A Bamboo Project – The Bamboo Industry in the U.S.


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Bamboo has been deemed the new “wonder plant” and with good reason. Bamboo impacts the lives of over 1.5 billion people worldwide, has over 1500 uses that we know about now, is highly sustainable, sequesters up to 40% more Co2 than a forest of trees the same size, and is stronger than steel. 

Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world, capable of growing up to four feet a day. Most of it is grown organically, and in most locations requires no irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizers. Because of its fast growth, good mechanical properties, low price and abundant availability, bamboo is widely recognized as a promising resource for sustainable manufacturing.

An acre of bamboo can sequester 25 tons of carbon dioxide per year, compared to only 6 tons from a young forest. Bamboo is so effective in this role that Japan and the Netherlands are planting vast tracts of bamboo toward their carbon credit. Much of America’s lands are suitable for growing bamboo. After being imported as early as 1828 into the United States, bamboo grows wildly mostly concentrated in the Southern U.S. and Eastern seaboard. There are additional successful farms as far north as Ohio, Oregon and Washington.

Additional benefits of bamboo:

  • Bamboo requires only one third of the water than cotton does. There is much less carbon associated with growing bamboo such as operating tractors in harvesting and maintenance than cotton.
  • Bamboo is stronger than steel and more durable than wood. (withstands up to 52,000 Pounds of pressure psi) It can be used as a composite, structural beams, flooring, scaffolding, supports, housing, and concrete reinforcement.
  • Bamboo is flexible. It can be used in virtually any application such as bike frames, domes, and other products.
  • Bamboo filters soil of contaminants and prevents soil erosion.
  • This plant has a use in every industry.

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The need for a bamboo industry in the United States.

Provided all legislation and forecasts stay on course during this election a perfect storm is brewing for the entrance of bamboo as a mainstream crop.

Read more about the effects the bamboo industry will have on the political, environmental, and industrial sectors of the U.S. here.

(Above is an excerpt of an article by Eric Stevens. NOT AFFILIATED IN ANY MANNER WITH LAMBOO)

                                                                                                                                                                                                

Mr. Stevens is a prime example of the growing number of innovative leaders and advocates that are taking strong stands on environmental and societal issues. The fact of the matter is that with our rapidly growing society, the traditional way of building and supporting our society is unsustainable and drastic measures must be taken, and sooner rather than later. With the forests and non-renewable resources quickly depleting, our leaders will eventually be forced to look at alternative options. Advocates like Stevens are creating a great framework for this radical political and social shift by promoting the use of bamboo in the U.S. and internationally. Although bamboo will not solve all environmental issues, it can play a major role in the global struggle and movement towards sustainable living that upcoming decades will undoubtedly bring.

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Lamboo is playing a large part in the use of bamboo materials in the U.S. through our Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB) panels in nearly every industry and market. Our materials are being incorporated all across the U.S. (and internationally) for architectural applications including residential, industrial, commercial, and retail markets. Learn more about our products at the links provided below.

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Bamboo As A Carbon Offset: INBAR Does The Math


b2ap3_thumbnail_inbar-international-network-for-bamboo-rattan-logoCarbon credits are certificates that represent a reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These reductions are accomplished by projects designed to prevent the generation of greenhouse gases: they range from windmill farms to geothermal energy projects to biomass alternative energy initiatives to reforestation.

INBAR has taken the reforestation project and put their own bamboo spin on it for Chinese companies. Carbon credits in the form of bamboo plantation investments are now available for companies.

With so many options available, with so many projects, with traditional hardwood forestry as an option, why invest in bamboo?

  • It grows up to four feet per day so it can be harvested every 4-5 years as opposed to the 25-70 years it can take for traditional hardwoods to mature.
  • It removes CO2 from the air and produces over 30% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of hardwood trees.
  • Below the ground, bamboo’s roots help prevent soil erosion.
  • Bamboo improves soil quality. The roots remove excess nitrogen and because the plant grows readily with no use of pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides, there is no ground pollution involved.
  • Environmentalists are researching bamboo’s apparent ability to soak up excess nutrients in waste water as an answer to waste issues.

With all these environmentally-friendly qualities, what has kept bamboo off the carbon offset table?

Very simply, a lack of math. Because bamboo plants have very different growth characteristics than trees, different mechanisms were needed to measure their carbon outputs. And before now, there was no way to determine how much carbon a bamboo plant can convert.

Thanks to INBAR, the China Green Carbon Foundation and the Zhejiang Agriculture, a methodology now exists that can calculate the amount of carbon available in the massive bamboo plantations in China. (Well, they actually only account for 2.8% of China’s total forest area but considering the land mass of China, that is a significant chunk.)

“This is a really big breakthrough,” said Yannick Kuehl, a climate change expert at INBAR who helped develop the technique. “This means that now bamboo is recognized as carbon offset, and as a tool for climate change mitigation measures.”

According to Kuehl, more than 10 Chinese companies have pre-ordered carbon credits and the money they pay will go towards planting new bamboo forests in China. In a country plagued with environmental issues, utilizing the sustainable bamboo plant is a positive step.

(Excerpt of article from Green Earth News. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Possible LEED Credits 

  • MR Credit 6 – Rapidly renewable materials
  • b2ap3_thumbnail_bamboo-forest_20130626-193234_1IEQ Credit 4.4 – Low-emitting materials
  • ID Credit 1 – Innovation in Design (Environmentally Preferable Material)
  • ID Credit 2 – Innovation in Design (Life Cycle Assessment / Environmental Impact)
  • FSC Certification – Available Upon Request

Learn more about Lamboo

Applicable LEED Points