How to Build a Bamboo Reinforced Storm Shelter

Bamboo Reinforced Dome Cabin, House or Storm Shelter

The bamboo mesh sand cement dome shell structure is a unique and sustainable way to build a dome structure. For countries that have a bamboo industry, this method is cost-effective, environmentally friendly and structurally viable.

Each material serves a specific purpose in building the dome structure. Bamboo is used as reinforcement and to create the dome shape. Layers of galvanized wire mesh covers the bamboo frame providing a matrix of reinforcement, and cement, sand, plaster, and render mortar are used to create the dome shape.

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.

Benefits of Using Bamboo

  1. Cost-effective, sustainable and fast growing renewable resource.
  2. Same tensile strength as steel
  3. Light-weight and flexible
  4. Bamboo can be used as reinforcement for concrete structures.
  5. Superior, mechanical properties makes it a highly sustainable building material.
  6. Has the benefits of high carbon storage 

Who is The Bamboo Dome Building Guide for?

  1. Anyone wanting the knowledge to build a super strong shelter
  2. For people living in tropical  countries where bamboo is accessible
  3. For people on a minimal budget who want to build a shelter or home that will withstand EXTREMES.
  4. For people wanting to build a survival shelter
  5. For preppers
  6. For DIY or anyone anywhere on a low budget. 

What You Will Learn

The Bamboo Dome Building Guide Index Case Study of 3 Projects 

Message from the authors
4 Introduction
5 References and Links
6 Terminology, Skills & Tools
7 Materials Required
8 Design – And Planning Your Bamboo Dome
9 Recommended Design for Your first Project
10 Index of Logical Path
11 Structural Loads, Openings, Doors and Windows
12 The Bamboo You Use
13 Harvesting & Treating Bamboo
14 Splitting Bamboo, Quantities
15 Concrete Foundations & Footings
16 Ferro Cement Structures & Mix Design
17 Summary of Project Case Studies
19 Mentigi Bay Project Case Study
20 Mentigi Early Designs
21 Mentigi Bay 3D Concept Design
22 7.0m Diameter Dome Foundation
23 Establishing Basic Profiles
24 Taking Shape
25 The Process – Taking More Shape
26 Setting Up Arches for the Opening
27 Framing the Skylight
28 Electrical Conduit
29 Internal Rendering
30 External Cladding
31 Building a Staircase
32 Bamboo Reinforced Suspended Slab
33 Rendering Complete Internally
34 Ready for Windows
35 Door Window Frames Installed
36 Dome Complete
37 Complete Internal
38 Bamboo Sculptures in Lombok
39 Bamboo Sculpture in Lombok
40 Mentigi Bay Domes (comment)
41 Byron Bay Sculptural Earth Covered-
Dome Case Study
42 The Excavation – An Organic Process
43 Installing the Bowl
44 Bowl Installed and Plumbed
45 The Building Footprint – Foundation

46 Setting Up Formwork for the Footing
47 Concrete the Footings
48 The Bamboo – Harvest & Treat
49 Splitting Bamboo
50 Height of the Dome and Arches
51 Forming the Main Arches
52 Progressing the Shape (Arches)
53 Shape Takes More Shape
54 Dome Shape is a Cage
55 Tying the Bamboo
56 Bamboo Cage Forms Dome
57 Fixing Mesh to Bamboo Frame
58 First Layer of Mesh
59 Structure Becomes Rigid
60 The Mesh is Fixed
61 Applying the Render
62 Make Good Render
63 Applying First Coat of Render
64 The Rendering Process 1
65 The Rendering Process 2
66 The Rendering Process 3
67 The Rendering Process 4
68 Installing the Apex Ring
69 Looking Through The Skylight
70 External Render Nearly Complete
71 Internal After First External Coat

72 Forming Openings

73 Rendering Inside
74 Using a Spray Machine
75 Shell Cross Section
76 Internal Beams
77 Casting in Door Frame
78 Steel Door Jamb and Frame
79 Water Proofing
80 Perlite Layer
81 Back Filling the Dome
82 Inside Finish Coat
83 Using Earth Bags
84 Rendering Earth Bags
85 Progressing Earth Bags
86 A Few Weeks Later
87 Enjoying the View
88 External progress
89 External progress2
90 Internal Progress
91 Notes

92 Project No. Three Byron Bay
93 Drawings – Cover Page
94 Reinforcing Steel and Concrete
95 Set Up Centre Pole
96 Fix the Vertical Split Bamboo
97 Fix the Horizontal Bamboo
98 Tying Vertical Bamboo to Apex Ring
99 Forming the Cage
100 Door Mold
101 Fixing the Door Frame Mold
102 Fabricate Hood Over Doorway
103 Finish Doorway Hood
104 Primary Purpose of Bamboo Frame
105 Install Window Frame Molds
106 Fix Two Layers of Mesh
107 Fix 3rd Layer of Mesh
108 Mesh Around Doors & Windows
109 Mesh Door & Window Continued
110 Apply First Render Coat
111 Work Method
112 Render Around Door Arch
113 Hand Pack Render
114 Render the Crown of the Dome
115 Render Crown -continued
116 Install Electrical Conduit
117 Install Electrical Conduit – cont.
118 Install Electrical Conduit – cont.
119 Build External Layers
120 Build External Layers – cont.
121 Render Inside
122 Render Inside – cont.
123 Render Inside – cont.
124 Render Inside – cont.
125 Render Inside – cont.
126 Finish on the Final Layer
127 Remove Door & Window Molds
128 The Finished Shell
129 The Finished Shell – cont.
130 The Painted Shell
131 The Painted Shell – cont.
132 Landscaped – Open for Business
133 Fabricate Skylight Ring
134 How to Fabricate the Skylight Ring
135 Cut the Plywood for the Ring Mold
136 Cast the Skylight Ring
137 De-Mold Skylight Ring
138 Cut to Height Skylight Ring
139 That’s it for now!
140 NOTES:
4 pages – 3.5m diameter Dome Plans
2 pages – Quantities Spreadsheet Calculator

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, and 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

The Mentigi Bay Resort – Bamboo Dome Building Inspiration

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

Bamboo Reinforced Concrete Domes Survive 7.0 Earthquake in Lombok in 2018

Mentigi Bay Resort “bamboo-reinforced concrete domes” survived a 7.0 earthquake in Lombok in August 2018 that flattened the local village including the Mosque, highlighting their exceptional resistance to extreme forces and their potential suitability as a storm shelter as well as a house.

You can learn our simple method to build dome structures that are capable of surviving all kinds of extreme forces.

The Bamboo Dome Building Guide may save your life in an emergency.

Lombok earthquake destruction
A Mosque Devastated by the 2018, 7.0 Earthquake in Lombok

Bamboo Reinforced Concrete Research Publications

If you are technically minded or simply want to understand some of the potential benefits of use 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

3/. U. S. NAVAL CIVIL ENGINEERING LABAORATORY Port Hueneme, California, By Francis E. Brink and Paul J. Rush