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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3096;

Industrial or Traditional Bamboo Construction? Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Bamboo-Based Buildings

Centre for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, University of Zürich, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Institute of Construction Management, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, 111711 Bogotá, Colombia
Amphibia–BASE & Visiting Research Fellow, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
School of Energy, Construction and Environment, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Built Environment)
PDF [2387 KB, uploaded 30 August 2018]


The past five decades have witnessed an unprecedented growth in population. This has led to an ever-growing housing demand. It has been proposed that the use of bio-based materials, and specifically bamboo, can help alleviate the housing demand in a sustainable manner. The present paper aims to assess the environmental impact caused by using four different construction materials (bamboo, brick, concrete hollow block, and engineered bamboo) in buildings. A comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) was carried out to measure the environmental impact of the different construction materials in the construction of single and multi-storey buildings. The LCA considered the extraction, production, transport, and use of the construction materials. The IPCC2013 evaluation method from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC2013 was used for the calculations of CO2 emissions. The assessment was geographically located in Colombia, South America, and estimates the transport distances of the construction materials. The results show that transportation and reinforcing materials significantly contribute to the environmental impact, whereas the engineered bamboo construction system has the lowest environmental impact. The adoption of bamboo-based construction systems has a significant potential to support the regenerative development of regions where they could be used and might lead to long-lasting improvements to economies, environments, and livelihoods. View Full-Text
Keywords: bamboo; glue-laminated bamboo; life cycle assessment; CO2 bamboo; glue-laminated bamboo; life cycle assessment; CO2

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Zea Escamilla, E.; Habert, G.; Correal Daza, J.F.; Archilla, H.F.; Echeverry Fernández, J.S.; Trujillo, D. Industrial or Traditional Bamboo Construction? Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Bamboo-Based Buildings. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3096.

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