Last months plant was Wheat Grass this months miracle plant to save the earth is Bamboo!
So I’m currently constructing a low cost, low weight, highly efficient bamboo yurt (similar to the one shown). Incidentally, I have grown to love this incredible and lovely sounding plant called bamboo, which incidently is also native to every continent but Europe and Antarctica.
I just thought I would give you a little primer about the state of bamboo construction today, the newest developments, and it’s incredible aesthetics.
Some quick facts:
Strength and Durability
Bamboo is a fascinating material due to its incredible strength, regenerative properties, and its natural aesthetic beauty. In structural engineering tests, bamboo has a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel, and a higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete. It even has a higher strength to weight ratio than graphite.
Bamboo has been used as the standard building material for the majority of the world for thousands of years. There are many examples of buildings constructed entirely of bamboo, which are now several hundred years old. Due to their strength, these structures have even withstood 9.0 magnitude earthquakes.
Typically trees such as the ones used in conventional wood fencing take 30-50 years to regenerate to their full mass. In the meantime, there is less oxygen produced, less carbon dioxide consumed, and more soil runoff in the spot where that tree was harvested – all producing negative environmental effects.
On the other hand, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth. Some species have actually been measured to grow over 4 feet in 24 hours. A pole of bamboo can regenerate to its full mass in just six months! Bamboo can be continuously re-harvested every 3 years, without causing damage to the plant system and surrounding environment. During the time it takes to regenerate, the bamboo plant’s root system stays intact so erosion is prevented. Continuous harvesting of this woody grass every 3-7 years, actually improves the overall health of the plant.
It is believed that if bamboo were planted on a mass basis it could completely reverse the effects of global warming in just 6 years, and provide a renewable source of food, building material, and erosion prevention.
The key to making bamboo a viable building structure that could eliminate the need for input intensive steel and concrete buildings is joiners. Innovations in bamboo joint technology will allow for the realization of hybrid buildings that have steel vertical supports with all floor and roof suspended by bamboo!!
Here are two examples of the latest technology:
Be sure to read about Glubam compostite beams another wonderful innovation that is set to make the sustainable bamboo market explode in the near future Bamboo resins and composites are also growing in demand and if all this isn’t exciting enough then just look at this bike by Calfee Designs! Damn!! I want to ride.
Here are some great links for you to explore: