1st FB Live: Philippine National Standards on Bamboo Structures

Following the adaptation of new International Standards on Bamboo Structures by the Bureau of Philippine Standards, Base Bahay Foundation held its first Facebook Live last 09 July 2020 on what these Standards are and what this means for bamboo research and construction in the Philippines.

The discussion tackled the new Philippine National Standard (PNS) 19624, which specifies grading principles and procedures for bamboo culms, and PNS 22157, which specifies testing methods for mechanical properties of bamboo culms. Experts representing different fields of bamboo engineering lent their knowledge as speakers in the event.

As a part of the task force that developed the International Standards on bamboo structures, Prof. David Trujillo of Coventry University first discussed the importance of Standards, as well as its origins. Originally International Standards developed through extensive research by a working group of a team of engineers from across the world on bamboo structures. These Standards were gradually adopted by various countries and adapted to each area’s needs.

In a presentation by Professor Lessandro Garciano of the De La Salle University, he discussed where the Philippines is in bamboo research, and how the new PNS 22157 affects bamboo research. PNS 22157 specifies testing methods for the determination of the physical and mechanical properties of bamboo culms. These include compression strength and stiffness parallel to fibers, tension strength and stiffness parallel to fibers, bending strength and stiffness parallel to fibers, strength parallel to fibers, and tension strength perpendicular to fibers. Even before adopting these as Philippine National Standards, studies done by the De La Salle University and Base Bahay had already been following the ISO 22157.

Among the studies being carried out are the determination of shear strength of Bambusa blumeana, locally known as Kawayan Tinik; and the determination of mechanical properties of various bamboo species, including that of the local specie Dendrocalamus asper. Also, three types of bamboo connections were tested, which can be used in the Cement-Bamboo Frame technology.

Further research is underway, which will assist the development of a local structural code for bamboo, now guided by the PNS 22157 and the proposed ISO 22156.

Finally, to represent the supplier side is Architect Ray Villanueva, co-founder of Kawayan Collective, a social enterprise that promotes bamboo and bamboo products. The Kawayan Collective treatment facility has been using a bamboo grading system. However, now that the Philippines has adopted PNS 19624, which specifies bamboo grading procedures, suppliers such as Kawayan Collective can now use a more complete and standardized grading system. Currently, Kawayan Collective implements stringent quality standards that include visual and machine grading and quarterly orientations and meetings with local bamboo harvesters on bamboo specifications, areas for improvement and coordination, and sustainable practices. Visual grading done by Kawayan Collective determines condition properties (mold and insect infestation, fissures, and longitudinal indentations), geometric properties (wall thickness, diameter, length, and bow), and skin or fiber damage. Following the new PNS 19624, part of the improvements Kawayan Collective will be implementing is to provide customers with a Cut Sheet that details the specifications and mechanical properties of the bamboo they buy.

Base Bahay’s General Manager, Pablo Jorillo, moderated the event. This activity marks the first in a series of FB Live discussions on bamboo structures, innovation, and research.

The recorded video may be accessed on our Facebook page using this link.


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