Building with Bamboo
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
If you subscribe to our newsletter, you’re already aware that we’ve been making some big changes with the materials we use to build our yurts. If you don’t subscribe to our newsletter, you should! In addition to company updates and hot takes on current affairs, we feature monthly deals and promotions only available to our newsletter readers. So, sign up today!
Regardless of your subscription status, we’ll come right out and say it; we’ve got bamboophoria. It's like euphoria, only a bit woodier and more fibrous. We’ve been transitioning the materials for various parts of our yurts over the past several months from douglas fir to bamboo. We’re proud to say that moving forward, all of our lattice and center rings will be built out of bamboo. As far as we know, we’re the only North America-based yurt company building with bamboo. But all this talk about us is getting to be a bit much, right? So, let’s talk bamboo.
There’s a lot of reasons why we switched to bamboo. Bamboo has been used around the world for thousands of years, in cultures and regions ranging from Southeast Asia to South America. Traditionally, it has been used for framing, scaffolding, even in the construction of bridges. Before Living Intent was, well, Living Intent, our founder and Head Builder Caleb built one of his first yurts out of bamboo while traveling in Thailand. Without further ado, lets’ break down just why we’re hopping on board the bamboo train.
Rate of Growth
Bamboo’s growth rate is unparalleled. It’s one of the fastest-growing building materials found in nature, with growth rates for some varieties reaching several feet in a single 24 hour period! Wow! While not all bamboo grows that quickly, the average growth rate is still far superior to that of other building materials, namely trees, and makes bamboo a highly sustainable alternative to conventional materials. For example, a bamboo forest can be harvested on average every 3-6 years. Compare that to the 10-20 years required for the average life cycle of other materials, such as Poplar or Doug Fir, and it’s obvious why bamboo is increasingly popular as a green building material.
Beyond the incredibly fast growth rates, bamboo is oftentimes lighter and stronger than the equivalent amount of conventional building materials. The tensile strength, or the ability of the material to withstand loads, is comparable to steel. Some architects even imagine whole cities built out of bamboo. Sustainability and tensile strength are good and all, but it just looks cool, too.
While classical bamboo architecture is usually composed of whole or sliced lengths of bamboo bolted together in some fashion, what makes bamboo a truly versatile material for our designs is how it can be pressed into sheets, taking the place of conventional timber materials.
We’re beyond excited to start using such a beautiful, strong and multi-purpose material, as well as increasing our commitment to sustainability and responsible materials sourcing. What else can you imagine building with bamboo?