A comparative study of bamboo reinforced concrete and steel reinforced concrete.
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The topic of study was to compare bamboo reinforced concrete and steel reinforced concrete. The purpose of the study was to investigate the suitability of bamboo reinforced concrete as a viable cheaper alternative to steel reinforced concrete to fix the problem of high material cost in construction hence the contributing towards reducing the housing deficit problem in Uganda. The study had three specific objectives which included; to establish the strength of bam boo reinforced concrete in relation to that of steel reinforced concrete, to establish the cost comparison between bamboo reinforced concrete and steel reinforced concrete and to investigate the perception of structural engineering professionals on using bamboo reinforced concrete in for low rise houses in Uganda. Cross sectional research was employed which was qualitative and quantitative, 43 structural engineers participated in the study out of the 76 intended respondents; for specific objectives 2 and 3, and laboratory experiments were carried out for specific objectives one; comparison of flexural strength of bamboo reinforced concrete and steel reinforced concrete. Data was analyzed using Microsoft excel, descriptive analysis was done. Findings revealed that steel reinforced concrete is a more ductile material compared to Bamboo reinforced concrete as the flexural strength of steel reinforced concrete at all levels was greater than that of bamboo reinforced concrete by more than 2KN/m2 . Results from respondents indicate that an average number of them agree that bamboo as a readily available material can be incorporated in construction of low rise buildings to reduce the cost of reinforced concrete and hence the housing-population gap in the country compared to steel and its use, but a lot less costly however they state the material requires more treatment and improvements before being completely certified as an alternative to the prevailing steel reinforced concrete. The study concluded that steel reinforced concrete has higher flexural strength than bamboo reinforced concrete which is justifiable by the fact that steel is more ductile than bamboo. Statistical tests however indicate that bamboo reinforced concrete could be a viable option for low rise buildings given the right treatment. The study recommends that the use of bamboo reinforced concrete should be given more attention in the construction industry especially for low rise houses, however further research is necessary to allow for more practical application for the material as this would contribute to making construction more affordable for Uganda’s population.