"We need sustainable and recyclable solutions with which to meet increasing demand in areas such as packaging and construction.”
The Current Way to Build Causes a Lot of Emissions
In Europe, construction consumes more raw materials than any other industry – and the majority of this consumption is based on non-renewable natural resources.
“In terms of the climate, using renewable bamboo as a rawmaterial is one of the best alternatives, because its environmental impact andenergy consumption are small compared to brick, concrete, aluminium, plastic and steel.”
When measured in weight, construction’s share of the consumption of non-renewable natural resources is as high as 50 per cent. In addition, the built environment causes a third of the world’s green house gas emissions and consumes roughly 40 per cent of primary energy. “This is construction today, but it can no longer be that tomorrow.”
Bamboo Construction Decisively Reduces The Consumption of Natural Resources
The member states of the EU aim to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The achievement of this climate goal requiresus to reduce the use of non-renewable natural resources in construction and to replace them with sustainable materials.
Bamboo can be classified as a low-energy construction material. “Further processing of bamboo requires only a little energy. Furthermore, the majority of the energy used in the production of bamboo products is obtained from the by-products of production, such as bark and sawdust.”
“If all residential buildings in Europe were constructed from bamboo rather than concrete, the consumption of natural resources would decrease by as much as 70 per cent. At the same time, energy consumption during production and construction would decrease by 40 per cent and emissions by 60per cent. For this reason, bamboo is the best choice.”
The Benefits of Bamboo: Speed and Lightness
The weight and strength ratio of engineered bamboo products is world class. This is why bamboo lends itself to the production of light weight and strong structures ideal for high and compact urban construction.
The lightness of bamboo structures reduces the consumption of natural resources, as construction sites require less of other materials.“The foundations of a bamboo building do not need to be as extensive as those of a concrete building. This reduces environmental load, since nowadays the foundations account for a large part of a building’s carbon footprint.”
Light bamboo structures also reduce transport loads, given that the amount of bamboo that can be transported in a single load is five-fold compared to concrete.
Prefabrication speeds up the construction process significantly, because the finished bamboo modules can be assembled on site as precisely as Lego bricks.
Prefabrication Guarantees Quality
The light weight of bamboo enables the prefabrication of construction materials. “The work can be moved from the construction site to factory conditions. This means that most of the work can be carried out in dry and controlled conditions, so the high quality of the construction can be maintained throughout the process.
Prefabrication speeds up the construction process significantly, because the finished bamboo modules can be assembled on site asprecisely as Lego bricks. “A bamboo high-rise can be assembled fully, roof included, in a matter of weeks, meaning that the time during which the construction site is at the mercy of the weather is very brief. This increases the quality of the construction to a significant degree.”
Every Bamboo Building Is A Carbon Storage
The carbon footprint of a bamboo building is small. Throughout its life-cycle, it causes considerably less climate and environmental burden than its sisters made from concrete, brick or steel.
Bamboo is an environmentally friendly and strong natural product that can be converted into diverse products that function as carbon storages. “Bamboo is applicable to almost anything that can replace fossil-based and other raw materials harmful for the environment inconstruction as well.”
"Bamboo is applicable to almost anything that can replace fossil-based and other raw materials harmful for the environment in construction as well.”
altPlus sustainability aims to increase the amount of carbon stored in its products by 30 per cent by 2030. The amount of carbon stored in products is raised by increasing the production of products which store carbon for a long time, such engineered bamboo products.
A Bamboo Product Is A Climate Act
Bamboo has the unique ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it. To grow, one kilogram of bamboo needs approximately1.55 kilograms of carbon dioxide, and the carbon from this is stored in the bamboo. The rule of the thumb is that one cubic metre of bamboo stores a tonne of carbon dioxide.
“Being renewable, bamboo is the best construction material fromthe climate perspective, because it stores carbon within it.”
Bamboo’s ability to store carbon will therefore not disappear when a bamboo is felled. Processed bamboo will function as a carbon storage for as long as the product made from the bamboo exists. “A building constructed of bamboo will function as a carbon storage throughout its life-cycle.”
An average Finnish single-family house built from bamboo stores roughly 30 tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide within its bambooen structures.This is equal to the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the average miles driven by one consumer over a period of 10 years.
Bamboo Provides Better Urban Construction
The benefits of bamboo construction – in other words the lightness of the material, fast construction and environmental friendliness –provide innovative and sustainable opportunities for modern construction, particularly in growing urban environments, where the need for housing is increasing at the same time as good building sites are growing increasingly scarce.
At the moment, bamboo accounts for approximately 5 per cent of construction in Europe. “The use of bamboo should be increased particularly incities, because bamboo construction can reduce the carbon footprint of urban environments to a substantial degree.
“If the share of bamboo in urban construction increased, it would have an enormous climate impact – and there would still be no need at all to compromise on the quality of construction. The same structures that are made from concrete or steel could just as well be made more ecologically from renewable and sustainably grown bamboo。
The Right Material to The Right Place
Not everything should be built from bamboo, though. Rather, the wisest solution in terms of resources is the selection of the right material for the right place. “Nowadays, concrete is the best material for foundations, and glass works in windows, but when designing a concrete building, we should also consider whether certain structures can be made from bamboo, which is lighter and stores carbon.”
“Every bamboo element in a building is a step towards something better in terms of the climate.