- We are investigating why Bamboo should be more frequently adapted in residential building. We want to promote bamboo as an eco-friendly material and as a substitute for wood and steel.We assume that people are more aware of the impact we have on the environment and that we are aiming for homes and structures with the same or better quality as a traditional house that will have a minor impact on the environment.
Bamboo as a construction material has been used in less developed tropical countries for thousands of years because of its strong structure, its abundance, and its fast grow rate, the price, and the multiple uses for it. According to “Stronger than Steel” by The News Weeks Magazine, bamboo is referred to as “The poor man’s timber” because it is used by people below the property line. Since people could not afford concrete or metal they have to rely on their environment to provide raw material to build their homes and realize the strength of bamboo. People in this environment adopted bamboo because it is a renewal material and all the benefits it provide.
- The Unites States is new to bamboo as a construction material, but bamboo has been in the country for hundreds of years. During the last 20 to 30 years bamboo has been more used than before, but in the contrary is not seen as “the poor man’s timber” but as a durable, more sustainable source of material, stronger and low cost product that can be replaced in a little amount of time and would help deforestation and reduce CO2 emissions on the environment.In Allison Serrell’s article for the SFGATE she said how “bamboo leads green revolution, it’s durable, plentiful, very quick and good source of oxygen”
We want people to see the benefits of bamboo and adopt it just like in South America. Architects are our primary audience because they can introduce people to this material by providing them with information that would help them make decisions when it comes to chose materials when it comes to build their homes, therefore the clients would become aware of it as well. We want people to adopt bamboo to replace wood such as oak and pine trees, because our forests are being reduced every year and they take 50 to 70 years to be replaced. In “The U.S. Forest Facts and Historical Trends book” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has the data of how the forests have changed in the past hundred years, in 1630 there were 143 million hectares of forest just on the south of the country and in 1997 there were only 87 million of hectares.
- Bamboo has been early adopted by some markets using it in a wide variety of products, mainly used as flooring and furniture. Because of its strength bamboo can be used as based panels, board, concrete reinforcement, roofing etc. Bamboo is unique because is strong in both tension and compression not like hardwood and steel. Bamboo strength gets stronger as the plant mature. For a long lasting bamboo structure they have to be treated against rot and insects. Bamboo has a waterproof coating and there is no need to paint it, it is even used as water pipes thanks to this coating. The strength of Bamboo comes from the many fibers that are in the plant.