Bamboo is a one of the oldest building materials known to man. Traces of its existence go as far back as nearly 7000 years ago. Even though it has been around for so long, it has only in years been shown to be of value in the building materials world.
Beginning Bamboo's History
China is considered the kingdom of bamboo because more bamboo can be found there than anywhere else in the world. It was in China where the first archaeological dig found the first traces of Bamboo (sometime between the 16th and 11th Century B.C.), where it had been used in the making of weapons (bows and arrows). Bamboo was also found to have been used as one of the first papers of society.
Bamboo can live as long 120 years and even though it can be started from seed, the bamboo plant does not seed but once every 15 to120 years. There are nearly 1200 varieties of bamboo located world wide from China to Africa, Asia and now throughout the U.S.
An Important Resource to Asian Cultures
Because of dwindling worldwide timber supply caused by massive over cutting and very little re-planting, bamboo has moved to the forefront in Asian cultures, to replacing the normally used woods. Being the world's fastest and strongest growing type of woody plant, bamboo can reach heights of up to 40 meters tall. The bamboo plant replaces all types of products normally made out of other woods such as plates, building materials for homes and even paper to write on.
Sanctuary for Wildlife and the Environment
Bamboo is a refuge and home for many different types of species of spiders and snakes as well as beetles and birds. Bamboo plants has also been used to support hillsides that are having erosion problems.
Weak Yet with Great Strength
Although the bamboo plant by itself is known to be weak, if you have many bamboo plants covering a small area, the whole lot of the bamboo then becomes a very strong force to be reckoned with. It has been said that with many bamboo in front of them, even elephants are no match for the mere woody bamboo plants.
An Old New Age Find
Recently bamboo has come into the forefront in the building materials world. Its strength and lightness are its biggest assets. Oak or walnut of the same amount of aterial can be quite costly to ship because of the weight.