Bamboo in construction
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 period1.
In contrast to tree harvesting, there is simply no comparison to the replenishment rate of growing bamboo. Bamboo can be harvested every three to six years for construction purposes (depending on the species); whereas trees range from 25 years (for softwoods) to 50 years (for hardwoods). It is important to harvest the bamboo at the right time to maximize strength and treat it to minimize damage brought on by pests.
Making more use of bamboo for common building practices would allow forests to regenerate and help to prevent future deforestation efforts.