All about bamboo on World Bamboo Day

In celebration of this incredible, sustainable, durable, and versatile material, today we discuss all you need to know about bamboo on World Bamboo Day!

A type of grass rather than wood, the species bamboo includes some of the fastest growing plants in the world. Certain species of bamboo can grow 910 mm (36 inch) in a 24 hour period! Other than trees, the bamboo stalks emerge from the ground at their full diameter, varying from a few millimetres to several centimetres, depending on the species. The stalk grow to their full height in a single growing season of three to four months. While most species die near freezing temeperatures, some hardier types can survive temperatures as low as -29 degrees Celsius (-20 degrees Fahrenheit).

Bamboo’s compressive strength is higher than wood, brick, or concrete, and has a tensile strength that rivals steel. Bamboo is mainly grown in Asia, but South America is also an important source of material and knowledge.

Aside from panda food, bamboo has an incredible potential as a material, and can be used in industries ranging from architecture to fashion. Bamboo stalks can be used in construction, woven pieces can be used in interior or furniture applications, it can be laminated and used to replace hardwood, it can even be turned into fabric. Growing bamboo can help with at least 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as defined by the UN, like the construction of sustainable cities (goal 11), responsible consumption and production (12), and climate action (13). Bamboo is a super versatile material that can help us create a more sustainable and circular society using biobased materials.

From 22 to 24 October 2019, the 6th SIBGuadua Symposium takes place in Quito, Ecuador. Hosted by the Central University of Ecuador, participants of the symposium share their knowledge about bamboo research around the themes of development, environment, habitat, and innovation. For three days, the foremost bamboo experts will give lectures, including material expert Els Zijlstra. For more information and to register for the symposium, click here.

Booming Bamboo
Can’t get enough of bamboo? The book Booming Bamboo by Dr. Pablo van der Lught and published by MaterialDistrict (formerly Materia) is the first book of its kind and explores the most innovative applications for this material, in architecture and design, but also in a multitude of other modern uses.

Abundantly illustrated, Booming Bamboo provides a comprehensive overview of the enormous potential of bamboo. It starts by introducing the hard facts regarding global problems that we are facing, such as resource scarcity and climate change. The first part of the book introduces bamboo as a fast-growing, sustainable and renewable resource and explains how bamboo can play a vital role in climate change mitigation as well as in restoring ecosystems through reforestation. The second part of the book presents the various ways in which bamboo can be transformed into many different, exciting materials and fabrics. The book concludes by showcasing the most magnificent, innovative and inspiring bamboo products and projects that have been developed to date.

For more about the book and how to buy it, click here.

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