How Green is Lumboo?

Most people are familiar with bamboo products now and are aware that it’s a rapidly renewable material, but up until now it’s been mostly decorative, in the form of flooring, wall panels, and other accessories. San Diego based Cali Bamboo is looking to change that with their new dimensional lumber product Lumboo, but how green is it?

Lumboo is created by combining strips of shredded bamboo with a low-VOC resin and pressing them into lumber forms with thousands of pounds of force. The end result is a piece of lumber that is very strong, termite-resistant and has the pleasant appearance normally associated with bamboo products.

The strength of the material poses some issues however, it is more difficult to cut than wood, and requires pre-drilling and screws to fasten it to other pieces. Currently Lumboo is being distributed by a bamboo fence company, but other applications are possible for this material.

Does it make sense to import bamboo from another part of the world to avoid cutting down trees here? It might, depending on how the bamboo is grown and transported. Growing bamboo locally would be an ideal solution to this, although not one that would work in every climate. For areas where it could be grown locally, Lumboo may prove to be a very serious competitor for wood as a green structural building material in the near future.

Cali Bamboo, via Inhabitat

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About

Steve holds a degree in Environmental Engineering Technology from Humber College in Toronto, is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor. He currently lives in Victoria BC and works as a green building consultant specializing in residential projects.

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