5 benefits of building a home with bamboo

The amazing versatility of bamboo is no secret to green revolution visionaries like architects and builders. They learn firsthand how easily bamboo can be shaped and formed into different building components.

Indoors, sustainable bamboo is a great material for beds, sofas, tables and chairs. Textured bamboo panels enhance the walls, ceilings and sides of breakfast bars and cabinets. You’ll find bamboo beneath your feet, too, as floor mats and sleek bamboo floor panels. Bamboo is in the finer details of kitchens, too—in essentials such as bamboo spoons, spatulas and cutting boards.

Outdoors, you can relax outside in a bamboo lounge chair or enjoy the beauty and privacy of a backyard protected by a bamboo panel fence.

Sourcing bamboo

Over 1,000 species of bamboo are native to Asia, Australia, North and South America and Sub-Saharan Africa, but it grows best in tropical climates, where it’s built houses and structures for hundreds of years. Once harvested, bamboo, just like wood, must be dried and treated to protect it against pests and to maximize its strengths as a building material.  

Building with bamboo comes with a unique set of benefits, unmatched by traditional building materials. These are just a few of them:

1) It's sustainable.

Worldwide interest in bamboo for residential construction is rising rapidly as climate change evolves from theory to scientific fact. Eco-friendly bamboo is one of the fastest-growing wild grasses on earth. It reaches heights of full maturity in as little as three years and regenerates quickly after harvesting. Some bamboo species can grow over 35 inches in a single day. Bamboo thrives on otherwise unproductive land like deep ravines and mountainsides.

2) It's environmentally friendly.

When choosing floor coverings for a new, green home, it’s good to know that bamboo floors are completely sourced from eco-friendly sustainable plants. Bamboo forests are very friendly to the environment. They reduce pollution by producing oxygen, more than 35 percent more than trees do. Their roots create a water barrier that helps control soil erosion. Bamboo also consumes high quantities of nitrogen, which helps reduce water pollution.

3) It's recyclable.

A study by the National Association of Home Builders estimates that about 8,000 pounds of waste is created from the construction of a single 2,000-square-foot home. The majority of the waste is wood, cardboard and drywall, and almost all of it ends up in landfills. In comparison, bamboo is completely recyclable.

4) It's strong.

Some bamboo species have the same strength ratio as steel and almost twice the compression ratio of concrete—not bad for a hollow, light-weight grass. Building with bamboo is hardly a new concept. Many countries have been doing it for hundreds of years. Inspired by heightened interest in eco-friendly bamboo, trail-blazing teams of architects and builders are creating amazing bamboo structures for schools, hotels, homes and even bridges. 

5) It's earthquake- and hurricane-resistant.

Due to its light weight and elasticity, bamboo is a popular building material in areas of the world where earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons strike more frequently. Bamboo absorbs the shocks of seismic activity and high winds far better than rigid concrete and steel structures.

With remarkable benefits like these five, bamboo is destined to play a major role in the green revolution as more people and businesses choose to build with this versatile, sustainable building material.

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