Thermo Bamboo is a luxurious decking product available by Wallbarn Ltd and is truly one of the most sustainable materials available for construction projects due to its environmental performance, fire resistance, longevity and structural performance.
This ultra-hard, compressed bamboo fibre board is ideal for high trafficked decking applications as it has superb dimensional stability, resistance to scratching and a 25-year warranty.
Wallbarn believes it should be considered a sustainable natural decking product for the following reasons:
-Long term durability and performance
-Warranty and reuse
Thermo bamboo is sourced, obviously, from bamboo forests. However, bamboo is a fast growing grass, not wood. The stems are not cut down but “mown” down to the roots. Therefore, the bamboo plants remain alive so grow back immediately after harvesting. Crucially the roots are not ripped out of the ground, so the topsoil on the forest floor is less disturbed.
This means no deforestation and higher yields from a smaller jungle footprint.
Fast replenishing forests
Bamboo is extremely fast growing, up to 1 metre per day, the forests are fully replenished within 4-5 years. This fast turnaround compares to 40 years for fir trees, around 100 years for tropical wood and up to 300 years for oak.
Bamboo Elegance is rated as CO2 neutral. Since the fibre can be harvested so quickly and the finished decking material has a 25 year plus lifespan (and far longer recycled use) the CO2, which is absorbed during the growing process of the bamboo shoots, is locked in for longer.
Furthermore, by growing new bamboo every 4-5 years at least 5 new batches of bamboo fibre are produced for every batch harvested. Therefore, more CO2 is captured through the new plants.
EPD – Environmental Product Declaration
Thermo Bamboo is covered by EPD , the Environmental Product Declaration (in accordance with EN 15804) which is a ‘cradle to gate’ environmental impact assessment for products over their entire lifecycle, including transport through to installation on site and End of Life.
It is extremely rare for a “hardwood” material to be covered by EPD and it is important to look for products that have an EPD to assess their environmental impact.
Long term durability and performance
The thermo process turns bamboo fibres into an ultra-hard “hardwood” with incredible strength and dimensional stability. The fibres are steamed rather than being kiln dried. This removes the moisture and sugars from the fibres and the fibres are then pressed and glued together under heavy pressure.
Super hard decking
This makes Thermo Bamboo denser, drier and more rot-proof than tropical hardwoods with a specific gravity of 1,200kg/m3. It has a Brinell strength of 87 N/mm2, has incredible bending strength and is rated Class 1 Durable under EN350/CEN/TS 15083.
Because the original fibres are grass not wood, Thermo Bamboo has a straight grain and does not contain knots. This reduces shearing and splintering considerably. The finished decking material does not twist and does not curl with temperature changes. It does not absorb moisture or swell at all meaning tongue-and-groove joints between the ends of boards is possible and concealed milling profiles can be used without any risk of the surface bulging.
Fungi and rot proof
The thermo process also removes bacteria and fungi activity from the bamboo fibres. The sugars are boiled out of the material meaning there is nothing for these agents to feast on, creating a more rot-proof decking product.
The material has been independently tested for mould infestation and achieved the rating “0”, meaning “The surface of the material is resistant against mould fungi” and “The surface of the material does not provide a nutrient source.” No spores were found whatsoever.
Unlike most other natural decking products Thermo Bamboo carries a EuroClasse fire rating of Bfl-s1. With the correct non-combustible substructure system it is possible to achieve B Roof T4 for flat roofs and podium deck construction. The benefits of a natural surface on such projects to soften the aspect and alleviate the noise somewhat should not be dismissed.
Warranty and reuse
Thermo Bamboo carries a performance warranty of 25 years. When compared to softwood, which has a lifespan of around 5-7 years and even composites and hardwoods which often do not carry such lengthy warranties, the extended lifespan of Thermo Bamboo enhances its sustainability credentials.
Its lifespan is far longer than the warrantied period and even when the decking is removed at a future date, the material can and should be recycled since it will lose hardly any of its strength and mechanical durability.
Thermo Bamboo is ideal decking material. It is fast growing and harvesting has far less impact on the local environment. The finished decking material is super hard, dimensionally stable with superior resistance to weathering.
It has a rich colour which naturally fades and is high performance, premium product. It is suitable for high end domestic and commercial decking projects including areas subject to high levels of foot traffic. It the ideal low environmental impact and premium product.
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