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Industrial or traditional bamboo construction? Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of bamboo-based buildings

Zea Escamilla, Edwin; Habert, Guillaume; Correal Daza, Juan Francisco; Archila, Hector F; Echeverry Fernández, Juan Sebastian; Trujillo, David


Edwin Zea Escamilla

Guillaume Habert

Juan Francisco Correal Daza

Juan Sebastian Echeverry Fernández

David Trujillo


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 30, 2018
Journal Sustainability
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 9
Pages 3096
Institution Citation Zea Escamilla, E., Habert, G., Correal Daza, J. F., Archila, H. F., Echeverry Fernández, J. S., & Trujillo, D. (2018). Industrial or traditional bamboo construction? Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of bamboo-based buildings. Sustainability, 10(9), 3096.
Keywords bamboo, glue-laminated bamboo, life cycle assessment, CO2
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Additional Information Corporate Creators : Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, University of Zurich, Switzerland, Institute of Construction Management, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, 111711 Bogotá, Colombia, University of Bath, UK, Amphibia BASE, UK, School of Energy, Construction and Environment, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK


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