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Bamboo – The Real Renewable Resource

June 14, 2012

Did you know that Bamboo belongs to the grass family?

It’s true, Bamboo is classified as grass, growing in climates ranging from warm and tropical, to cold and mountainous. There are literally thousands of species of Bamboo, varying in several shapes and sizes, and growing to be anywhere between one foot to 100 feet tall. Bamboo grows in either a clump (clump-forming), or free standing (running) form, and is distinguished by two characteristics: the culm (hollow trunk like portion), and the rhizome (underground shoot that is root like). The rhizome grows and spreads rapidly underground, and this is where new sprouts stem from.

New growth reaches full height in 6-8 weeks and full maturity in less than 4 years. Like a network of under ground growth, all shoots are linked and help to nourish each other. Even when an individual culm ceases to grow, it maintains life simply to provide food to new shoots. Why is this a benefit? Can you imagine never having to replant to replenish, or run the risk of depleting an ecologically diverse resource? Bamboo is self sufficient, reproduces independently, and offers ecological diversity as a sustainable resource.

You definitely want to ask : Could the bamboo be used as a building material in construction ?

It belongs to grass family. Grass is so soft!!!

To tell you the truth:
In Chinese traditional construction or in furniture making, they always use bamboo-nail instead of iron nail as a bamboo-nail is not become rusty. Years pass by and the timber rots, but the bamboo-nail remains undamaged.  This is evidence that the bamboo is more durable.  In fact, the property of bamboo flooring is better than hard wood flooring. You could look at the following scientific chart and data.

It is 38% harder than red oak, 13% harder than maple, and has also been determined to be 50% more stable, with less contracting and expanding than Northern Red Oak.

Chart II. Mao bamboo age and intensities

Mech.
Intensity

Seed-
ling

1
yearold

2
yearsold

3
yearsold

4
yearsold

5
yearsold

6
yearsold

7 yearsold

8 yearsold

Length
Intensity

135.35

174.76

195.55

186.10

184.83

180.64

192.40

214.93

Condense
Intensity

18.48

49.05

60.61

65.38

69.51

67.53

69.51

67.45

75.51

 

 

 

 

The Real Renewable Resource

Bamboo has been around for 200 million years and has proven to be a survivor in even the harshest of conditions. Following the atomic blast at Hiroshima in 1945, a grove at ground zero lived, and grew new Bamboo shoots within days. It was also reported in Japan that one species of Bamboo had grown 47.6 inches in a 24 hour period. These amazing growth figures make Bamboo the fastest growing plant on earth. To this day, these events are viewed by many as a natural phenomenon and a testament of Bamboo’s will to live. In addition, unlike traditional hardwoods, which are harvested every 40-60 years, Bamboo can be harvested every 3 to 5 years. Bamboo has been a fabric of life in many parts of the world. It is recognized as a food, building material, and has proven to be an important resource for filtering air and cleaning wastewater.

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2 Comments
  1. All the above and much more. Bamboo is the least used & the most misused material in the world.

    In the current global warming scenario this material has to & will eventually have to be taken seriously by inventors, designers, architects, artists & users too, because the options for a sustainable living is very less, I suppose & not taken seriously neither.

    But it will be a while till it gets into the main stream lives of common people before that the intellectuals have to accept it for daily use. Provided functional & aesthetically refined products are churned out for the markets.

    • Thank you for your valuable comments. We, at Greenearth Culture, are committed to changing the way bamboo products are manufactured. With design intervention and treating of bamboo with natural dyes we have developed handwoven bamboo veneer which are ready to change the mindset about bamboo.

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