Bamboo is considered a green building material, but it is most often found as an adjunct within larger construction using other materials. Recently, however, an entire chocolate factory has been built in Indonesia as the world's largest commercial bamboo structure. The 26,500 square foot (2,460 square meter) facility handles the entire range of operations, from initial processing the beans to final production of chocolate, what they call "beans to bars."
The Big Tree Farms factory, located in Sibang, Bali, not only has the exterior built from bamboo, but bamboo was also used for interior walls, which were made from woven bamboo strips, and stairs which used bamboo plywood for treads. The bamboo was treated with borax for fire-prevention and boric acid to resist insects, and a food-grade coating was applied to interior walls.
What makes bamboo an especially green building material is that it is fast-growing, making it a rapidly renewable resource that doesn't devastate the landscape when it is harvested. Bamboo is strong enough to compare with mild steel in some applications. It is regularly used for construction scaffolding throughout southeast Asia.
via: Architect magazine
written by Juan Miguel Ruiz, December 17, 2011
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