University of Pittsburgh
Bhavna Sharma received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and is a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow. Her research activities include evaluation of traditional construction methods, seismic performance and retrofit of marginally and non-engineered structures and the use of non-traditional composite materials. She received a B.Sc. in Architecture and a M.A. in Architectural History from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2001 and 2003, respectively. She also received a M.S. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2006 and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010, both in Structural Engineering. In 2009, she received a Silver award from the Mondialogo competition, sponsored by Daimler and UNESCO, for a collaborative proposal on the use of bamboo to improve the seismic performance of masonryconstruction. She has conducted researchon the use of bamboo for construction innortheast India and Brazil.
Development of sustainable construction materials is growing, with research and construction being initiated worldwide. Structural applications of indigenous material resources such as bamboo are an integral part of sustainable development. The use of natural materials for construction, however, is limited to cultural-based traditions with little or no standardization. To develop sustainable construction materials, in both an engineering and cultural sense, one must evaluate the traditional building techniques in terms of engineering standards and develop equivalent design methodologies to assess and improve structural performance. Use of indigenous materials and vernacular non-engineered building methods constitute a large portion of housing in the world. The objective of the present work is to define an engineering basis for non- or marginally-engineered connections appropriate for indigenous vernacular construction.