Bamboo, a future star of sustainable development?
Bamboo construction has been on the rise in recent years, fueled by the chain of global laws in favor of sustainable development. If for the moment in Europe bamboo is not sufficient in itself to build habitats, the strips, powders and other fibers obtained from this universal plant offer remarkable advantages but yet still largely under-used.
Bamboo is often referred to as an "eco-material", like wood, straw, flax or hemp. The term "ecomaterial", one of the many neologisms resulting from the new wave of sustainable development, still defies any official definition on the part of the French Academy. For the moment, these are unofficially natural materials combining economic and environmental advantages, often marked by a low carbon footprint, in particular with limited emissions of greenhouse gases.
Ultra-economical, and a carbon footprint defying competition
Sustainable development often seems to bring revolutionary winds of innovation in construction, but, more often than not, only takes up ancestral methods and techniques. And bamboo is no exception to the rule. Used for hundreds of years mainly in Asia, bamboo today serves as a complete or partial habitat for a billion people.
Its strengths are many and varied: very fast growing and ultra-light, bamboo requires ten times less energy in construction than concrete. Extremely strong (27% more resistant than oak), bamboo does not rot, insulates remarkably, and is also completely recyclable. It is also well known for its “green pump” properties, trapping CO2 and releasing large amounts of oxygen.