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Industrial or traditional bamboo construction? Comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of bamboo-based buildings


Hector F. Archilla

Edwin Zea Escamilla

Guillaume Habert

Juan Francisco Correal Daza

Juan Sebastian Echeverry

David Trujillo


© 2018 by the authors. 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.


Archilla, H. F., Escamilla, E. Z., Habert, G., Daza, J. F. C., Archila, H. F., Fernández, J. S. E., & Trujillo, D. (2018). Industrial or traditional bamboo construction? Comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of bamboo-based buildings. Sustainability, 10(9), 3096.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 28, 2018
Publication Date Aug 30, 2018
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 4, 2019
Journal Sustainability (Switzerland)
Electronic ISSN 2071-1050
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 9
Pages 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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