Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Uses for Bamboo in Sustainable Building

When you’re considering potential building materials for home construction as a society we tend to focus on two or three commonly utilized and widely accepted building materials: wood, stone or concrete. What you may not realize is that bamboo solutions can be used for much more than just food, musical instruments, medicine, paper and textiles. Uses for bamboo can also include building construction, both in exterior and interior design elements.

Widely used in Asian, Pacific Islander and Central and Southern American cultures, bamboo is a sustainable and sturdy building material. Unlike wood, bamboo (a member of the grass family) regenerates very quickly. It is, in-fact, one of the fastest growing plants in the world, with the fastest growth rate reaching 100cm in a 24-hr period.

There are also a number of other benefits to choosing bamboo solutions over wood including:

Strength and Durability: Bamboo is heartier than oak and stronger than steel. It is flexible and lightweight, and is water-resistant, minimizing the risk for warping and

Affordability: It is easily grown and harvested, making it one of the most cost effective construction materials available.

A minor setback to implementing the use of bamboo in construction projects arises due to the locations where bamboo flourishes the heartiest. Bamboo thrives in the tropical regions of the world, which can raise prices due to importing costs.  Although farmers are capable of growing bamboo in nearly every climate, creating and maintaining a viable bamboo source requires copying an environment that will allow this sustainable building source to grow and thrive year-round. 

As Popular Mechanics writer, Harry Sawyers explains:
“Bamboo has come into vogue as a green, sustainable resource that’s used for everything from cutting boards to clothing to wood floors. But until now, almost all of the bamboo in products sold here has come from overseas. That could change soon, as new planting techniques may lead to millions of new acres of bamboo shoots in the American South.” Some wonder if a plant like bamboo can revitalize farmland on the Mississippi Delta.”

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