International and Local Bamboo Experts Collaborate in a Much-Awaited Bamboo Forum in Manila

Base Bahay Foundation Inc. brings in five bamboo experts from Virginia Tech, ETH Zurich, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), and De La Salle University in the upcoming second session of Bamboost: Upscaling Green Construction on September 15, 2023, at The Loft at Manansala, Makati City.

This year’s Bamboo Forum with the theme, “Building with Bamboo: The Future of Sustainable Construction,” will provide the participants with access to the latest research and innovations on bamboo construction, particularly on Bamboo Connections Performance, Life Cycle Assessment, and Design.

Get to know the speakers

HKUST will be represented by Dr. Ilias Dimitrakopoulos who is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is a graduate of Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the Civil Engineering Department of the Polytechnic School at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. In 2009, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree. His research works focus on bamboo structures, bamboo engineering, nonlinear structural dynamics, the seismic response of structures, and earthquake engineering.

BASE also invited Dr. Edwin Zea Escamilla, a Senior Assistant at the Chair for Sustainable Construction of ETH Zurich. His research centers on a comprehensive exploration of the sustainability and life cycle of construction materials and buildings. Dr. Escamilla studied Architecture in Colombia and obtained an MSc in Urban Environmental Management from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Subsequently, in 2016, he successfully completed his doctoral degree, showcasing his commitment to academic advancement. 

One of this year’s roster of experts is Liu Kewei, who currently serves as the Coordinator for the Global Bamboo Construction Programme. Since 2008, she has been deeply engaged in advancing the utilization of bamboo construction on a global scale. She has overseen the successful execution of over 20 international bamboo construction projects and played an active role in establishing the INBAR Bamboo Construction Task Force. Kewei graduated from Beijing Jiaotong University with a master’s degree in Structural Engineering and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Civil Engineering at Tsinghua University.

Jonas Hauptman, Co-Founder of the VT BioDesign Research Group and currently an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at Virginia Tech in the United States will also be sharing his expertise in the forum. His research endeavors involve a wide array of materials, notably including recycled plastics and bamboo. He has won several prestigious awards including the 2004 University of Michigan’s Oberdick Fellowship, and a 2018 AIA Upjohn award. His work has also been featured in the media including Architect, Metropolis, Dwell, the New York Times, and others. His recent video “Building with Biology” was included in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale. 

The De La Salle University will be represented by Dr. Lessandro Estelito Garciano. His involvement extends beyond the academic community, where he contributes as a member of the Wind Loads Committee of the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP). Additionally, he currently serves as the Vice President of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP). His research interests involve various fields, including wind, earthquakes, flood hazard mapping, Bayesian updating methods, risk assessment, reliability theory, and the multi-hazard assessment of historical structures, hospitals, and schools.

BASE resident expert, Engr. Luis Lopez will also share how bamboo can be utilized to build disaster-resilient structures. Luis is responsible for overseeing the research, training, and practical application of BASE’s Cement-Bamboo Frame Technology in the Philippines. Currently, he is part of the ISO Committee TC 165 (Timber and bamboo structures) representing Colombia, where he worked keenly on the update of the ISO 22156 “Bamboo structural design” standard, published in June 2021. He is also the newly appointed Co-Chair for the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP) 8th Edition, 2022 – Chapter 8 Bamboo Volume I. Luis graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 2000. 

Bamboost is free to all professional architects, civil engineers, students, researchers, developers, and bamboo enthusiasts. After successfully completing the program, licensed architects and civil engineers will earn CPD units. For more information about BASE, visit

Alternative Building Technologies, Cement Bamboo Frame Technology, Sustainable Housing


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