Eco-Friendly Bamboo Flooring
As we move deeper into the twenty first century, we all need to be aware of our ecological surroundings, and be mindful of the carbon footprint we leave behind. Increasingly, we are seeing a rise in socially- and environmentally-responsible behavior. The “green” movement is spreading throughout the world, and the construction industry is experiencing some major changes. With bodies such as the US Green Build Council (USGBC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in the picture, more and more stress is put on building green. Companies are encouraged, and in some cases mandated, to use materials that have been grown, harvested and transported responsibly. In searching for green building materials, often the search lands upon bamboo.
So why is bamboo regarded as green?
Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource harvested every six years. The bamboo plant is harvested sustainably and quickly regenerates new growth from its vigorous rhizome system. While most hardwood forests take decades to mature and replenish, bamboo matures in approximately 5-7 years.It is recognized as a green material under LEED and as they said in Environmental Building News, “Environmentally, it’s hard to argue with a wood substitute that matures in three years, regenerates without need for replanting, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides.”
Through the accreditation bodies like FSC, bamboo (and other materials) can be tracked through each stage of manufacture, production and distribution using responsible practices. In order for a company to get certified by the FSC, it requires adhering to stringent guidelines and demonstrating a commitment to environmentally responsible practices. The process is tedious and time-consuming, but it helps make the world a better place, so any company willing to deal with the process is sure to be responsible.
While there are many manufacturers of bamboo, and tons of different bamboo products on the market, they are not all “green.” Many products, especially those coming from China, use harmful chemicals in their adhesives and finishes, resulting in the bamboo causing more harm to the environment than good. In order to ascertain how green a certain product is, you need to refer to FSC and LEED standards.
One manufacturer of bamboo flooring, Duro Design, is the leader in truly environmentally-friendly or “green” flooring. Their bamboo is harvested every 5-7 years. The adhesive they use contains no urea-formaldehyde, and they use a water-based finish, which has the lowest VOC content, well below maximum levels.
Duro Design has the following LEED credits:
MR Credit 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials
EQ Credit 4.1: Low-Emitting Materials: Adhesives and Sealants
EQ Credit 4.2: Low Emitting Materials: Paints and Coatings
EQ Credit 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials: Composite Wood &Agrifiber Products
Duro Design’s entire product line may also be viewed at this online flooring store.
Some information on the differences between engineered vs. solid hardwood.
Some information on prefinished hardwood flooring.
Some information on installing and finishing hardwood flooring.
Some information on how to choose wood flooring.
Some information on hardwood floor experts.
Some information on wood floor underlayments.
Some information on getting wood floors online.
Some information on European hardwood floors.
Some information on maintaining wood floors.