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close this bookAppropriate Building Materials: a Catalogue of Potential Solutions (SKAT, 1988, 430 p.)
close this folderExamples of foundation materials
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View the documentConcrete foundations
View the documentSplit-bamboo piles
View the documentWooden post foundation

Split-bamboo piles


Special properties

Used for subsoil stabilization

Economical aspects

Low cost



Skills required

Special training

Equipment required

Drop hammer

Resistance to earthquake


Resistance to hurricane


Resistance to rain

Good, helps to drain water

Resistance to insects


Climatic suitability

All tropical areas

Stage of experience



· Split-bamboo piles have been developed to improve the bearing capacity of soft compressible soils and to reduce settlements for various types of construction works, such as buildings, roads, etc.

· The hollow bamboo culms are filled up with loosely wound coconut coir and jute thread wrapped in jute fabric; holes in the culm permit the water in the soil to tackle in, thus drying out the soil and improving its load-bearing capacity.

Further information: Dr. M.A. Aziz or Dr. S.D. Ramaswamy, Department of Civil Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Cresent, Singapore 0511; Bibl. 20.01.

Split-Bamboo Pile

Split-bamboo piles filled up with loosely wound coconut coir strands of about 6 mm diameter each tied up with spirally wound jute thread along its length and wrapped with a layer of thickly knit jute burlap have been successfully used. Treated split-bamboo steps were holed at random points and tied up together at regular intervals with galvanized iron wire after putting the coconut coir wicks inside along its entire length (Fig. 1).


Stabilized Area

These specially made split-bamboo piles were used in stabilizing the soft compressible subsoil of an actual construction site (Fig. 2) which consisted of a top layer of about 2 m thick soft to medium stiff sandy clayey silt underlain by a layer of about 6 m thick very soft silty clay which was again underlain by a layer of medium dense silty clayey sand. The split-bamboo piles, each about 8 m long, 80 to 90 mm diameter, were driven by a drop hammer at 2 m spacing in a square grid. After installation of the piles the entire area was covered with about 2 m surcharge of sandy materials (Bibl. 20.01).