Can Bamboo Homes Help Solve the Climate Crisis?

Bamboo Living co-founder and chief architect David Sands is at the forefront of modern sustainable bamboo construction. His Hawaiian-based company specializes in creating bamboo homes.

The giant bamboos are the fastest-growing woody plant on the planet. If you go to the Guinness Book of World Records, it was nearly three feet a day that they recorded it growing. So you can end up with these plants that are 100 feet tall in just one month. By year three, you’ve got incredible building material, and that’s when it is harvested for houses.

Through photosynthesis, it’s taking that CO2 and turning it into sugars and then into actual fiber, and is a storage mechanism for the atmospheric carbon.

Normally when you harvest a tree, you kill the tree, and it’s got to start all over, but  with bamboo, every year it’s sending up new trunks, so you just harvest a percentage of those trunks and it just keeps growing. The plants can live up to 120 years.

It’s an incredibly strong material. On a weight basis, it’s actually stronger than steel, which is much, much heavier than the same cross section of bamboo. Bamboo has more than twice the strength of the wood usually used for construction, and it’s got a compressive strength similar to concrete.Bamboo buildings have gone through multiple Category 5 hurricanes, up to 200 mile-an-hour winds. They have gone through up to 6.9 on the Richter Scale of earthquakes. Because the bamboo is so much lighter weight and stronger on a weight basis, it can flex and then recover.

Bamboo Living has never been busier and they are expanding production now. Concern with the climate crisis has really gotten people’s attention, and being able to make personal choices that directly impact that is a big deal.There’s a connection to nature in terms of just knowing that the house itself is helping solve the climate crisis. But there is also the beauty of it; the shapes and forms you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do with dimensional material. All of the handcrafted joinery, beautiful radiating rafters and beams, add a level of beauty to the building that’s really special.You can read the original article at

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