Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara University


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Mark Aschheim

Second Advisor

Tonya Nilsson


In order to address the issue of rising demand in resources from providing a growing population with housing, a team of professors and undergraduate students worked to study bamboo's possible utility as a structural element. This team proposed the use of bamboo as a substitute for timber in conventional light frame construction, specifically in the form of bamboo shear walls, which resist lateral loads such as those applied by earthquakes and winds. In order to demonstrate the adequacy of these proposed bamboo walls as a substitute to the control softwood walls, the team used the document FEMA P-795 to develop methods of designing, testing, and finally analyzing these walls to demonstrate structural equivalency. The results from this process would then be used to support the inclusion of the proposed walls in the 2013 Team Santa Clara Solar Decathlon House, which is in turn a step towards eventual acceptance by international regulatory and governing agencies.