8 pole reciprocal frame bamboo shelter


We demonstrated this roof at the Nepal bamboo workshop.

Eight poles were chosen as they are easy to evenly lay out on the ground and overlap reciprocally.

This arrangement produced a slightly inclined roof with a large central opening.

In order to close this opening and increase the incline of the roof it is necessary to use a central "prop" ( or charlie stick ) during construction . This pole is removed on completion of the frame which supports itself.

This roof frame can either be constructed on the ground or on top of 8 pre-sunk posts,

Transitional shelter 8

8 poles are first laid on the ground and overlapped reciprocally

Transitional shelter 9

ridge poles are added and the roof is lashed together

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Transitional shelter 9
trans 8

In order to increase the incline of the roof a central "prop" pole is used to support the reciprocal frame during construction

The central support pole enables the poles to be inclined so that the central opening is very small

trans 30

Alternatively a large prop pole can be used if the roof is constructed on top of posts

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trans 11

Additional small bamboo rafters are laid.

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trans 40

A tarpaulin can then be overlaid if required.

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trans 20

Walls are completed using mud bricks or a bamboo lattice and mud frame.

Advantages of this reciprocal frame roof:

  • A simple but strong construction method easy to build with.

      • No complex joints are needed. Only traditional cross lashing of joints is required.

          • The reciprocal frame roof supports more weight than a conventional apex roof,

            •   allowing more cladding and therefore a cooler interior.  
              • The weight of the roof itself is supported equally by eight posts without the spreading forces of conventional roof designs. This means that less internal "tying

                •   in" of walls is required.
                  • No central support pole is needed for large roof spans.  

                      • Sectional walls are not load bearing so mud bricks can be used.

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