Some of the major advantages to most bamboo products such as flooring and cabinetry is their strength, durability and high rate of renewability. So while standard wood has dominated most of the structural lumber industry, bamboo is aiming to get in on the action with the first engineered dimensional lumber, Lumboo.
Bamboo product company, Cali Bamboo, has been developing Lumboo for over four years. Currently Lumboo is only available as a fencing product, but Cali Bamboo is seeking formal testing and code listing in hopes of Lumboo being used as decking and framing lumber in the future. Similar to other bamboo products, as well as other engineered wood, Lumboo is made from compressed strands of bamboo. It is made with a low-VOC resin binder and is placed into a hydraulic press which compresses the material at several hundred thousand pounds of force. The material is designed to replace traditional lumber and provide structural strength and density, as well as an sustainable alternative to other building products.
Not only does Lumboo claim to be incredibly strong, but the members can also smaller because of their strength. So where a standard 2x4 would actually be 1.5"x3.5", the Lumboo product would only 1"x3", which really adds up in saved space for buildings. Because of its high strength and density, Lumboo can't take nails and must be pre-drilled and should only be cut with a very sharp blade.
Lastly, Cali Bamboo is claiming the additional advantage of being termite-resistant. Apparently the high silica content of bamboo cannot be digested by termites, making it a very desirable product for termite prone regions.
(Images: Cali Bamboo)