Bamboo For Building The Future

Bamboo charcoal products and other sustainable and renewable resources are becoming noticeably more popular worldwide. Environmental consciousness is no longer a niche area of interest, and as concepts like improved energy efficiency in home design with faux bamboo furniture are coming to be second nature to most people, those with a more far-sighted, and perhaps more committed sense of environmental consciousness are beginning to look seriously at other elements of construction and design that can contribute to a green social landscape.

Bamboo is identified by some as the most useful resource in the world, and together with several other sustainable and renewable resources, it provides the potential to effectively replace wood in all of its various uses. On its own, bamboo certainly stands to be utilized for some of the functions of construction that are usually given to wood by default. In fully industrialized countries, bamboo will rarely stand on its own as the basic construction material, but can play a substantial role in quality construction, especially in light of the multitude of other materials to which we have access, many of which are similarly sustainable. In developing countries, however, where the citizenry presently inhabits simpler homes, bamboo may prove even more acceptable as a main building material. If it does, it can be used both to improve quality and to decrease cost of construction.

In Uganda, treated bamboo materials were recently donated by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, for use in part of the construction of two buildings at Makerere University. Persons involved in the project estimate that once bamboo construction materials can be processed locally, it could reduce the cost of building simple homes in Uganda by more than thirty percent. However, they also point out that bamboo has not yet proved popular in that country, because it is viewed as being a material used by the poor. Clearly, though, with such projects as the one at Makerere University, the popularity of the resource is growing, and when persons who stand to benefit from the use of the material recognize that it is not only less expensive, but also provides for genuinely high-quality construction, that popularity will really begin to take off.

 That trend is certainly being observed in the Europe and America, where bamboo, recycled materials, and raw materials from natural sources are becoming more accessible and sought-after for the sake of ecologically sustainable construction. It is always wonderful to see such trends actually catching on. It justifies much hope for a future green society. And as more people take up these alternative resources simply to do the right thing for themselves and their environment, those products and trends become increasingly profitable as well.

Naturally, no such expectations should be taken lightly, but the growth of such opportunities, the availability of investors and leases, the projections for the market and the upsurge in demand for the product itself all signify that there is great confidence in bamboo, and high expectations for its future. It may well be a great investment opportunity, but more than that, there is much reason to expect bamboo to be an increasingly popular resource in our green future, both as a building material and a multipurpose, sustainable resource that can be used for paper, clothing, bedding, and more crafts with bamboo.

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