Omar S. Thomas1*, Georgeann Henry2, Kordel Bishop3, Kymani Francis4 and Ajene Binns5

1,2,3,4,5Faculty of Engineering, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica

1Email: *(Corresponding author)






The Food for the Poor provides hundreds of thousands of temporary housing in the Americas and the Caribbean for persons in need of a shelter. These temporary houses provide a space in which many persons can live. Although these spaces are meant to be temporary, in many cases due to the lack of financial wherewithal, these temporary houses serve as a medium to long-term housing for those who receive them. The topographical and geotechnical environment in which these houses are built not only vary across the Americas and the Caribbean but varies within a single country. This study analyses the current foundation designs used by Food for the Poor in the country of Jamaica, taking into consideration Jamaica’s unique hilly terrain and geotechnical environment. The study makes recommendations for the use of alternative foundation designs that are still economical for construction and are better when considering the life cycle cost of these structures. The use of bamboo as a reinforcement in concrete for the foundation design is also analysed and compared against the traditional reinforced concrete and mass concrete designs. The results demonstrate that when bamboo is used as a reinforcement with concrete it has an increased flexural strength, but still do not exceed the flexural strength of traditional reinforced concrete, that utilizes steel reinforcement.


Keywords: Bamboo reinforcement, Bamboo tensile strength, Temporary housing, Alternative reinforcement.



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