Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Structural Testing Results In

With the kind of help of Geo-Tech Industries we have completed our results for the structural testing of bamboo building parts. We now have a quite extensive record for all of our structural pieces which will help us prepare for our housing proto-type housing projects. We tested our members with qualified structural engineers present, as well as appropriate technology that Geotech was able to have us use while there. We are again grateful for their assistance. We found the results to be quite fascinating and matched our presumptions before hand. l

As we progress further with some of our other projects we will
be using the results to make sure that our designs work and
don't fall down.

This is assisted by two student interns from a civil engineering
college in Bangalore. They stayed there for some time, in the

work site in Peth. Nagaraj, and Kiran gave their time and help
in analyzing the structural parts before hand, and verified it
at Geo Tech Industries.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A visit to Auroville Bamboo research Center

One of our interns from America was able to visit and meet several great centers around southern India that shared in the passion of bamboo. One great center was the bamboo research center at Auroville community located near Pondicherry, India. Auroville was started some 40+ years ago, and in that time they have made some really great structures, as well as innovations from bamboo. I had the pleasure of talking to one of the site workers, and even though my tamil was as good as his english we still were able to talk about bamboo and what each other has done. The articles and furniture was great quality, and some things we have not seen before. There was a great innovation of bamboo soap that had an amazingly fresh smell, and I'm sure it would feel great on the skin. The soap was made of powdered bamboo charcoal, and I assum mixed with oils, and other organic non-toxic cleaning chemicals.
As you can see in the picture below is the charcoal is kept in a barrel and heat is continually circulating through, so as not to ignite, but keep it warm enough to burn out all of the impurities. Something we at Wonder Grass feel is a great idea.
The American pavilion at Auroville also had a great structure that was a composite building with cement on the ground floor, and bamboo terrace-top with bamboo as it's reinforcement. This structure was a really good example how to use bamboo with other materials such as cement, and wood, as well as fiberglass and ferro-cement. The nice aesthetic feel of bamboo is that it is light-weight and makes a building structure seem graceful and attractive without weighing it down with heavy columns like cement structures do. It had a wonderful feel and
gave the occupant a nice view from all directions.
It is constantly a nice reminder that there are other people in the world and India that do great work and continually try to push into the serious building areas. Something that is not easy to do at all.
We hope to create an online directory or network primarily for people in India but also surrounding countries, so that progress, business, and implementation of bamboo can be sped up with more collaboration and cross communication between many fields, for example, college students to working designers who use bamboo. We hope to have that up and running in months time.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Statistical Analysis of Rural Survey

We have concluded the survey of rural Indian citizens for use in our research for the rural housing prototype. The above picture shows the current living conditions in respect to building materials of the persons interviewed for the survey. Overwhelmingly the majority of citizens live in brick and cement homes. With brick and mud coming behind and after that bamboo+composite and mud come in last.

We also conducted a study of current uses for bamboo in the rural sector and found that bamboo was used not only for housing., but furniture, curtains, and doors and window. This gave us a perception of the used and acceptable limits that people believe bamboo can do.

General Information About Housing in India


(Rs. in Million)



No. of House Holds in India (in Million)


Stock of Houses in India (Million)


a. Stock of Rural Houses


b. Stock of Urban Houses


c. Constructed under Indira Awas Yojna


Type of Houses Occupied

a. Pucca Houses (Million)


b. Semi Pucca (Million)


c. Kuccha (Million)


Housing Shortage (Million)


a. Rural Houses (Million)


b. Urban Houses (Million)


Cost Distribution Ratio of Various

Components in Building Construction

a. Materials


b. Labour


Of those surveyed 32% were below the poverty level in India.