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(Bio) Grass and Bamboo: Designing Tsunami-Resistant Homes

 
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adedios
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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: (Bio) Grass and Bamboo: Designing Tsunami-Resistant Homes Reply with quote






Engineers Design Tsunami-Resistant Homes
By Mike Kunzelman
Associated Press
posted: 27 May 2005
11:00 am ET

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ Not long after the devastating December tsunami, a team of structural engineers from London visited Sri Lanka and noticed a trend as they surveyed destroyed homes: Walls facing the sea were leveled, while those perpendicular to it were standing.

That inspired a group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to design what they're calling a "tsunami-safe(r) house'' that is less likely to collapse under wind and pounding surf.

Instead of having four solid walls, the tsunami-resistant houses have thick concrete-block corners and exterior walls made of bamboo. The houses, about 80 of which have already been built, are designed to be built on top of blocks of concrete or wood, one or two feet above the ground.

The design allows waves to wash through the bamboo walls while the concrete structure of the house remains standing, said Carlo Ratti, director of MIT's Senseable City Laboratory.

"Of course, you would have water in the house, and there is no way to avoid that, but the houses will be much more resilient,'' Ratti said.

Buro Happold, a London-based engineering firm, used computer models to show that the houses would be five times more resistant to a tsunami than Sri Lanka's traditional homes.

"When the wave comes through, the water flushes everything out, but the walls remain standing,'' said Domenico del Re, a structural engineer at Buro Happold.

The design is for a home measuring about 400 square feet that would cost roughly $1,200 to build. It was designed to be made from materials readily available in Sri Lanka.

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Questions to explore further this topic:

What is bamboo?

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ecoph39.htm
http://www.americanbamboo.org/GeneralInfo.html
http://www.bambootechnologies.com/allabout.htm
http://www.inbar.int/facts.htm
http://www.ag.auburn.edu/hort/.....tml#botany
http://www.earthcare.com.au/bamboo_notes.htm

Poaceae (Grass): The family to which bamboo belongs

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Plants/Poaceae.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaceae
http://members.iinet.net.au/~w.....ae_two.htm
http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/carr/po.htm
http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/hcs300/poa.htm
http://www.desert-tropicals.co.....aceae.html
http://members.iinet.net.au/~w.....ae_six.htm

What, how and why of bamboos

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caesp.....Bamboo.htm
http://www.bamboosourcery.com/catalog.cfm

Bamboo: A PowerPoint Presentation

http://www.bambootechnologies......h/pp01.htm

Mechanical properties of Bamboo

http://www-users.rwth-aachen.d.....rties.html
http://bambus.rwth-aachen.de/eng/

Nutritional properties of Bamboo shoots

http://www.happyjuicer.com/Nut.....hoots.aspx

What are the uses of bamboo?

http://www.americanbamboo.org/.....erial.html
http://www.bambooandrattan.com...../index.htm

Photos of Bamboo

http://www.bambooheadquarters.com/store/photos.php

Bamboo products

http://www.bambus.de/infos/1000/indexx.php
http://www.bamboofencer.com/

Bamboo Housing

http://www.inbar.org.sg/housing/introduction.htm
http://doityourself.com/info/b.....enefit.htm

Ornamental Bamboo

http://www.americanbamboo.org/.....amboo.html

GAMES

http://homeschooling.gomilpita.....ngames.htm


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:41 pm; edited 9 times in total
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adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:40 pm    Post subject: Fuel From Giant Grass Reply with quote

Fuel From Giant Grass

A newly developed grass that grows 13 feet tall could be used as a relatively clean source of alternative energy, scientists say.

The grass, known as giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), is a hybrid developed from an Asian variety. It produces about the same amount of carbon dioxide when burned as it is able to remove from the air when it grows.

The grass, related to sugar cane, grows rapidly in cool weather. In winter, its leaves drop, leaving a tall bamboo-like stem that could be harvested and burned to generate electricity. The plant stores nutrients in an underground rhizome that resprouts the next growing season.

Scientists say the energy ratio of input to output is less than 0.2 percent for the grass, while the ratio is more than 0.8 for ethanol and biodiesel from canola, two other plant-derived energy sources.

Miscanthus is also easy to grow. It requires little water and minimal fertilizer and thrives in untilled fields, said doctoral student Emily Heaton at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

If 10 percent of the land area in Illinois were devoted to Miscanthus, it could provide 50 percent of the state's electricity needs, said Heaton.

The research was led by Stephen Long, a professor of crop sciences and of plant biology.

-- LiveScience Staff
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