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Bamboo Knowledge

Dec 29, 2016

Did You Know?

The very dense fibers in each bamboo cane give the plant extreme flexibility, allowing it to bend without snapping. In earthquakes, a bamboo forest is actually a very safe place to take shelter, and houses made of bamboo have been known to withstand 9.0 magnitude quakes. For thousands of years bamboo has been the go-to building material for most of the world.

Fast Regeneration

Trees used for conventional wood take 30-50 years to regenerate to their full mass. In the meantime, there is less oxygen produced, less carbon dioxide consumed, and more soil runoff in the spot where the tree was harvested – all producing harmful environmental effects. When it comes to sustainability, bamboo has traditional lumber beat in every category…

Bamboo is clocked as the fastest growing plant on Earth. Some species have been measured to grow over 4 feet in 24 hours.

A pole of bamboo can regenerate to its full mass in just six months!

Bamboo can be continuously re-harvested every 3 years, without causing damage to the plant system and surrounding environment.

During the time it takes to regenerate, the bamboo plant’s root system stays intact so erosion is prevented.

Continuous harvesting of this woody grass every 3-7 years, actually improves the overall health of the plant.

Strength and Durability

Thanks to its unique composition, bamboo is naturally designed for strength…

Unlike wood, bamboo has no rays or knots, allowing it to withstand more stress throughout the length of each stalk.

Bamboo’s sectional anatomy, both as a cane and on a microscopic fiber level, enhances its structural integrity.

The high silica content in bamboo fibers means the material cannot be digested by termites.

Bamboo contains different chemical extractives than hardwood, which make it better suited for gluing.

Erosion Prevention

Bamboo’s incredibly thick rhizome root system helps maintain soil integrity. This prevents landslides and keeps nutrients from getting dumped into rivers and lakes where they can harm the ecosystem. The following real-life stories demonstrate just how important bamboo is in preventing dangerous erosion.

Just east of Nepal and north of Bangladesh, the Bhutanese village of Ramjar had a serious erosion problem. The precious rainfall supplying their crops and drinking water had also been washing their village down the hillside, forcing small communities to abandon their homes. Today, however, a long-term project is in place to plant groves of bamboo in these troubled areas to maintain land stability. Bamboo’s dense running rhizome root system has proven to be a great way to prevent erosion – so much so that in some cases its removal can actually harm the surrounding habitat.

Green building is a movement dedicated to the transformation of practice in the design, operation of built environments. The objective is to reduce the negative impacts of built environments while creating healthy, comfortable, and economically prosperous places for people to live, work, and play. – U.S. Green Building Council

Green construction has been championed as the way of the future — providing jobs, cutting energy consumption, and making efficient use of sustainable resources. According to the Environmental Protection Agency.