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John Hunter
Senior Member
Username: johnhunter

Post Number: 33
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2007 - 12:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

At our firm, we seem to have fallen in love with bamboo flooring recently. We love bamboo so much that we've moved past flooring and we're now looking longingly at bamboo plywood for counters and at bamboo veneer for casework and paneling.

My understanding is that the bamboo itself is harvested somewhere in Asia, shipped to China where the bamboo flooring, plywood and veneers are made, and then shipped to the US, where it warehoused and then ultimately shipped to a jobsite for installation. Based on the product's long and winding road from field to end user, it seems to me there is a fair amount of embodied energy, not to mention the resins and other chemistry in its composition, in this sustainable product. Seems that North American hardwoods might compare favorably in the sustainability game if the issues were considered in this broader context.

So here's my question: Is anyone aware of any organization looking at sustainability issues from a larger perspective? Is there a source for information on this subject?

It seems that if this question has occurred to me, and I'm really not that clever, it is only a matter of time before a client will ask a similar question after a presentation on materials and finishes touting the green glories of bamboo and I would like our design teams to be able to give an informed response. Better still, I'd like them to have considered these kinds of questions before making the decisions on materials and products

Russ Hinkle, AIA, CCS
Senior Member
Username: rhinkle

Post Number: 25
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2007 - 08:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The Environmental Building News has some great articles on bamboo. (It may take a subscription to get access)
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 586
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 - 08:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Also: the latest issue (June 2007) of Consumer Reports in their Kitchen Remodeling issue, doesn't speak too highly of bamboo, concrete countertops, linoleum, cork flooring and a few other newer items. They cite difficult maintenance, fading under sunlight, and poor performance as the main issues. this is not available on line yet unless you have an online subscription. the print version is on the street.

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