Research suggests a wooden future for skyscrapers


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Skyscrapers dominate the skylines of our major cities, offering more urban density and greater flexibility than smaller buildings. However, concrete- and steel-based tall structures require huge amounts of energy for their construction, which comes at a significant environmental cost. This can be mitigated by incorporating technologies such as solar power, passive cooling systems and efficient lighting into the design, but what if we could go even further and build skyscrapers using sustainable materials? Herein lies the impetus behind recent research into the efficacy of wooden skyscrapers.

Before considering the technical hurdles of constructing tall buildings from wood, perhaps the first question which should be asked is: what are the specific benefits wood can offer over concrete and steel?

Sustainability

The single most compelling argument in favor of building wooden skyscrapers is the fact that, providing the timber is sourced responsibly, they represent an opportunity to create a sustainable building on a truly grand scale, cutting down on overall CO2 output as a result.

As a recent lengthy report on the subject by Michael Green Architects (MGA) entitled “Tall Wood” [PDF] asserts:

“Over the last twenty years, as the world’s understanding of anthropogenic climate change has evolved, we have seen the large impact that buildings contribute to the greenhouse gases causing climate change. Concrete production represents roughly 5 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions, the dominant greenhouse gas. In essence the production and transportation of concrete represents more than 5 times the carbon footprint of the airline industry as a whole. It is clear that the very fundamentals of what materials we build our buildings with are worth re-evaluating.”

The “Timber Towers” [PDF] report produced by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) cites the potential to compete with reinforced concrete and steel, while reducing the carbon footprint by 60 to 75 percent.

Structural Strength

To cope with the heavy load, stresses, and vibrations a skyscraper undergoes daily, it needs to be built from material far more durable than normal timber. The SOM and MGA reports both agree that the solution to constructing tall buildings from wood rests on the use of “Mass Timber.”

SOM’s report defines Mass Timber as solid panels of wood, engineered for greater strength through the lamination of different layers.

SOM’s researchers prefer to add concrete connecting joints when building with Mass Timber, while MGA utilizes steel to reinforce the mass timber panels. Whichever reinforcing method is chosen, the result is a very tough building material which is worlds away from the timber framing used to build many homes, and suitable for tall buildings up to 30 stories in height, even in high seismic areas like Vancouver.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by Adam Williams. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Lamboo, Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB), is unmatched in its potential as an environmentally friendly and structurally stable building material. Bamboo can be produced on a large scale with much more ease than timber forests cutting costs and limiting energy consumption. Testing and predictions from experts has led to Bamboo being referred to as “the next super material” due to its amazing attributes and resiliency.

In its engineered form (Lamboo) bamboo is the ideal bio-based product for applications requiring superior structural strength and longevity. In fact, Lamboo components are on average 20% more stable than hardwoods and up to 40% more stable than softwoods such as Pine or Douglas Fir.

Lamboo’s popularity as a sustainable, higher performing product is growing; we encourage you to learn more from the links below and to contact us with any questions that should arise.

About Bamboo as a resource

– Produces 30% more oxygen in comparison to similar size timber forest area

– Sequesters 35% more carbon in comparison to similar size timber forest area

– Growth rate of 6-8 years to maturity (In comparison to 25-50 for traditional timber)

– Root structure eliminates need to replant

Learn more about Lamboo

What is Lamboo?

Certifications

Product Information

Research

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What Can Bamboo Do About CO2?


Efforts to thoroughly study the role that plants play in climate change mitigation are increasing. Most researchers focus on the promise of large, leafy forest trees to help remove carbon from the atmosphere. This is because, generally speaking, the bigger the plant, the more CO2 it absorbs – and trees are the most obvious large plant species. However, there are some very large non-tree plants in the world and increasing evidence points to a surprising grassy climate change warrior: bamboo.

One species of bamboo, the Guadua Angustifolia, found in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia, has been shown to grow up to 25 meters in height and 22 centimeters in diameter, with each plant weighing up to 100 kilograms. This doesn’t match the stature of many trees, but it is still big enough to be significant. It is not all about size, however. How fast a plant grows has a part in determining how much CO2 it can absorb in a given time. In this respect, bamboo wins hands-down: it grows faster than many trees, growing up to 1.2 meters per day. In fact, bamboo holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest growing plant.

Bamboo’s other advantage is that it has great strength and flexibility, making it an ideal low-cost building material in many parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, areas where it is native. This means that bamboo in a plantation can regularly be chopped down and used to build houses and other structures, where the carbon remains sequestered for an average of 80 years, and that the plantation will recover quickly due to the fast growth rate. Because of this, the World Bank recently financed a project in Ecuador proposed by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), an intergovernmental organization dedicated to improving the livelihoods of the poor producers and users of bamboo and rattan. The project is called ‘Elevated bamboo houses to protect communities in flood zones’ and has so far succeeded in developing and implementing techniques to construct ecological flood-resistant housing for low-income families using a type of bamboo that is native to Ecuador.

(READ FULL STORY)

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Evolving Building Codes: Wood Revolution


Pushing the boundaries of innovative wood design and construction

There is a quiet revolution taking place within the design community. After a prolonged emphasis on concrete and steel for buildings other than homes, design professionals are using wood to great effect in a growing number of non-residential and multi-family building types—in applications that range from traditional to innovative, even iconic. Some are driven by wood’s cost effectiveness while others cite its versatility or low carbon footprint, but their collective path has been made possible by building codes that increasingly recognize wood’s structural and performance capabilities, and the continued evolution of wood building systems and techniques.

When the International Building Code (IBC) was introduced in 2000, it consolidated three regional model building codes into one uniform code that has since been adopted by most jurisdictions. It increased the possibilities for wood construction by (among other things) recognizing additional fire protection techniques, consolidating the maximum allowable areas and heights from the three legacy codes into one (thus increasing what’s allowable in some jurisdictions), and allowing the use of wood in a wider range of building types. In subsequent versions of the IBC, even more opportunities have been created where additional fire protection features are used.

Even so, the pioneering nature of building design is such that there are always architects and engineers seeking to push beyond the conventional, and it is common for project teams to require—and be granted—variances for designs not covered in the code that can nonetheless be justified on a case-by-case basis.

Wood-construction

This CEU will examine the use of wood both within the current IBC and through building projects that have further pushed the boundaries of wood design and construction.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by Continuing Education Center. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Lamboo Logo WASHOUTTimber is increasingly being recognized for its potential as a sustainable building material in an era where designers are looking for alternatives to the non-renewable resources traditionally used. We must start using options that we can replenished over time rather than using a finite resource; however, effective in terms of application and cost it ultimately may be. Many species of timber have attributes that make it ideal for construction and even though it is renewable many of these species take 25-50 years to reach maturity and require expensive and damaging replanting, threatening many weakened ecosystems. Due to these concerns, Bamboo is being used in many applications where timber has in the past providing remarkable strength, performance, and stability far exceeding any other natural materials (in addition to having a growth rate of 6-8 years). Testing and forecasting by experts has led to the coining of the term “the next super material” due to Bamboo’s amazing attributes and resiliency.

As the world leader in the industrialization of bamboo, Lamboo is striving to make this prediction a reality by manufacturing the world’s first certified structural grade bamboo component, laminated veneer bamboo (LVB). Through species selection, patented adhesives, and manufacturing processes Lamboo is able to create bamboo panels and components that far exceed wood’s performance in nearly every aspect.

For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our website
at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated
Blog by: Dustin Dennison

The Evolution of Green Construction


The homes we live in create a huge carbon debt before the proud new owners ever cross the threshold. But even worse is the fact that they are built in such a way that they will continue to do harm once they are inhabited, thanks to inadequate insulation that leaves homeowners cranking the heat and AC, not to mention a complete lack of sustainable energy options. Luckily, there is a bright spot on the horizon, and it comes in the form of green construction.

The average construction site could be described as less than eco-friendly, to put it mildly. The materials used for such projects often include natural resources like wood and stone that are not harvested in a sustainable manner. Both logging and mining operations are notorious for damaging the environment through their efforts and doing very little to clean up afterwards. Further, these materials are frequently shipped all over the globe, creating massive amounts of pollution along every step of the way, not to mention the manufacturing processes, which produce even more pollution and waste.

And then, of course, there is the construction itself, which continues this assault on the environment. In short, the homes we live in create a huge carbon debt before the proud new owners ever cross the threshold. But even worse is the fact that they are built in such a way that they will continue to do harm once they are inhabited, thanks to inadequate insulation that leaves homeowners cranking the heat and AC, not to mention a complete lack of sustainable energy options. Luckily, there is a bright spot on the horizon, and it comes in the form of green construction.

Over the last several years, a rapidly growing awareness of serious environmental issues (pollution, deforestation, global warming, habitat loss, species extinction, etc.) has led the public to call for alternatives to the products and services they use on a daily basis. And since many consumers start in the home, the demand for green options on this front has grown considerably. In response, the construction industry has begun to realize a shift in practices, not as a whole, but at least in part, with companies springing up that provide eco-friendly options in the building process.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by EcoCltr.)

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Environmental concerns have initiated efforts by organizations of all kinds from the private or public sector as well as government bodies to develop renewable practices and materials to replace declining or unsustainable resources. Bamboo as a resource is unmatched in its potential as an environmentally friendly, structurally stable building material. Bamboo produces 30% more oxygen and sequesters 35% more carbon than a like sized timber forest area. With a growth rate of 6-8 years to maturity (compared to timber 25-50) and root structure that eliminates the need for replanting bamboo can be produced on a large scale with much more ease than timber forests cutting costs and limiting energy consumption. Lamboo’s LVB (Laminated Veneer Bamboo) also represents one of the highest performing building materials available to the industry. Learn more about Lamboo’s attributes here.

For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our website
at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated
Blog by: Dustin Dennison

 

Sustainable Business and Green Building Projects


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an effort to protect the environment, many companies have begun developing sustainable business practices.  By implementing green and sustainable practices, many have found that they can make choices that help the planet as well as their profits. Sustainable business is a relatively new concept for many companies, but it has grown in popularity and use over the past decade and considerable advances are expected for the future.

Sustainable business requirements

Not just any company that chooses to recycle is meeting sustainable business standards. There are certain requirements that must be met in order for a company to be considered part of the green business world.  These include:

  • The business must be considered more environmentally friendly than traditional businesses
  • Sustainability is at the forefront of business decision making
  • An observable commitment to green practices has been implemented across the board
  • Services and products offered from the business are environmentally friendly or meet the public demand for sustainable products.

Because green practices, standards, and demands are always changing, it is important for businesses that employ efforts to stay green to keep up with changing technology.

One area that has been growing even more than others is green building and construction. In many instances, by creating homes, offices, and public buildings that are environmentally friendly, the costs of operating said buildings can be extremely low, and many companies are moving to this form of building.

Green building standards

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is the government organization in charge of overseeing the green design and function of buildings across America. By constructing buildings with efficient and supportive designs, the USGBC believes that they can help minimize the energy crisis and create jobs.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) concept has changed several aspects of the way green construction and sustainable business practices are run. This international standard is offered as a reward to the building owners who operate their companies within certain standards of excellence in this field. With LEED in mind, many property owners are able to implement sustainable business practices, green construction, efficient building design, and maintain daily operations in an environmentally friendly manner.

Similarly, the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) is available to help improve environmental awareness within industry, government projects, and business ventures. This non-profit organization is part of a worldwide group of councils that are partnered with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.  These organizations work across the globe to promote sustainable business initiatives on a worldwide scale, but their impact can be felt locally.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by the Triple Pundit. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Traditionally, building practices have focused on large scale, low cost production with little regard as to how this could be maintained in the future. This lead to many natural resources becoming strained due to over use and mismanagement. In an era of rising populations and demand for the buildings and structures to support it there becomes the need for not only more efficient building practices but also materials sustainable enough to provide a long term solution. With a maturity rate of 6-8 years (versus 25-50 with timber) Bamboo is just the resource the industry has been searching for. Bamboo is a remarkably strong plant that is not only able to rapidly replenish but also regrows without planting, saving an enormous cost associated with timber in terms of capital and energy.

Additionally, incorporating Lamboo (LVB) laminated veneer bamboo into projects can earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification under MR Credit 6 – Rapidly renewable materials, IEQ Credit 4.4 – Low-emitting materials; ID Credit 1 – Innovation in Design (Environmentally Preferable Material), and ID Credit 2 – Innovation in Design (Life Cycle Assessment / Environmental Impact).

*Please refer to USGBC for information regarding project requirements

For more information about the advantages of Bamboo please visit our sustainability page.

 

  For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Nigeria Can Generate 24 Million Jobs From Bamboo Production


Director of Forestry Department Ministry of Environment, Mr John Auta, has said that Nigeria can generate N28.6bn annually from bamboo production as well as create over 24 million jobs.

He said the management of bamboo forest would generate large-scale employment through harvesting, collection, transportation, storage, processing, utilization and marketing of products which would be replicated in Nigeria.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP at the weekend, he said: “The comparative advantage for Nigeria to adopt bamboo as tool for employment generation and rural development is not in doubt, because of the large pool of unemployed youths. With this, over 24 million jobs can be created and the country can get to generate N28.6bn annually too.

“The availability of indigenous bamboo species that would thrive well even in poor or degraded soil in many parts of the country is another advantage to Nigeria.”

He also advised Nigerians to commence the propagation of Bamboo to reduce overbearing demand on timber products, adding that dependence on timber had posed a serious threat to timber production.

He said the department was already reaching out to relevant bodies to achieve the goal of cultivating bamboo and other non timber products and added that the Nigerian forests were lying fallow, waiting to be explored in areas that would positively affect the people.

He said: “Nigeria is blessed with bamboo resources which grow on both private and state forest lands in all the southern rain forest states up to some derived savanna states in the North-central states of Nigeria.

“Bamboo has high potential for contributions to achieving sustainable forest management when it is optimally and efficiently utilized for producing substitutes for wood production and increases incomes for rural lively hoods,” he said.

He announced that Nigeria became a member of the International Network for Bamboo and rattan (INBAR) to actualize the goal of achieving the bamboo production in the country.

According to him, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) had undertaken a project formulation mission for the development of project proposal on bamboo and rattan processing in Nigeria.

He said the purpose of the project was to promote the development of bamboo and rattan value chain in West Africa.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by Leadership. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Environmental and social concerns have initiated international efforts to search for and create sustainable methods in our society. With declining resources and increasing populations there is the need for new materials for building and of course more opportunities for employment. It is clear that bamboo can be that renewable resource to be used in the next era of architecture and product development. Much like all natural resources bamboo must be protected and preserved as it is the most plausible solution to replace diminishing supplies of timber. Lamboo, Inc. is working closely with both private and government agencies internationally to ensure that bamboo resources are managed properly so that this remarkable resource will be there for the future.

  For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Success at ASLA 2012 in Phoenix!


The 2012 ASLA annual meeting & expo has came to a close, but the progress made there will last for years to come. At the show more than 375 companies showcased the latest innovative landscape products and projects many of which based on sustainable practices and renewable materials. Lamboo, Inc. was among the companies represented at the show in the Phoenix Convention Center which introduced us to many like minded architects and organizations in the field.

In addition to meeting architects and manufacturers there was great interest in integrating the ultra renewable resource of bamboo in various municipalities throughout the U.S. including New York City parks. It was apparent at the show that many designers and planners are searching for a sustainable alternative to traditional materials that can also perform exceptionally well in the elements but haven’t had much success until now. Many of these individuals had heard of bamboo’s potential but were unaware of it’s availability for their applications previously.

Showcased at the booth were structural beams fabricated by G.R. Plume, curtain wall members from Dover, handrails from Gerber, as well as a trash receptacle and bench from Landmark Studio & Design. Lamboo would just like the thank these partners again for their great work and commitment to sustainability.

For additional information about the 2012 ASLA show or Lamboo materials please contact us at 866-966-2999 or info@lamboo.us

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Bamboo goes commercial


Jamaica is now set to enter bamboo production on a commercial basis, having gained entry as the 38th member to the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR).

Jamaica already produces furniture and household items from bamboo, much of which is done by informal craft traders, but the new program is meant to devise more hardy and quality products.

The plant grows prolifically throughout Jamaica.

Gladstone Rose, chairman of the Bamboo industry Advisory Committee at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), said Thursday that INBAR membership gives Jamaica access to technology transfer models and other documents that the agency can use to guide private companies to develop bamboo prototypes.

The prototypes include bamboo plywood, bamboo tiles, bamboo board, bamboo students chairs and other engineered bamboo products using the most prolific local variety of bamboo, Bambusa vulgaris.

“The team has successfully produced bamboo products prototypes but now seek venture capital to supply already identified markets locally and in the United States of America,” Rose told Sunday Business.

The BSJ work is focused initially on Glengoffe, where training sessions using the INBAR material has been under way since April. The workshops will span two years.

INBAR is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in China, comprising countries that have bamboo or rattan resources in quantities that can be commercialized.

Through its network of member countries, organizations and individuals from all continents of the world, INBAR develops and assists in the transfer of appropriate technologies and solutions to benefit the peoples of the world and their environment,” said Rose.

“Information on 122 Chinese bamboo and rattan products/process standards have been received which will help the BSJ and bamboo products producers rapidly develop Jamaican standards and ultimately create a modern standards-led bamboo products industry,” he said.

The BSJ earlier this year was designated by the Ministry of Industry Investment and Commerce to be the focal point for INBAR in Jamaica.

“The Government of Jamaica recognizes that bamboo is a valuable renewable resource which grows rapidly and therefore is a good substitute source for wood instead of timber, obtained by cutting down trees which takes on average 40 years to grow to maturity,” Rose said.

The Bamboo Industry Advisory Committee, which he heads, was set up by the BSJ to oversee the development of pilot projects, studies and product prototypes.

The committee also plans to publish its own guidance documents for use of the new bamboo industry that Jamaica expects to emerge from the INBAR project.

“Such documents will prescribe standards, policies and ethical practices for the industry,” Rose said.

The standards-led industry is to be developed over a two-year period. The project incorporates entities such as the state-run Forestry Department and the Jamaica Wood Products and Furniture Association representing private operators.

Rose said bamboo manufactured products will include school furniture, including desks and chairs, while bamboo plywood will be used to make doors, skirting and moldings.

Bamboo was first introduced in Jamaica to strengthen riverbanks. A Forestry Department count in 2000 found that the plant covered more than 44,000 hectares nationwide. Today, Rose says there are 47,000 hectares of bamboo growing wild.

Around 1999-2000, according to the Lewis-Nelson paper, the Forestry Department, backed by private sponsorship, imported and erected a “bamboo-concrete house” using material and technical resources from Costa Rica.

“It generated much interest from a wide variety of persons, groups and institutions, but has not realized the desired effect of utilizing local bamboo for low-cost housing on a large scale,” the paper said.

Market leader China has developed its bamboo industry into a US $14-billion enterprise, of which US $2-billion worth of products is exported to the West, according to Rose.

“The value of Jamaican manufacture is minuscule by comparison,” said the BSJ executive. “We are trying to create a new industry.”

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by Avia Collinder, of The Gleaner. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Lamboo is a manufacturer of laminated veneer bamboo (LVB) for structural and interior design applications. Lamboo can be utilized in a variety of products and systems from window & door units, curtain wall systems, industrial shipping containers to table tops and yacht interiors. Lamboo materials can be used as a substitute to traditional wood in nearly every application as a rapidly renewable and sustainable alternative. The strength of bamboo has lead to it being referred to as ‘vegetable steel’ with a tensile strength of 28,000 per square inch.

Bamboo has long been revered for its enormous potential as a building product but is only now starting to be fully utilized. That is something very exciting and will play a huge role in the future.

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

Powering Sustainability with the World’s First Bamboo Tender Introducing the LAMBOO Tender R1


A few weeks ago Lamboo announced the design of the world’s first tender incorporating the rapidly renewable resource of bamboo, the Lamboo® Tender R1. With the Monaco Yacht Show 2012 less than two weeks away Lamboo is providing additional details on the design for individuals involved in the maritime industry and those who will be attending the show and would like to discuss the project further.

The Lamboo® Tender R1 is a revolutionary design from Sigmund Yacht Design, a leading yacht and tender design firm which has chosen Lamboo materials not only for the sustainable attributes of bamboo but for its superior performance over traditional forms of hardwood. Also included in the design is a Steyr hybrid turbo diesel engine as well as state of the art navigation, electrical, and LED lighting systems.

“This showcase is a key example of both companies’ commitment to integration of environmentally responsible methods matched with innovative engineering of performance materials into the nautical market” said Luke Schuette, Lamboo Founder/CEO.

The construction of the R1 is being carried out by Cockwells, a pioneer within yacht and tender fabrication specializing in advanced engineering and modern construction techniques.

Executives from all three companies will be in attendance at the 2012 Monaco show and will be available for discussion on the R1 and the integration of sustainable bamboo materials within the maritime industry.

(Read full release on PRWeb)

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison

In Africa’s Vanishing Forests, the Benefits of Bamboo


In the district of Asosa, the land is thick with bamboo. People plant it and manage the forests. They rely on its soil-grabbing roots to stabilize steep slopes and riverbanks, cutting erosion. They harvest it to burn for fuel, to make into charcoal sticks to sell to city dwellers and to build furniture.

Asosa is not in China, not even in Asia. It is a district in the west of Ethiopia, on the Sudanese border. To many people, bamboo means China. But it’s not just panda food — mountain gorillas in Rwanda also live on bamboo. About 4 percent of Africa’s forest cover is bamboo.

Soon it may be much more. Bamboo may provide a solution to a very serious problem: deforestation. In sub-Saharan Africa, 70 percent of the people cook their meals over wood fires. The very poorest cut down trees for cooking fuel; those slightly less poor buy charcoal made from wood in those same forests. Every year Africa loses forest cover equal to the size of Switzerland. Terence Sunderland, a senior scientist at the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research, said that in southern Africa, even trees that can be used for fine carving, such as ebony and rosewood, are being cut down and made into charcoal.

Deforestation starts a vicious circle of drought and environmental decline. Burning wood releases the carbon stored inside. And deforestation accounts for at least a fifth of all carbon emissions globally. As tree cover vanishes, the land dries out and the soil erodes and becomes barren — a major reason for Ethiopia’s periodic famines.

Hundimo Dedere owns and manages a plantation of African highland bamboo in Southern Ethiopia that was used as a model for modern bamboo cultivation and management training.

How does bamboo improve on hardwood? Cut down a hardwood tree and it’s gone. It will take several decades for another to grow in its place; it can take a century for a forest to grow back after cutting. But bamboo is a grass, not a tree. Under the right conditions, it can grow a full meter a day — you can literally watch it grow. It is also fast maturing. A new bamboo plant is mature enough to harvest after three to six years, depending on the species. Most important, bamboo is renewable. Unlike hardwood trees, bamboo regrows after harvesting, just as grass regrows after cutting. After it is mature, bamboo can be harvested every single year for the life of the plant.

Bamboo has other advantages. Its roots grab onto soil and hold it fast. Plant bamboo on a steep slope or riverbank and it prevents mudslides and erosion. And bamboo is parsimonious with Africa’s most precious resource: water.

“In Africa you want everything,” said Dr. Chin Ong, a retired professor of environmental science at the University of Nottingham in England, who was formerly a senior scientist at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi. “You want firewood, you want to reduce erosion, to maintain the water supply, generate cash and employment. Bamboo comes the closest — it gives you the most things.”

In the last five years or so, Ong said, Ethiopia has realized that bamboo is a more profitable and greener solution. INBAR’s program is a four-year project financed by the European Commission and the Common Fund for Commodities, a United Nations organization. The technology comes from China. The project provides bamboo seedlings and trains people to manage bamboo plantations.

Because bamboo requires few nutrients, it can grow in soil inhospitable to other plants — not only does it thrive there, it can reclaim the land so other plants can thrive, too. Its roots leach heavy metals from the soil, hold the soil together and draw water closer to the surface. One example is a project in Allahabad, India, to reclaim land whose topsoil had been depleted by the brick industry. In 1996, an INBAR project planted the land with bamboo. Five years later, villagers could farm the land again. Dust storms — a local scourge — were greatly reduced. The bamboo also helped raise the water table by seven meters. In 2007, the project won the global Alcan Prize for Sustainability.

Bamboo’s tensile strength makes it a good construction material, and it is also used for furniture, flooring and textiles, among other things.

In some ways, the challenge in Africa is not to introduce bamboo, but to persuade people and governments that it has commercial uses. “We’ve taken policymakers from Africa to China and India where bamboo used in everyday life — and there’s still very poor adoption,” said Ong.

(Read More)

(Excerpt of article by Tina Rosenberg of the New York Times. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Lamboo strives to protect and promote this remarkable resource by working with various international organizations to ensure that the bamboo used in our products is sourced from responsibly managed bamboo plantations and nurseries. Additionally all bamboo used for Lamboo products come from a select list of bamboo species that is not used as a food source by wildlife. If you want to learn more about Lamboo’s commitment to sustainability, please contact us here.

For questions regarding Lamboo, our products, or to schedule an interview please
visit our website at www.lamboo.us or contact us at info@lamboo.us 866-966-2999

“MAKING INNOVATIVE THINKING A STANDARD” – Lamboo Incorporated

Blog by: Dustin Dennison