Bamboo is one of the world’s oldest construction materials. In the United States, the word bamboo brings to mind images of tiki huts and rainforest life, but in actuality, bamboo is an incredibly strong, practical, and green building material that is taking the modern world by storm, especially in the world of building materials. Domestically, bamboo is being used for all sorts of purposes like as a wood substitute for flooring and interior doors. Here is a little more about this miracle plant and how it is changing the face of construction and home renovation products like floors and interior doors.

Bamboo: What is it Exactly?

-Something that many don’t realize, is that bamboo is a type of grass, not wood.

-It has an extensive underground root system that is constantly growing underground. The plant replenishes itself naturally.

-Bamboo stalks release 35% more oxygen than trees of the same size.

-Some of the larger bamboo stalks can sequester up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide per 2.5 acres, from the air.

-It has been said that bamboo can lower light intensity and protect against ultraviolet rays.

Why Use Bamboo?

-Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials out there today. It’s tensile strength is 28,000 pounds per square inch, versus steel’s 23,000 pounds per square inch.

-Bamboo is a high-yield, renewable resource.

-Bamboo is affordable, easy, and profitable for low income communities to grow and utilize. For countries that are stuggling to move away from polluting industries, growing bamboo is an option for them to improve things economically and environmentally.

-In Costa Rica, 1000 houses of bamboo are built annually with material from a 148 acre bamboo plantation. If timber was used for the same project, it would require 1235 acres, most of which are vulnerable tropical rainforests.

-Bamboo plants have a 10-30 percent increase in biomass, whereas trees have a 2-5 percent increase in biomass.

Bamboo In Home Construction Projects:

-Bamboo as a plywood substitute is an attractive and sturdy option for homeowners.

-Interior doors made from bamboo are exceptionally sound proof and strong. Bamboo is 16 percent harder than maple and 1/3 lighter than Oak, which gives it a lifespan that is 3 times longer than the traditional wood used for these building materials.

-In a small Costa Rican town called Limon, the only houses that remained after a violent earthquake in 1992, were the bamboo houses. It has been said this is due to the plants flexibility and lightness that allows it bounce in an earthquake, instead of collapsing.

-Bamboo is moisture resistant, termite proof and needs no chemical treatments–something any homeowner could appreciate. In its natural setting, bamboo tolerates 30-250 inches of rainfall per year!

All in all, bamboo is the wave of the future. If you’re interested in incorporating bamboo products in your home, whether it’s through bamboo floors, or bamboo interior doors, you can be sure that you’re making a smart, eco-friendly investment.

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