Industrial or Traditional Bamboo Construction? Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Bamboo-Based Buildings

Edwin Zea Escamilla, Guillaume Habert, juan francisco correal daza, Hector Archila Santos, Juan Sebastian Echeverry Fernández, David Trujillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3096
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).


  • bamboo
  • glue-laminated bamboo
  • Life cycle assessment
  • CO2


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