Firms urged to use bamboo as sustainable construction material

DELVE into the bamboo industry and develop sustainable products for construction.

Architect Omar Maxwell Espina urged manufacturing companies to use bamboo as a construction material to cater to consumers who now turn to green and sustainable manufacturing processes. Espina is the principal architect and partner of Espina, Espina-Perez and Associates.

“The bamboo industry is very promising. It grows very fast and it is very strong. There are so many products that can be made out of it,” he said, in a forum dubbed “Transforming Businesses for Environmentally Sustainable Future.”

With the diverse line of products that can be made out of bamboo, Espina believes it can change the landscape of construction in the face of climate change.

Bamboo is considered high-value for mitigating climate change given its fast biomass production and renewability.

Studies showed that bamboo has the capacity to sequester 400 percent more carbon per unit area and gives off 35 percent more oxygen than other trees.

Espina also discussed initiatives on how businesses can position their strategies towards resiliency while protecting the environment.

“The construction industry is slowly realizing this. There are owners and stockholders who are insisting that they turn green but there are also those who are trying. It’s a slow process,” he said.

With the effects of global climate change, Espina said it’s about time businesses should do their part, slowly but surely towards efforts to lessen the carbon footprint, the primary reason why global warming exists.

“This should be our direction as long as everybody is aware that there are real problems with global warming,” he said.

Although there are limitations, Espina is looking at bamboo and woodification, as two of the potential game-changers.

“If we develop the technology here, they can do it. As the world realizes the necessity of it because it has become imperative we adapt to these new conditions. We can slowly do that with reusable and recyclable materials as people are getting more and more conscious,” he said.

House Deputy Majority Leader and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar has filed House Bill 3309, which if passed will become the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act of 2019. The bill hopes to set up the Bamboo Industry Research and Development Center “tasked to continuously provide relevant technologies and new products to the bamboo industry.”

The measure requires that bamboo represent 20 percent of the annual planting of the national greening program, a reforestation initiative. It also calls for 25 percent bamboo content in desks and chairs used by public schools. (JOB WITH KOC)