Bamboo as a building materialSeite 2 von 16file://D:\www.bambus\new\eng\reports\buildingmaterial\buildingmaterial.html27.10.2002
Geographical distribution, climaticand soil conditions
The main area of distribution are the tropics, inparticular, South-East-Asia. Bamboo grow at sea-level and can be found at altitudes of up to 3800m.Most bamboo species grow at temperatures from -28°C to +50°C. Bamboos grow mainly on sandyloam to loamy clay soils. They prefer well drainedsoils but grow also in wet and even marshylocations. They do not tolerate saline soils.
The growth pattern of the bamboos is a singularcombination of grass, leaf-bearing tree and palm.Like the grasses they have tubular blades, lancet-shaped cover leaves and panicular flowers andfrom a subterranean rootstock branch extensivelyto form dense to loose bushes. The followingcharacteristics distinguish bamboos from grasses:the longevity of their canes, their branching andthe lignification.Like leafbearing trees they increase their crownevery year by throwing out new branches and alsoshed their leaves each year.The growth pattern of the trunk is similar to that ofthe palm tree. Emerging with its definitivecircumference from the soil without increasing indiameter later. The species "Guadua angustifolia"will reach lenth of up to 20 - 25 m with a diameterof 12 cm.
Bamboo has durable rootstocks, the rhizomes.After a seedling has produced the first rhizome,the differentiated rhizome system will begin todevelop. Its circumferential and longitudinal growthincreases annually. It is only after twelve and moreyears that canes of full thickness and height willbe produced. According to the type of branching ofthe rhizomes the main group of the bamboos iscalled monopodial, whereas the other group iscalled sympodial.The monopodial species grow horizontaly overlarge distances. A rhizome stolon will grow inlength by 1 - 6 m per annum with an average lifespan of ten years. At irregular intervals the lateralbuds produce single cane stems from which newcanes grow upwards. These species can be foundin subtropical regions with a temperate climate