Updated: Apr 16
During the 2008 Sichuan (China) earthquake, many bamboo houses for the victims were promptly erected. Bamboo is known as the "green steel" is the material toughness, durable than oak but lighter than concrete and steel. With high aesthetics, the friendly environment is making the "Green Revolution” in the construction industry thanks to modern technology.
Bamboo is a "green" material in construction industry
In Bali (Indonesia), Ms. Linda Garland is also known as "the queen of bamboo". Her farm grows up to 200 species of bamboo (out of about 1,500 species in the world), from which she made beds, chairs, wardrobes, tables, etc. Her farm had built a massive black bamboo house for Rob Cohen – a Hollywood famous director.
Ms. Linda said that bamboo constructions are more resistant to earthquakes up to 5 Richter, even hurricanes, than other structures.
In 2000, an 1,800 square meter building built by the famous Colombian architect Simon Velez with 4,000 giant bamboos on display at the Hanover Exhibition helped Westerners "rediscover" the bamboo. This building meets all of the strict European housing standards.
Colombia is considered a pioneer in using bamboo as a building material for modern buildings with talented architects such as Oscar Hidalgo Lopez, Marcelo Villegas, or Simon Velez. In the US, architect Barrel DeBoer used bamboo to build university buildings and wrote a book about how bamboo used.
Bamboo-Technologies Company, based in Hawaii, has been certified by the US Government for the Bambusa stenotic bamboo species to build more than 50 houses in Hawaii and California, soon to be built in other US and European regions.
Construction of bamboo with new technology
In the Asia-Pacific region, bamboo is often linked together by ties in traditional construction. But due to the impact of weather, the ties can be damaged. Now with new modern technology, using screws in the coupling, the bamboo architecture industry has a leap.
We can link many bamboo trunks together, making significant and solid constructions. In this way, Simon Velez has built a 130-room eco-hotel in China, after massive works such as bridges, stadiums, markets, factories in Colombia. "Bamboo is better than steel," he said. "It's less heavy." Simon has always been interested in wood. But he eventually discovered that guadua, the most prominent bamboo in the Americas, and grass in this native region, the stronger it bends. Its density to weight and resistance is unrivaled. Nor can any plant species in nature grow so fast, producing as many as one meter in a day. So, it is a continuous harvest. "Bamboo is not a tree," said Vélez. "It is timber grass. When you cut the bamboo, you don't kill the tree. "
As the forest becomes more and more depleted, bamboo becomes more and more critical. "It is a tree that can be used in a multitude of things," - said the representative of the European organization of bamboo and rattan INBAR (under the UN and Europe). INBAR has a project to build prefabricated bamboo houses, suitable for the European climate, costing about 100 euros/m2. Such houses are also very suitable for poor or developing countries where bamboo grows a lot.
All houses sold by Bamboo-Technologies are prefabricated in Vietnam in assembled form. Long-distance transport also generates a lot of emissions. The productivity of a bamboo forest is 25 times that of conventional wood. Each year, one hectare produces 22-44 tons of bamboo. Only 3-5 years after planting, bamboo can be harvested without needing to plant new because it grows again continuously.
Bamboo also keeps the soil from being eroded, absorbing four times more CO2 than a new forest produces 35% more oxygen than other plants.