Bamboo is not only loved by cute, cuddly panda bears, but these days it\u2019s a green material of choice among builders and homeowners alike.\r\n\r\nWhen considering green building materials, bamboo is right up there with the best of them. Stronger than steel and twice as strong as concrete, this renewable resource is home to wildlife, needs little energy for growth, prevents the erosion of soil, and also provides biomass.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBamboo has been used for centuries as a building material, and is increasing in popularity today due to the fact that it has similar properties to timber, and has great potential in terms of environmental sustainability.\r\n\r\nWhen you think of a house constructed from bamboo, you might picture a primitive-looking dwelling in a village in the middle of nowhere, however nothing could be further from the truth, as global demand for sustainable and eco-friendly building materials means that bamboo is a building material of the past, and of the future.\r\n\r\nBoth durable and light, bamboo can be used in various ways with minimal splitting. The material is easily and rapidly cultivated, and can be harvested and treated without using convoluted tools or techniques.\r\n\r\nThe material is most commonly found in Asia, parts of the Americas, and some areas of Africa, and has been used for centuries in \u2013\r\n\r\n \tMaking musical instruments\r\n \tHome d\u00e9cor\r\n \tConstruction\r\n \tFurniture\r\n \tPaper making\r\n \tTextiles\r\n \tCreating medicines\r\n \tCooking\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s important to note that although bamboo has been underused in construction in recent years, the material provides companies with a money saving, and eco-friendly incentive.\r\nBenefits of Bamboo\r\nRecently, bamboo has been used for making furniture and decorations for the home. Increasingly, however, it has begun to be used for flooring purposes, gaining popularity due to the fact that the material is both cost-effective and sustainable. It\u2019s true that laminate flooring is cheaper in price, but generally speaking, traditional hardwood flooring is more expensive than using bamboo.\r\n\r\nAnother very important benefit of bamboo is that it is naturally anti-bacterial, which is a huge plus point for people with illnesses in the family, as well as young children.\r\n\r\nBamboo is also water resistant, so is perhaps a better choice than a hardwood floor that can be water damaged or stained easily.\r\n\r\nBamboo is a very durable material too, and is easy to move and to relocate to another home or room, if the need arises.\r\nHarvesting Bamboo\r\nBamboo is abundantly grown throughout the world, and its harvesting is sustainable for the planet. In fact, bamboo grows some places in such abundance that landowners can\u2019t keep up with harvesting the plant. What might be surprising to some, Bamboo is a member of the grass family.\r\n\r\nAs bamboo is so sustainable, it offers a real and eco-friendly alternative to some of the rarer hardwoods that are available. As well as making your home look beautiful, you can be assured that by using bamboo, you\u2019re also helping the planet.\r\n\r\nBamboo is fast growing. It can take about three years to get firmly established, and new \u201cshoots\u201d typically emerge every spring. Bamboo grows up to five feet per year on average, and it takes anywhere from about four years to 15 years, depending on the species, for the bamboo to reach its maximum size and potential. The growth rate is also dependent on climate and soil condition. Some estimates are that there are more than 1,000 species of bamboo.\r\n\r\nIt may surprise you that it takes on average around\u00a0 25 years to replace each tree harvested for building materials, whereas bamboo will produce 12 times more green building material in that time than its wooden counterparts.\r\nThe Strength and Structure of Bamboo\r\nAs noted earlier, even though its light weight may be deceiving, bamboo is even stronger than steel. This strength derives from the fibrous inner and outer skin, that is high in silica content. In addition to this, the skin of the plant is also waterproof, so it\u2019s well protected from water, animal, and insect damage.\r\n\r\nWhen you look at bamboo, you\u2019ll see that it is basically just like a tube that has reinforced joints. Due to its naturally tubular design, the material is light in weight, and is actually protected against breaking or bending, in a much better way than a steel rod. Add this to the fact that bamboo doesn\u2019t conduct heat and insulates very well, and it\u2019s easy to see why the material is both energy efficient and naturally cooling when used to construct buildings.\r\n\r\nA number of aspects, such as cost, availability, and functionality, need to be considered when opting to use a building material, and bamboo ticks all the boxes. In addition to all the aforementioned benefits, it is also load bearing, and can be shaped according to any requirements. In fact, bamboo can be grown in a box, giving the material a square shape that can be used for connecting items.\r\n\r\nBamboo can also be bent just after being cut, and it will still remain in shape after it has dried out. This miracle material really does do all this and more.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s important to use bamboo that\u2019s the right age and species when using the plant for construction, and it should always be correctly treated and cured when it\u2019s being prepared for use in permanent constructions. It should be treated for rot and deterring insects, for example.\r\nWhat Can Bamboo be Used for in Construction?\r\nBamboo can be used in various ways, and is most commonly found in floor, roof, and wall trusses. It can also be utilized for scaffolding and piping, for example. Due to its exceptional strength, the material can withstand the extreme pressures put on it in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or tornado.\r\n\r\nBamboo also makes an excellent wall covering, as well as a lightweight laminate.\u00a0 Footbridges are often made out of bamboo because of its strength, durability, and ability to withstand large amounts of weight. Bamboo footbridges can be seen all over the world, and particularly in rural and remote areas.\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s also a green movement in the bereavement category, where biodegradable caskets are being made out of bamboo.\r\nWhat Can Bamboo be Used for in the Home?\r\nThe uses of bamboo in the home is practically limitless. Bamboo is popular in kitchenware: bowls and utensils are quite popular, as are napkin holders, salt and pepper shakers, and bamboo steamers.\r\n\r\nBamboo is beloved as a furniture option. Whether it\u2019s used for chairs, shelving, bed frames, chest of drawers, bars, or patio furniture, it offers a natural, contemporary look to any room.\r\n\r\nPaper products is another versatile use for bamboo products. Toilet tissue, cardboard, paper and even coffee filters are only a few of the many uses of bamboo in paper-type products.\r\n\r\nMusical instruments are also being increasingly made out of bamboo. Flutes made out of bamboo are perhaps the most common, but bamboo ukuleles and guitars are opted for by eco-friendly musicians. Speaker cabinets, drums, xylophone, and the angklung are among other options.\r\n\r\nIn terms of recreation, bamboo has made great inroads there too. Because of its unique flexibility, it is a great material for making fishing rods, particularly fly fishing rods. These days, you can find skateboards, snowboards, and surfboards manufactured out of bamboo. In fact, you can even find bamboo bicycles. The use of bamboo also extends to the artistic community, who use bamboo in their drawing, painting, writing, and sculpting.\r\nBamboo\u2019s Use in Other Cultures\r\nBesides the above applications of Bamboo, it is also used for medicinal purposes in other countries. It\u2019s also used to make textiles and as a symbol in some countries.\r\nBamboo in Summary\r\nThere are many advantages of bamboo that makes it a wonderful building material, these include:\r\n\r\n \tIt\u2019s eco-friendly\r\n \tIt can be grown very rapidly, and is sustainable\r\n \tIt\u2019s very versatile, and can be used for walls, piping, flooring, roofing, scaffolding, and concrete reinforcement\r\n \tIt\u2019s shock absorbent\r\n \tIt can be grown into specific shapes\r\n \tIt can withstand hurricane-level winds\r\n \tIt\u2019s long-lasting, like wood, when treated and maintained properly\r\n \tIt\u2019s very lightweight, and can be transported with ease\r\n \tIt\u2019s cheap to transport\r\n \tIt's relatively inexpensive\r\n \tHomes constructed from bamboo don\u2019t require any other reinforcement, such as from steel or concrete\r\n \tIt\u2019s universal and has a wide myriad of applications\r\n\r\nThere are also a few drawbacks to using bamboo in construction, for example \u2013\r\n\r\n \tNot every type of bamboo can be utilized in construction\r\n \tWet bamboo will in time deteriorate\r\n\r\nEverything considered, the eco-friendly and sustainable aspects of bamboo make it a very viable building material. The handful of drawbacks associated with bamboo can be overcome via the right research and application, therefore the use of bamboo in construction and as a choice for many home improvement and recreational options should be encouraged in order to make our world greener.\r\n\r\nThe list of bamboo-related products and uses continues to grow as we become more aware of its benefits, uses, and beauty. It\u2019s a versatile material that has yet to see all of its environmentally-friendly and effective applications.\r\nLink to Us!\r\nIf you found this article useful and shareable, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog: Learn More About Going Green at the <a href"https:\/\/www.plushbeds.com\/blog\/green\/bamboo-green-material-spotlight\/">PlushBeds Green Living Blog<\/a>.