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  • Kathryn Van Dinh

Material Monday - Bamboo

A Deep Dive into MEL/ARCH’s Favorite Materials


At MEL/ARCH we are constantly looking for materials, new or old, that align with the sustainable and green design principles that are at the core of our firm. In this series, we’re excited to share some materials we can’t help but frequently revisit, both for their functional and aesthetic qualities. These materials help achieve our design visions and ideas with a more sustainable and eco-conscious approach.



This week’s focus is on the product, Bamboo.



Bamboo is one of the oldest building materials. It provides structural strength, flexibility, diverse applications, and sustainable practices. It is a renewable resource and able to be fully grown within a few season, bamboo is faster to harvest compared to traditional lumber. Additionally it does not need to be replanted. The root system will naturally regrow after being harvested. This results in more soil conservation. Bamboo crops also do not need any harmful pesticides or fertilizers to grow. Bamboo is mother earth’s natural building material, no extra work required.



Bamboo’s application are nearly limitless. It can be used in structure or for aesthetics. Bamboo consist of strong fibers and its stems grow round and hollow with natural joints. Depending on species and age, bamboo can have different widths allowing for different loads and horizontal spans. It is easy to see that bamboo has great tensile strength but it can also hold its own in compression. As for aesthetics, bamboo can be used as a texture, finish material, or as accent features. Bamboo’s amazing abilities are best showcased when its structural uses and aesthetics come together.



But wait there is more. Remember bamboo is a plant, it can also be a creative opportunity in landscape design. It is easy to grow and maintain in many locations around the world. It provides a difference in height within a garden and allows for partial or full screening. There are also a number of bamboo products in the market such as GluBam (Glue Laminated Bamboo), CLB (Cross Laminated Bamboo), panels, veneers, etc. The creative potential for bamboo is endless.


If you’re excited about using bamboo or any bamboo products in your project, contact us and let’s start the conversation!

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