What are the benefits of bamboo as a construction material?

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In the West, bamboo has typically been used in landscaping, either as an ornamental plant or for screening purposes. However, in the East, the true versatility of bamboo as a construction material has been long known and utilised. Here, we explore its myriad uses.

Bamboo X-treme Cladding is a sustainable and cost efficient cladding option, which is similar in nature to commonly used hardwoods.

“In regions where bamboo is grown in vast quantities, it is often the first choice for a range of construction purposes. It has an incredible strength-to-weight ratio (greater than steel, by weight) and is fast growing and easy to cultivate, making it environmentally friendly as well,” says Plantation Bamboo’s Steve Roughan.

Bamboo: the first and last word in sustainable decking and cladding

“Plantation’s Bamboo X-treme Decking is a high-density bamboo decking plank made from compressed, strand-woven bamboo that has undergone a patented heat-treatment process during manufacturing. The result is an exceptionally hard, dimensionally stable product particularly suited to New Zealand’s harsh climatic conditions.”

This high level of stability allows for tongue-and-groove end-matching of the decking boards, giving a high-quality, snug finish, not achievable with less stable decking products. Coupled with the product’s standard board lengths and invisible fixing system, Bamboo X-treme Decking is up to two times faster to install than standard hardwood decking timbers.

Aesthetically, Bamboo X-treme Decking is similar to other hardwoods in that it can be left to naturally silver over time or can be periodically oiled to maintain a darker colour if desired.

Bamboo is a sustainable alternative to traditional decking timbers, and comparable to hardwoods in grain and structure.

“The success of Bamboo X-treme Decking encouraged our Dutch supplier to develop a cladding option that offers architectural designers and homeowners a sustainable, environmentally friendly, low-maintenance alternative to traditional timber cladding,” says Steve.

Bamboo X-treme Cladding carries a fire safety class B-S1-d0 (EN 13501-1) and Class A (ASTM E84) rating, without the use of expensive or eco-damaging fire retardants, making it suitable for a range of residential housing and apartment projects, as well as commercial applications, where a beautiful, natural appearance is desired.” 

While tropical hardwoods can take up to 80 years to grow to full maturity and be ready for harvesting, Moso bamboo is mature after only 4-5 years.

“Even more amazing, after harvesting the bamboo stem doesn’t die, therefore no deforestation occurs, allowing the bamboo forest to be harvested annually and sustainably in a fair-trade manner for the farmers. This also means all our solid bamboo products have a negative carbon footprint over their complete lifecycle.”

Plantation Bamboo flooring includes a range of hard, durable and eco-friendly options that are pre-finished and quick and easy to install.

Interior applications: bamboo flooring, bench tops,  joinery, furniture, and vanities

Bamboo panels are an ideal solution for bench tops due to their durability and strength.

“Just as our decking and cladding products demonstrate the durability and strength of bamboo, so too do our interior products showcase bamboo’s inherent beauty and versatility.”

Plantation Bamboo offers a range of interior products from flooring to panels, as well as the highly popular Flexbamboo. As the name would suggest, Flexbamboo is a bamboo veneer product attached to a fabric backing that creates a flexible product capable of achieving curved finishes.

“Flexbamboo comes in 5-metre or 20-metre rolls of either 7mm or 15mm strips, with a standard width of 2040mm. The rolls of Flexbamboo can be cut, or joined, to any required width and length–making it a versatile covering product with a unique, natural look.”

Used for furniture, bamboo creates a natural feature – often at a lower price point that similar materials.

Flexbamboo allows designers to achieve interiors that focus on the natural charm of bamboo but at a lower price point than other bamboo or wood interior products. It is also quick and easy to install and can be glued to most surfaces. Flexbamboo is anti-static, anti-allergic, has low VOC emissions and carries a 10-year warranty.

“Combined with our range of solid bamboo panels, suitable for benchtops, kitchen joinery and shelving, there is no limit to the striking and aspirational interiors that can be achieved.”

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