Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), working with architects and wood processors in Canada and England, have been researching the potential for bamboo to be used as an alternative for wood as a construction material.

The research has involved slicing bamboo stalks or culms into smaller pieces, then bonding them together to produce stronger blocks similar to how plywood or oriented strand board is made. The goal is to find a production method that would allow bamboo to be used in the construction of buildings where the material is abundant such as in China, India and Brazil.

After analyzing bamboo under high-powered microscopes, the MIT researchers have concluded that it is stronger and denser than North American softwoods like pine, fir, and spruce,

MIT Professor Lorna Gibson, leader of the project, discusses the bamboo research in this video. The team's research has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society: Interface.

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