Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Business Starts Harvesting its Own Structural Bamboo

Bamboo has been important part of the implementation of green building practices on Maui. We have written a couple of posts on Local company Bamboo Technologies of Maui. They offer a variety of pre-fabricated bamboo home models that are green, priced competitively and aesthetically pleasing. The green nature of bamboo stems from its rapid growth and harvest techniques. Bamboo grows far more rapidly then soft and hardwoods. Bamboo can be harvested within 3-5 years. The fact that it is a clumping plant that sprouts new shoots means that multiple harvests can come from a single clump. That also means no clear cutting and no erosion. Bamboo also grows in greater density resulting in higher yields from a smaller area.

The bamboo that Bamboo Technologies uses in their homes is harvested in Asia. Another local company is trying to establish a Maui based source for construction grade bamboo. The Maui News ran an article today on Whispering Winds Bamboo. Whispering Winds has a large 180 acre farm in the beautiful Kipahulu area of East Maui. Part of the farm is a general bamboo nursery. About twenty acres of the property is dedicated to growing larger structural grade bamboo. The company has recently begun harvesting its first crop of structural bamboo timbers. The timbers are in the process of being treated to preserve the wood and prevent insect damage. Samples of the bamboo will then be tested on the mainland to see if it meets construction and safety standards.

The prospect of a local source of construction materials is exciting. The relative seclusion of Hawaii makes us depend on imported materials for almost of our construction. While we are a long way from ending our dependence on imported lumber, local construction materials like Bamboo will only continue to enhance the prospect of more sustainable building practices in Maui. Just as bamboo has been an important part of the start of sustainable building practices on Maui, it appears as if this amazing plant will play a critical role in the future of sustainable building on Maui.

Pete Jalbert

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