Worldwide there are more than 1000 species of bamboos, of which more than 35 species grow in Madagascar. Bamboo is widely available along the east coast and grows very rapidly, which makes it an affordable alternative with a low environmental impact. Besides, it is a very strong material (much stronger than concrete in compression and stronger than steel in tension), efficient (the strongest fibres in the external wall, with an open interior space) and flexible and therefore very suitable for cyclone resistant structures.
The selection of bamboo species is of great importance to the quality of bamboo constructions. Its quality is furthermore determined by the selection of the right age, the method of felling the bamboo culm and by the maintenance of the bamboo clump.
To check the local quality of the used bamboo species, BambooBasics has tested some bamboos at the LNTPB, the national laboratory for public constructions and buildings in Antananarivo, on its resistance to compression and bending. The results of these tests correspond well with the international test results and affirm the high quality of this species of bamboo.