Nigerian Engineers Embrace Bamboo as Alternative to Iron Rods

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read

In response to the exorbitant prices of iron rods, engineers in Nigeria are increasingly turning to bamboo as a cost-effective alternative for construction projects.

Despite the country’s economic challenges, this innovative approach demonstrates the resilience of Nigerians in finding practical solutions to overcome obstacles.

Traditionally, iron rods are essential for casting pillars and decking in building constructions. However, the current high cost of building materials has compelled many homeowners to seek cheaper alternatives or halt their construction projects altogether.


To address this issue, engineers have begun using bamboo, reinforced with construction wires, for casting decking and pillars of buildings. Bamboo, a woody plant with hollow stems, is now being used as a substitute for iron rods in certain construction projects, providing the necessary rigidity and firmness.

According to Mr. Andrew Asaga, a building engineer, bamboo can effectively replace iron rods in various applications. Some builders are opting to use bamboo exclusively for pillars, while others are combining bamboo with iron rods for decking to reduce costs.

READ ALSO: Navigating Iron Rods in Construction: Types, Sizes, and Cost Considerations

The surge in demand for bamboo has led to a significant increase in its price, from N400 per bamboo to N1500. Even used bamboo, which previously sold for N200, is now being sold for N900.

The rising cost of construction materials is also affecting the profitability of building developers. Fluctuating prices make it challenging for developers to provide accurate quotations, leading to financial strain and delayed payments for workers.

While bamboo offers a temporary solution to the high cost of iron rods, concerns have been raised about the durability and safety of buildings constructed using alternative materials.

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Engineers caution that the use of such materials may result in inferior constructions and increased building collapses.

Despite these challenges, Nigerians are demonstrating resilience by finding creative ways to navigate the economic hardships and continue with their construction projects. The shift towards bamboo as a viable alternative to iron rods underscores the resourcefulness and adaptability of the Nigerian people in the face of adversity.

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