By J. A. Young
—bamboo is a tremendous building material that has a long history of use in many parts of the world. While bamboo is grown throughout the globe today including East Asia, Northern Australia, the Southern United States, and various regions of Central and South America, it is often associated with China where the earliest use of bamboo was recorded. While it has been used as a highly effective construction material for thousands of years in Asia, it has become the darling of the sustainable movement in the west due to its strength and ability to replace hard woods—which are not easy to renew.
People who aren’t familiar with bamboo are apt to associate it with panda bears as their cuisine of choice. Yet there are natural bamboo bridges in China that have stood for centuries; one of Qian-Xian’s bamboo bridges is believed to date to the third century B.C. The fact is there are more than 1,400 species of bamboo on the earth and myriads of bamboo farms today that harvest bamboo specifically for construction purposes. While bamboo, being a grass, does not have bark, it contains lignified fiber cells that give it its woody characteristics.
When harvested bamboo is used as a natural composite material for building, it demonstrates a strength-to-weight ratio comparable to wood. Moreover, engineers have discovered that bamboo has more strength than various steel alloys and has more compressive strength than several mixtures of concrete. As a wood substitute, bamboo has no knots so it is not vulnerable to similar stresses that affect knotty wood. This may be one reason why so many bamboo structures have been able to withstand high-magnitude earthquakes. The bamboo fibers allow for incredible flexibility without snapping and because bamboo is rich in silica, it’s not on the termites’ menu! Additionally, bamboo is incredibly moisture resistant which is just one reason it has become so popular as a flooring alternative to hard wood.
Bamboo is simply one of the greenest material options people have today. While trees that are harvested for similar purpose can take as long as fifty years to regenerate after being harvested, a single bamboo pole can shoot back up in six months! Continuous re-harvesting, however, is best done over a period of three years to optimally protect the plant’s system and the regional environment. Various species are known to grow a few feet within a single day. This fast rate of regeneration makes bamboo one of the earth’s most sustainable materials. Moreover, bamboo groves can produce 30% more oxygen than a comparable stand of trees. So not only is bamboo a reliable building material, it’s the world’s fastest growing grass and is a major component of the earth’s sustainable future.
There’s no arguing that bamboo is extraordinarily eco-friendly, yet many people simply favor it because it’s visually attractive. While beautiful in its natural state, bamboo is frequently produced to mimic the look of hard wood. This versatility makes it a great option for designers who want the look of wood but the sustainability and durability of bamboo. For these reasons and more, it’s no wonder bamboo use is increasing around the globe.
These are a few of the reasons that we build our Standee Standing Desks from Bamboo.. Ohh plus it's great to work with! :)