Maui Bamboo for Construction

April 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm Leave a comment

Whispering Winds Bamboo Co-operative has been farming biodynamically since 2003 and is certified organic by Stellar Certification Services. They cultivate a full range of bamboo plants for landscaping and have bamboo timber poles as well as several tropical hardwood species.

The sustainable benefits of constructing  (and landscaping) with bamboo are:

  • Bamboo IS sustainable agriculture Bamboo is a perennial plant offering a sustained annual harvest, which eliminates the need for yearly re-plowing and re-planting. Once established, a bamboo grove will minimize wind and soil erosion and maximize water retention.
  • Bamboo is a high-yield renewable resource Bamboo timber from a newly established plantation can be harvested in 6-8 years versus 10-30 years for most softwood, and it generates a crop every year. Each clump will produce from 3-8 new culms a year. A 4″ diameter pole is equivalent to a 4×4 of wood and is known to have greater load capacity. Bamboo tolerates extremes of precipitation, from 30-250 inches of annual rainfall on well-drained soils. With a 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus 2 to 5% for trees, bamboo creates greater yields of raw material for use. One resource book lists over 5,000 uses from building houses, scaffolding, furniture, musical instruments, paper, plywood, to clothing, medicine and food.
  • Bamboo protects the watershed and can do environmental clean up Bamboo greatly reduces rain run off, while keeping up to twice as much water in the watershed. Bamboo is a pioneering plant and can be grown in soil damaged by overgrazing or poor agricultural techniques. It is very effective at removing metals and toxic substances from soil and water. Bamboo survived the Hiroshima atomic blast closer to ground zero than any other living thing and participated in it’s re-greening.
  • Bamboo is the strongest and fastest growing woody plant on planet earth Bamboo’s tensile strength is 28,000 psi versus 23,000 psi for mild steel.
  • Bamboo is protecting the atmosphere Bamboo releases 35% more oxygen and consumes 4 times more carbon dioxide than equivalent stands of trees. There are over 1500 species of bamboo. The carbon sequestration ability of Bamboo is still being determined but early models show substantial amounts of bound carbon especially if the harvested fiber is locked in a 50-year structure.
  • Bamboo can feed us Bamboo shoots provide nutrition for millions of people worldwide. Taiwan alone consumes 80,000 tons of bamboo shoots annually, constituting a $50 million industry.
  • Bamboo is saving the rainforest Over 1 billion people in the world live in bamboo houses and they are exceedingly earthquake proof. Its lumber yield (weight per acre per year) is up to 25 times that of normal timber. To build 1000 houses of bamboo, material may be taken from a 60-hectare bamboo plantation, which will be replaced in 5-7 years. If an equivalent project used timber, it would require 500 hectares of forest cover and it would take decades to replace.
  • Bamboo grows GREEN on Maui WWB coop has over 18 acres of non-invasive clumping select species that are being managed organically and thriving. Using locally grown select bamboo will save our timber resources, reduce our reliance on importing lumber and stimulate the local economy with jobs.
  • Bamboo is Profitable Global bamboo market in 2004 was estimated around $10 billion and is expected to become $20 billion by 2015, riding mainly on the demand from US, especially for paper production.

HC1 Box 180, Hana, HI 96713


Entry filed under: Building & Remodeling, Gardening & Agriculture.

International E-Waste Design Competition New University of Hawai’i Maui Campus Garden

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