Building with Bamboo

Written by Sarah Stukalin, AMAST Content

With the increase of eco-friendly building materials, many builders are turning to bamboo. Bamboo offers many benefits that combat problems faced with typical building materials and is largely popular in the flooring and roofing industries. However, some contractors remain skeptical of all that bamboo offers a project. Here are some of the benefits of building with bamboo.

Weight and Durability

While it is easy to believe bamboo is not strong because it is a natural material, bamboo offers a great amount of strength. The tensile strength of bamboo fibers and bamboo blocks are even more weight-bearing and resistant to tension. The tissue which makes up bamboo is flexible. Because there are around 1400 different varieties of bamboo, there is a large choice between bamboos in terms of hardness and thickness. Bamboo is an extremely light material, making for an easier transportation and installation process.

Colors and Styles

Bamboo is generally used for flooring, roofing, wall coverings, and ceiling panels. Because of its rather tropical and ornamental style, it is often incorporated into larger-scale projects such as resorts or theme parks. Bamboo is typically yellow, beige, or black, and contractors can even opt for burnt bamboo, which displays a more dramatic pattern. Bamboo can also be stained or treated with a waterproofing agent for weather protection, allowing the deeper tones of the bamboo to become more defined.

Cost

Bamboo is incredibly affordable, which makes it easy to avoid overspending on a construction project. The typical cost for high quality, treated bamboo is four dollars per square foot.  Untreated bamboo poles and slats are even more affordable. For a large-scale construction project, utilizing bamboo can drastically decrease the cost.

Versatility

Because bamboo is a natural product, it can be used for flooring, walls, and other construction options inside of a project. Bamboo can be integrated into almost every type of room. Because the poles come in lengths from five to ten feet and can be cut easily, it is easy to find space for bamboo within a room. While bamboo is not suitable for every setting, it can be utilized in the interior as well as the exterior of a construction project.

Sustainability

Bamboo is easy to replenish because of its quick maturity rate. The quick life cycle allows for bamboo to be more plentiful and sustainable than most hardwoods. Bamboo can thrive with little support and requires less water than many other crops. Bamboo is also effective in erosion control, as it stabilizes its surrounding soil. Thanks to its versatile growing conditions, bamboo can thrive in most climates, providing thirty percent more oxygen than hardwood forests and similar vegetation. Production methods can also limit pesticides and toxic chemicals depending on the provider.

Care

Bamboo requires minimal care and can be tidied up with a few basic steps, making it a very easy and beneficial material. Interior bamboo surfaces can be touched up with something as simple as a broom or damp mop, while exterior structures can be refreshed by occasionally reapplying stain and sealant. Due to bamboo’s already bright and shiny texture, with proper care, its appearance can be especially striking.

Works Cited

     Bamboo vs. Other Building Materials. (2020, February 24). Retrieved January 08, 2021, from https://www.foreverbamboo.com/blog/bamboo-vs-other-building-materials/

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