In many cases bamboo and wood products are viable and sustainable replacement for higher carbon emission materials such as plastics, concrete and steel. The average carbon footprint during the lifecycle of PVC is some 3.000 CO2-e/m3, steel more than 14.000 CO2-e/m3 and aluminium more than 30.000 CO2-e/m3. In contrast, the carbon footprint of, even imported, bamboo and tropical hardwood wood is negative!
The advantage of using bamboo over wood is that harvesting bamboo is cutting grass instead of logging timber and bamboos re-grow naturally and much faster than trees. Moreover, bamboo flooring is as resilient as flooring made from hardwood and logging large amounts of trees for hardwood timber production is socially questionable.
Bamboo is therefore used more and more as a sustainable replacement and green interior design material in Europe. The ceiling in Terminal 4 of Madrid Airport, the floor of the main hall in Paris Gare du Nord and the interior of CityLife shopping mall in Milan are all examples of the use of engineered bamboo for modern interior design. The rising popularity of cross-laminated timber (CLT) is increasing the demand for wood. Bamboo could be an important complement to this.
Bamboo plantations in southern Europe would enormously help to provide an additional, local, source of hardwood for construction in the whole of Europe, reducing the need to import tropical hardwood or extensive logging of temperate hardwood forests. Bamboo and softwood could be used together in the creation of “green” buildings as recently illustrated in Hotel Jakarta in Amsterdam. For the building project approximately 2.200m2 cross laminated timber is used. Which was for Derix the largest order volume in the history of the company.