roadway bridge in 2007.
The house is likely another record of the use of bamboo for modern construction both in China and the world. Due to the extensive logging in last century, the Chinese government has put strict constraints on domestic timber usage and has launched significant programs to encourage re-growing forests. Meanwhile, China is one of the major bamboo growing regions in the world and has a tradition of using bamboo. Xiao’s GluBam® technology utilizes the modern processing procedures to integrate the round, non-dimensional bamboo into bamboo fiber reinforced composites, like plywood, which can be designed, sized and suitable for modern construction.
The structural design of the demonstration house was essentially based on the US design codes for timber structures. The wall panels were made with GluBam® two-by-four studs, capable of resisting severe earthquakes. All the beams, columns and trusses were assembled by bolts and nails, similar to timber buildings.
Construction was much easier than conventional reinforced concrete structures or masonry structures in China, and the whole house took a crew of eight workers in an estimated equivalent construction period of three months. In terms of cost, the new bamboo house is also very competitive compared with the conventional concrete structures in the local market.
Situated on the historical campus of the Hunan University, the so-called California style house has the appearance of a typical residential house in California. This demonstration house has two stories and offers over 260 sqm with 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a living room with a fireplace, family dining room and formal dining area, in-house patio overlooking the living room, and a two-car attached garage. Beside demonstrating his bamboo technology, Xiao, a California resident for almost twenty years, would like to show the Chinese consumers the way of comfort but efficient living style of California homes. Since the completion of the demonstration house, Xiao has been contacted by numerous developers and potential customers.
He already has a contract for building another demonstration house in a famous public park in Beijing. Xiao also hopes to use the bamboo technology to help the people in Sichuan devastated by the last year’s deadly earthquake to rebuild their homes.
- House GluBam® Beautiful: 5 bdrm, 3.5 baths, first of its kind
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