Build a Dome Shell Structure Using Split Bamboo, Mesh, Sand and Cement

Who is it for?

For people living in countries where bamboo is accessible or in tropical countries that use bamboo for building.

It is especially appropriate for constructing strong and durable buildings that will withstand earthquakes and cyclones.

For DIY or anyone anywhere on a low budget. It’s possible to construct dome structures up to at least 7.0m in diameter.

This method is the most simple, low tech way to build exceptionally strong dome shell structures. The materials required are easily available and relatively cheap.

What materials are needed?

Bamboo, sand, cement and galvanised mesh. The mesh can be bird mesh and or chicken mesh, fiberglass or basalt fibre mesh. 

Windows and doors can be recycled from the demo yard or you can install brand new timber or aluminum types of windows.

Get Your Copy of the Bamboo Dome Building Guide Here – Only AUD$77.00

This method of utilizing split bamboo to create a rigid form of the structure, to act as the mold, provide support for layers of mesh and the gradual application and build up of concrete is very similar to ferro/cement boat construction.

The structures below are Bamboo/Ferro Cement Shell Structures built using Bamboo Mesh and Render.

Many countries (particularly through the tropical belt) accept bamboo as a reinforcement for concrete when used in the correct way.

Bamboo, Mesh and Render DIY Shelter

Below is the most spectacular and original dome resort at Mentigi Bay in Lombok designed by architect Wolfgang Widmoser

The Mentigi Bay Resort – Bamboo Dome Building Inspiration

Chris Brown; “I am a dome and shell structure builder, designer and composite material systems researcher and I have pursued cost-effective and sustainable ways of building strong safe dome shelter and housing using renewable resources. The Mentigi Bay Resort is a stunning example of the application of very simple materials, methods and processes.”

Get the bamboo dome building guide here!

Traditional Uses – Bamboo as a Building Material

Bamboo is a form of grass and is one of the oldest building materials found in tropical to temperate climates.

It is very widely used throughout Asia, China,  South America and other parts of the world.

There are many great examples of where Bamboo is used in post and beam construction with spectacular results.

Bamboo makes excellent flooring and other structural members when it is laminated.

It is also used to make furniture and of course, is found in gardens for poles and stakes etc all over the world.

Bamboo as Reinforcement in Concrete

In Asia Bamboo is used as a concrete reinforcing. It has higher tensile strength than steel and when the right varieties are harvested at the right time and the right treatment for bugs is included it can substitute for steel.

Significant research has gone into the use of Bamboo as a Reinforcement in Concrete including US Navy research and development and deployment of Bamboo Reinforced Concrete during the second world war.

In more recent times several other international research institutions have published studies on the behavior of bamboo reinforced concrete.

Bamboo as a Building Material offers great Environmental Benefits

Bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource and together with its superior, mechanical properties makes it a highly sustainable building material.

China, the largest bamboo grower and bamboo market in the world is leading the way developing a wide range of products and uses including sophisticated building materials.

Bamboo has benefits of high carbon storage and makes some of the best charcoal and bio-char which in return has many uses in both farming, agriculture and building products.

Building Domes With Bamboo – The Most Cost Effective Solution

It is not immediately obvious how one would build a smooth, compound curved, dome-shaped structure using bamboo.

My passion or obsession with domes has led me to experiment with and test many different material systems and solutions.

There are incredible cost benefits and a simplicity of using bamboo to construct “shell structure” buildings.

Using Bamboo makes High-Performance Structures available to Everyone

I am inspired to develop building systems which will handle extreme weather and seismic conditions.

Survival and shelter are already issues many people are facing in the world right now.

This building system is cheap, easy and embodies great strength.

This system is an opportunity for many people to construct a permanent home and shelter

Bamboo Reinforced Concrete Shell Structures

There are many books on how to build with bamboo but nothing that we know of about building domes using bamboo mesh and render – until now!

Whatever purpose you have for your construction, the resulting shell structure has the ability to keep you safe and secure under the worst conditions including cyclones and earthquakes.

Click here to Download: How to Build Bamboo Cement Shell Structures


Interesting Bamboo Research Publications

If you are technically minded or simply want to understand some of the potential benefits of uses of Bamboo then the following publications are enlightening.

1/. Scholarly Articles on Bamboo Concrete Reinforcement

2/. Published: 8 September 2014 Bamboo could turn the world’s construction trade on its head – Dirk Hebel