Why we use bamboo as the primary material
IBUKU uses bamboo because of its strength, beauty, and flexibility, and also because with its 4-year growth cycle and carbon sequestration capacity it is the most environmentally conscientious building material conceivable. In a world of retro-fitting or re-designing traditional items and materials to be slightly less ‘bad’, we decided to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Though bamboo has traditionally been used throughout Asia in short-term structures, new treatment methods have given it a capacity for longer life. Our engineers, architects and designers have created a completely new vocabulary. Not only is bamboo good for the environment, it also helps the people living in that space connect to nature which then enhances quality of life.
“So why bamboo? Bamboo is the future. It is the most beautiful, versatile, tallest and strongest material that we could possibly choose. The rainforest is almost gone, plywood is mostly made from the rainforest and cement has a carbon load that is not going to help the future. That leaves bamboo and if children plant bamboo today in eight years they will have timber ready to go and they will get timber every year for the rest of their life to build anything they need.”
-John Hardy, Green School co-founder
Bamboo is strong, with the compressive force of concrete and the strength-to-weight ratio of steel.
With very little attention, a bamboo shoot can become a structural column within three years, and that building could stand strong for a lifetime.
With its three-year growth cycle and carbon sequestration it is a uniquely efficient and responsible resource. Even sustainable timber can’t begin to compare with bamboo as a conscientious building material.
Though bamboo has traditionally been used throughout Asia, new treatment methods have given it a longer lifespan. IBUKU’s bamboo, selectively harvested from local sources, is treated ecologically, then lab tested to confirm its durability and integrity.