Bamboo Sustainability and Material Research…

In The Guardian’s; Pandering to the green consumer’ article, these positive points are made with regards to the growing of bamboo:

Bamboo is frequently proclaimed as the world’s most renewable material: it’s naturally pest-resistant, grows incredibly fast and can actually help rebuild eroded soil. It takes just three or four years to go from seed to harvest and because the root network is so big, you don’t even need to replant – it just shoots right back up again. Bamboo, therefore, can be grown without any chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

However, there are a number of negatives too:

China is still the only country that grows bamboo on a commercial scale, and as it becomes an increasingly lucrative cash crop, farmers are starting to grow it as a mono-crop. That in itself reduces biodiversity and can lead to an increase in pests. This in turn means pesticide use becomes necessary. There’s also some evidence that farmers are using chemical fertilisers to increase their yields. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t: there are no set standards or environmental guidelines in China for the growing of bamboo and clearly their concern is to get as large a crop as possible for their money. Unfortunately, though, this has an environmental cost.

For bamboo to be a completely sustainable and green material, we must globally consider how we support the correct bamboo producers, who are producing bamboo in the most ethical and sustainable ways. In an ideal world it would be beneficial for there to be legislation in place, to prevent over farming, damage to natural woodland, and make a truly sustainable sources. More positives are highlighted on http://www.bamboobotanicals.ca/html/about-bamboo/bamboo-facts.html

Bamboos Versatility In Building Material – The tensile strength of bamboo is one of mother nature’s most intriguing phenomenon’s. Tensile strength of steel is 24,000 PSI. Tensile strength of bamboo … 28,000 PSI (yes, you are reading that correct!). Bamboo is intrinsically strong in its molecular structure and has been used as a standard building material for the majority of the world for thousands of years. Bamboo can replace the use of wood for any application from hardwood floors, furniture, utensils, bike frames, phone cases to almost anything imaginable. Bamboo Is Anti-Bacterial – Bamboo contains a natural bio-agent known as Bamboo Kun. Bamboo Kun is naturally anti-bacterial. It is so effective that it eliminates and prevents over 70% of bacteria that attempt to grow on it, whether this be in its natural or fabric form. Bamboo does not require any pesticides or chemical fertilizers for healthy growth. It is seldom eaten by pests or infected with pathogens as a result of the Bamboo Kun.

Plyboo‘ provides Bamboo Plywood panels which are eco friendly and can be machined in the same way as other plywoods. I believe this material would be suitable for the manufacture of my design:

Soybond manufactured without added formaldehyde, Plyboo flat grain bamboo products are FSC® 100% Certified. All Plyboo bamboo veneers and bamboo plywood are unfinished. The colour options include Amber and Natural. LEED credits are applicable.

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