Earthquake Resistant Feature of Bamboo based Housing System

eq testing



The IPIRTI-TRADA housing system has proven to withstand a simulated earthquake test carried out using the shaking table test facility at Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Bangalore under the TRADA project.

The bamboo house of 2.7m x 2.7m was tested on shaking table. The mass of the house was 2636kg. A seismic simulation of 30 seconds was carried out on the bamboo house for a design spectrum of zone IV and zone V classification as per IS-1893, 2002. To test the fatigue strength of the bamboo house zone V design spectrum was repeated for five times. Even Kobe earthquake data was also simulated for the same house. After the test program, the structure did not exhibit any cracks or damage in any part of the building [1].




The earthquake resistant feature of IPIRTI-TRADA bamboo based housing system has been evaluated by using a shock table.


A simple version of the shake table is a shock table, which is a horizontal table, over which building models can be built and can be subjected to base shocks. The shock table can be used to simulate the cumulative effects of ground motion by subjecting it to a series of base impacts. Using a simple pendulum impact device it is possible to control the magnitude of base shock. This helps in reproducing the building failure models. Also, after each shock it is possible to study the progress of failure of the components of the building system. The shock table has been designed and fabricated to suit bamboo based housing systems.


Shock table developed at the institute

shock table
shock table



The natural frequency of the shock table was measured and shock table has been characterized. Before putting up the actual house model on the shock table, equivalent mass of the same has been placed on the shock table and its response was measured.


The Bamboo House built by the institute based on IPIRTI TRADA-Technology was tested in the institute premises for efficacy of the structure.  The prototype house of 2.44m x 2.44m was made using split bamboo grid and wire mesh, plastered with cement mortar for walls, with bamboo columns providing support.  The ceiling was made of light bamboo mat corrugated sheets developed by IPIRTI. The total weight of the house comes out to be 2.7 tonnes.


wall roof
Bamboo grid formation and first coat of plastering Truss fixing
wall house
After first coat of plastering Finished house before testing



This prototype house was made by mounting it on the shock table and a series of base shocks were delivered through a simple pendulum device, the impact of which is comparable to earthquakes. A series of base shocks varying the angle of release of the pendulum from 15 to 40 degrees in the interval of 5 degrees were applied with the help of the 400kg pendulum with a length of 1.6m from the centre of the hinge to the centre of the hammer.


Shock table house


The prototype resisted the shocks and showed no signs of any damage/collapse, in contrast to a masonry / concrete structure.   When most intensive shocks were delivered a few cracks were observed at the end of the shock period. Hence, the building system developed at the institute is very effective in resisting earthquake motions of severe intensity.






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