21 Nov Bamboo. Everything wood wants to be.
With everything bamboo has going for it, it’s no surprise that wood pales by comparison.
For a start, bamboo grows up to 10 times faster than wood. As the fastest growing plant on earth, that’s no surprise.
This means bamboo can be ready for use in as little as 1-5 years, instead of up to 40-60 years for many hardwoods.
So, bamboo converts the sunlight, water and nutrients it consumes to grow into a useable material faster. That’s better for the environment, making bamboo far more sustainable.
On another level of sustainability, bamboo also outshines wood. As it grows, bamboo stores 5 times more carbon than timber and exhales 35% more oxygen than a similar stand of trees.
Another advantage bamboo has over timber is that it regrows without replanting, so it is a self-regenerating natural resource.
Once harvested, new bamboo shoots regrow from the same root system. So, there is not the environmental disturbance required to harvest, remove the stumps, till the soil, replant, etc that there is with growing timber.
Compared to many softwoods, bamboo is actually much harder, meaning it provides longer life in settings like floorboards or decking.
In fact, not only is bamboo harder than many types of timber, it’s actually harder than steel! Yes, incredible as it may seem, bamboo actually has superior tensile strength to steel, which means its resistance to breaking under tension is greater than steel. (It also has greater compression strength than concrete!)
Bamboo naturally resists fungus, bacteria and termites, something wood can’t claim to do. Meaning it can grow without needing to use poisonous herbicides and pesticides which most crops do. It also doesn’t require fertiliser and can grow in soils and places that many types of timber couldn’t survive in.
Compared to most timbers, bamboo has strength but greater flexibility. Being hollow inside, it is extremely light, so it takes less of the earth’s resources to harvest and transport.
Despite its light weight, it is incredibly sturdy meaning it can be used in places and ways that timber just can’t.
So, when you are looking for a building material that is more sustainable, and more environmentally friendly than timber, you know what to do, choose bamboo.