Why Should You Consider Bamboo?
Have you ever thought about using bamboo for your next construction project? It has been used as a building material for thousands of years and there are endless reasons as to why this timber should be considered.
It’s no surprise that timber is good for the environment, by producing oxygen and storing CO2, they are vital to our ecosystems. However, bamboo takes the lead over other timber species here. It releases around 30% more oxygen than other timbers and stores around 12 tonnes of CO2 per 2.5 acres per year. This level of absorption of greenhouse gases and producing clean oxygen is really important in reducing the carbon footprint. This amazing plant also does not require any fertilizer or pesticides, avoiding depleting the soil of nutrients. It also protects the soil by having its roots remain in place even after being harvested, preventing soil erosion and retaining nutrients, as opposed to other timbers being clear cut and having their stumps burned to provide fertiliser and space. Bamboo is now widely available as FSC certified, who work to ensure the wood is ethically sourced.
Bamboo is well known for being the fastest growing plant on the planet, with some species growing around 3 feet a day, with the largest growing up to 1300 feet in its lifetime. Bamboo can be harvested from anywhere between being 1-5 years old. To compare, most other hardwoods take around 30 - 40 years before they reach maturity. In its rapid stage of growth, giant bamboo (‘Moso’ Phyllostachys Edulis) can grow as much as 1m a day. It is because of this that it is seen as the only plant that can keep up with the rate of human consumption. An increased demand for bamboo would not present a risk for forests, instead it would actually create economic incentives for farmers as it is readily available for most communities. Bamboo is also incredibly versatile and can grow in a range of climate and soil conditions where other timbers could not.
Bamboo produces very little waste as it is such a versatile product. It can be used in construction, building furniture, floors etc, fabrics such as bedding and clothing, instruments and even food.
Building 85, Southampton University, Bamboo panels
Not only is bamboo sustainable and beautiful, it is also incredibly strong. It is even stronger than steel, with its tensile strength at around 28,000 per square inch in comparison to steels being around 24,000. It is because of this that it has substituted steel in scaffolding and other construction applications. In comparison to other timbers, the compressive strength of bamboo is between 2-4 times stronger.
As the demand for ethical and sustainable building materials is on the rise, there are more reasons than ever to start using a fast growing and strong resource such as bamboo. Get in touch with BCL Timber today to discuss using it in your next project.