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  • Centro Brasileiro Inovação e Sustentabilidade

Bamboo-reinforced concrete: Japanese leadership in civil construction


Source: Jiji Press

In the heart of Tohoku, northeastern Japan, an innovative sustainable construction project is gaining prominence. Researchers and local companies are joining forces to revitalize the use of bamboo as reinforcement for concrete. Bamboo materials were used _22200000-0000-0000- 0000-000000000222_​to reinforce concrete in Japan for decades until the beginning of the Showa period in the early 20th century, because steel was scarce due to wars.< /p>


Bamboo, once considered an environmental challenge due to its accelerated growth and superficial expansion, is now an ecological solution in construction. Turning an environmental problem into an opportunity, bamboo becomes a sustainable substitute for steel to reinforce concrete, bringing benefits to both forests and modern buildings.


This sustainable construction initiative is led by Nihon University and Tohoku University, in collaboration with five companies from Tohoku, Yamagata and Fukushima. The collective effort resulted in prototypes of bamboo-reinforced concrete, exhibiting resistance equivalent to conventional reinforced concrete, an achievement proven in June 2023. Led by professor Yasuhiro Koda, from the Faculty of Engineering at Nihon University, the project faced several challenges until perfecting the technique for treating bamboo strips, maximizing the resistance of the material.


In November 2023, a new phase of the project began in Minamiaizu, Fukushima, with durability testing of a 70-meter drainage ditch made with bamboo-reinforced concrete. These tests are crucial to validating the practical applicability of the technology.


Although there are problems such as ensuring a stable supply of bamboo materials, Professor Yasuhiro Koda of Nihon University's College of Engineering said: “Our goal is to realize the widespread use of bamboo-reinforced concrete in infrastructure facilities familiar to many people.”


In Brazil, the Brazilian Center for Innovation and Sustainability has promoted the use of bamboo in low-carbon constructions, highlighting its effectiveness as a sustainable alternative. This global effort reflects a growing commitment to sustainable building practices and environmental responsibility.


The development of bamboo-reinforced concrete is not just a sustainable innovation for the construction industry; it also represents a new chapter for Japan's bamboo forests. With efforts to ensure a stable supply of this material, bamboo is at the center of a green revolution in construction. Japan is therefore at the forefront of sustainability in construction, combining technology and tradition to promote a greener and more resilient future, serving as an example to the world in integrating ecological solutions into modern architecture.


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