The Benefits of Building with Bamboo
In a world that is becoming increasingly more environmentally conscious, architects and designers have begun experimenting with bamboo as a building material. This article highlights all the benefits of using bamboo and some successful projects that showcase the use of bamboo.
Similar to wood, bamboo is best preserved if not in direct contact with soil. This is why you'll traditionally see bamboo built on a platform since the concrete will protect the bamboo from rotting or being infested with bugs. In the image above, you can see the Ibuku Green School which is constructed almost exclusively of bamboo - even the furniture inside is made with bamboo.
One of the greatest advantages to building with bamboo is that it is considered an environmentally friendly material that does not create conventional building waste. If there is any piece of bamboo unused, it can either by recycled as fertilizer or processed as bamboo charcoal.
Another benefit of using bamboo is that it is durable, easy to cut, handle, repair, manipulate, and maintain. Shown above is Marco Casagrande's "Cicada" pavilion that allows visitors to escape from the city into a pod that brings sustainability and greeness to their visit.
Along with the list of benefits of bamboo is the fact that the material is lightweight which makes it easy to handle, transport and store.
Despite the material being lightweight, it offers superior earthquake and cyclone resistance. In the video above, you can see bamboo undergoing multiple simulations that demonstrate the strength of the material.
While houses built entirely of bamboo aren't common, there has been an increase in the use of bamboo as an accent for homes. This is because the natural surface of the bamboo has an attractive colour that does not require painting, scraping, or polishing.
An additional advantage of building with bamboo is that it is versatile material that can be used in combination with other types of construction materials.
Unlike other materials, bamboo regenerates quickly (at a growth rate reaching 100cm in a 24-hr period) and it can be harvested every three to six years for construction purposes. This makes it not only an easily renewable resource but also inferior to wood which takes approximately 25 to 50 years for the trees to grow.
Sources: Guadua Bamboo