Bamboo Living, the global leader in sustainable bamboo building helped build the first American school building made of sustainable bamboo. The project will be featured June 5th on "Renovation Nation," Discovery's Planet Green Network show starring Emmy award-winning host Steve Thomas.
"It's especially gratifying to Bamboo Living that this structure will be used to teach young people building skills, including how to use sustainable materials like bamboo," said David Sands, the architect who co-founded Bamboo Living, the world's first and only internationally code certified (ICC-ES) bamboo building company.
The 1,200-square foot school building will be used to teach industrial arts to high school students attending the Hana Elementary and High School, K-12, located on Maui, Hawaii. According to Rick Rutiz, the executive director of Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike (In Working, One Learns), the non-profit that runs the program, "Bamboo Living supplied the design for the school building and all of the bamboo building materials. They were the 'brains' of the project."
Like all of the bamboo used in Bamboo Living's building projects worldwide, the bamboo used at the school features twice the compression strength of concrete and a greater strength-to-weight ratio than steel.
Bamboo's environmental benefits include the ability to produce greater biomass and 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest on the same area. "Bamboo is the most renewable building resource on earth," explained Sands."It grows at a rate three and a half times faster than the fastest-growing trees. Bamboo is structurally mature in just three years!"
Sands said that his vision for Bamboo Living is to promote the use of bamboo as a building material to help reverse global warming, restore the world's native forests, protect our watersheds, stop topsoil erosion, and raise communities out of poverty. (A goal of the Hana school project is to provide a generation of islanders with the skills their rural community needs to sustain multiple generations.)
"Whether a rural school, a growing family in the Midwest, or a retirement community in the Southeast, choosing a bamboo home over a conventional one enables you to make a significant difference to you, your loved ones, and to the earth," advised Sands. "Bamboo Living helps you live in your values."