Lorena Nolte, Architect
Lorena Nolte, Architect

Lorena Nolte, Architect

A global vision of the positioning of bamboo in Latin America and Europe

Bamboos are fast-growing giant grass that is subdivided into different families addressed in several reports, with more than 1500 species found globally, and are turning into valuable feedstock for different bamboo products. Bamboo’s rhizome (the underground part) and the culm (pole, used also as feedstock for engineered bamboo production), work as a CO2 sequestration machine in a bamboo forest, keeping this CO2 stored even when it is further transformed into architecture.

Construction materials and “conventional” building processes are responsible for a great portion of the environmental impact and gas emissions. The manufacturing of materials contributes 250 million tons of CO2 annually. Therefore, many studies have been taking place due to the urgency to embrace sustainability in the construction sector. One of the great bamboo scientists and researchers in Europe, since 1951, was Dr. Walter Liese, who researched and used bamboo as support in German coal mines. As a wood scientist, he saw bamboo as an exotic and fascinating material and using electron microscopes available at the time, reproduced the first electron micrographs of the ultrastructure of bamboo. We can now see that bamboo is formed by cellulose, cellulose nanofibers, and biopolymers such as lignin, important components for biobased, low-cost materials as an alternative to reduce the environmental impact.

Whether we use bamboo as a raw material or as industrialized boards in construction, this lecture aims to have a global overview of bamboo positioning in Latin America (Peru) and Europe (Germany). And how we, as a global society, can work together to have a more sustainable architecture. The aim is to raise awareness about the multiple uses and advantages bamboo offers in this world of many Life Cycle Assessments, not only as a product but also as part of a building process.

The great book that is always open and which we must make an effort to read is the book of nature
Antoni Gaudi

El gran libro siempre abierto y que tenemos que hacer un esfuerzo para leer es el de la naturaleza” –
Antoni Gaudí