Bamboo Building

The Advantages of Bamboo Building Materials

Bamboo building materials have been used in Asia since prehistoric times.  It is long-lasting, strong, environmentally friendly and can be used in Carbon Neutral Building. It has continued to enjoy some popularity in rural Asian areas.  There is some modern interest in its use as people search for ways to protect our forests and reduce the global warming caused by cutting down trees. Bamboos are fast-growing, woody grasses.  The plants can grow two to four feet in a single day if the soil conditions are right. In as little as three years, a newly planted field could be harvested and used for construction purposes.  By contrast, it takes 40-120 years for a hardwood forest to mature and be ready for use in construction depending on the species. All plant-based building materials can rot and require replacement.  But, with proper care and maintenance, a bamboo house could last for a thousand years or more. A bridge in China was known to exist in 960AD and still exists to this day.  It is believed that it may have been constructed in 300BC.  So it is at least 1000 years old. The climate may have something to do with the longevity of Asian bamboo architecture, as well as structures built using other materials.

 Bamboo Garden and Bamboo Construction

Bamboo BuildingSome of the wooden pagodas in Japan are believed to be over a thousand years old, but they are not functional buildings.  They survive more as a source of inspiration rather than usefulness. Flexibility is another reason for the popularity of bamboos for building.  If left alone, most plants will grow straight and tall.  In a cultivated field, the plants can be trained to assume various structural shapes as they grow. Square shapes and curved sections can be created in this way. Giant bamboos can be cut into sheets and planks, used in the same way as timber.  Laminates can be made for building furniture. In addition to the increased interest in bamboo architecture, the plants have become popular in the US as flooring.  Typically advertised as an environmentally friendly alternative to hardwood flooring, the highest quality grades are three times stronger than oak. The poles can be used to make scaffolding and to reinforce concrete.  Houses and schools made from the material can be earthquake and cyclone resistant. In the US and France, as well as other countries, it is possible to have houses built entirely out of the material.  Those are just some of the reasons to consider bamboo building materials for your next project.