Recent blog posts
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Open to the public free of charge, the Solar Decathlon gives visitors the opportunity to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today.
The Solar Decathlon competition took place in Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California spanning over a course of ten days from October 3-13, 2013. Here is where UNC Charlotte competed against twenty other university-led teams in ten different contests.
UNC Charlotte’s entry to the Solar Decathlon 2013, Urban Eden, incorporates revolutionary approaches to sustainable design and construction, combining city-sophistication with an appreciation for our natural world. UrbanEden consists of solar strategies, geopolymer concrete, urban gardening, smart technologies, and urban lifestyle. Consisting of several sponsors, Lamboo was included as a sustaining partner in providing interior as well as exterior materials to complete UrbanEden’s sustainable design.
The materials for UrbanEden were chosen based on three criteria: environmental impact, durability, and beauty. Lamboo® Design™ panels were used for all the interior built-ins as well as the exterior rain screen panels.
The UNC Charlotte team brought home two awards from the Solar Decathlon 2013. They tied for third place in the juried Engineering Contest and won the popular-vote People’s Choice Award.
For more of the story, see the Solar Decathlon website here.
Lamboo has been featured in previous Solar Decathlon programs as a proud supporter of the University of Illinois team’s “Gable Home” in 2009 and in the international competition in 2011. Since placing 1st in the completion and 2nd overall internationally, Lamboo has been integrated into several other university decathlons.
View the photo collage for additional images of the Urban Eden
“Sustainability” has become a buzzword of the 21st Century. Organizations are reducing their footprint with recycling policies and encouraging employees to carpool or use public transportation. Today it is de rigueur to receive an email with part of the signature line including a demand to “think before you print!” Legislation and regulations are brimming with encouragement, in some cases, and mandates, in others, to build as cleanly as possible with energy efficient materials. A number of projects in and around Springfield have bragged about the achievement of LEEDs Certification for their new buildings in recent years. (Before you hit Google, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.)
A company in Springfield is at the leading edge of introducing a sustainable raw material – bamboo – to the market with diverse applications and enormous growth potential. Lamboo, Inc. started with the intent of developing a product that satisfies the need for sustainability in the 21st Century while also providing a material that spans a range of applications and exceeds expectations of more traditional materials.
By way of introduction, bamboo holds the promise of being the sustainability wunderkind of the 21st Century when compared with traditional materials such as wood, steel and aluminum for the following reasons. Bamboo produces approximately 14 tons of fiber per acre every six to eight years or six times that of timber, which takes 25-30 years to mature. Bamboo can be harvested without replanting and the silica content makes the plant resistant to insect infestation. Bamboo sequesters about 35 percent more carbon than timber, has natural anti-microbial properties and a root structure that helps to eliminate soil erosion.
Lamboo, Inc. has developed and brought to market a new bamboo product – Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LBV).“We are truly leading an industrial materials revolution,” said Luke D. Schuette, President & Founder, Lamboo, Inc. As an architecture student at Southern Illinois University, Schuette became interested in and began testing various materials for strength, flexibility and sustainability.
“I ended up paying for my own testing at a St. Louis lab in order to determine if the product was going to be sufficient,” Schuette said, explaining the start-up process for Lamboo, Inc.
Laminated bamboo veneer was an idea so ahead of the curve that an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) category or standards did not exist prior to 2007. Schuette and his team presented LBV to ASTM in 2007 and were awarded a new category and standards to compare LBV to other construction and design materials. Since Lamboo, Inc. has achieved the certification, the company has grown to a worldwide presence receiving a 2013 Governor’s Export Award for increasing their export market 63 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Lamboo, Inc. has four broad market categories that it intends to exploit – Architectural/Structural/High Performance Buildings, Aviation/Maritime/Automotive, Design and Industrial. “Lamboo, Inc. makes a laminated veneer product that is lighter and stronger than many traditional products,” Schuette noted. “Lamboo, Inc. is not designing office desks or guitars or commercial beams. We are partnering with companies around the world who desire a sustainable material.”
Products that Lamboo has been involved with include laminated structural beams, architectural elements such as louvers and awnings and window and door systems. Important for designers, architects and builders, no other raw material receives as many LEED points as LBV. Given LBV’s strength and light weight properties it is also a good fit for veneer applications for plane, yacht and car finishes. A tour around the Laboo office also identified some partnerships in the form of a prototype electric guitar, rifle stock and chandelier parts.
Schuette located Lamboo, Inc. in Springfield purposefully. The high quality of life and low cost of living played a large role in looking at Springfield. “Although we have partners around the world and we travel quite a bit, much of our business is conducted via email and Skype,” Schuette said. In fact, the company has brought partners to the Capitol City to experience what Springfield has to offer in hopes of generating further synergy for Lamboo’s products and business plan.
Sustainability in our daily lives is here for the long haul. Buildings and products will continue to seek new and innovative materials that retain and enhance the role traditional materials but with an edge on energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Lamboo, Inc. is leading a revolution in sustainable materials from its perch overlooking the Old State Capitol. Luke Schuette and Lamboo, Inc. have made great strides and have plans for continued growth in Springfield, Central Illinois and the world.
(Excerpt of article by David A. Kelm. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)
Lamboo Inc. has earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label. The USDA Certified Biobased Product Label verifies that the products amount of renewable biobased ingredients meets or exceeds prescribed USDA standards. Biobased products are goods composed in whole or in significant part of agricultural, forestry, or marine materials.
"We are proud to join the elite group of companies achieving 100% Biobased recognition from the USDA," said Luke Schuette, founder and president of Lamboo. "The combination of sustainability and high-performance technology has spurred an industrial materials revolution. Lamboo will continue to advance sustainability working with industry leaders worldwide."
All biobased amount claims are verified by independent labs and monitored by the USDA. Consumers may feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased amount and be empowered in making better informed purchasing decisions.
"We are pleased that Lamboo Inc. has earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label," said Ron Buckhalt, USDA BioPreferred Program Manager, “and appreciate that the company is using a fast-growing, rapidly renewable resource to make their products.”
The label is on certified products and available for consumers since August 27, 2013.
About USDA BioPreferred
The USDA BioPreferred program was created by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill), and expanded by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill). The purpose is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products. The United States Department of Agriculture manages the program. Products that meet the USDA BioPreferred program requirements carry a distinctive label for easier identification by the consumer.
Lamboo is the world leading materials technology company that specializes in engineered performance based bamboo for structural, architectural, and OEM industrial applications worldwide. Integration of select species of bamboo are processed into Lamboo's SBP(Structural Bamboo Products) achieving advantages in performance, aesthetics, and sustainability. Lamboo Material Technologies provide durability, uniformity, and strength. Our advanced and continued global research and product integrations are focused on the following product
divisions: Structural, Curtain Walls, Windows & Doors, Interiors, Exteriors, and Aviation & Nautical.
Skyscrapers dominate the skylines of our major cities, offering more
urban density and greater flexibility than smaller buildings. However,
concrete- and steel-based tall structures require huge amounts of energy
for their construction, which comes at a significant environmental
cost. This can be mitigated by incorporating technologies such as solar
power, passive cooling systems and efficient lighting into the design,
but what if we could go even further and build skyscrapers using
sustainable materials? Herein lies the impetus behind recent research
into the efficacy of wooden skyscrapers.
Before considering the technical hurdles of constructing tall buildings
from wood, perhaps the first question which should be asked is: what are
the specific benefits wood can offer over concrete and steel?
The single most compelling argument in favor of building wooden
skyscrapers is the fact that, providing the timber is sourced
responsibly, they represent an opportunity to create a sustainable
building on a truly grand scale, cutting down on overall CO2 output as a
As a recent lengthy report on the subject by Michael Green Architects (MGA) entitled "Tall Wood" [PDF] asserts:
"Over the last twenty years, as the world’s understanding of
anthropogenic climate change has evolved, we have seen the large impact
that buildings contribute to the greenhouse gases causing climate
change. Concrete production represents roughly 5 percent of world carbon
dioxide emissions, the dominant greenhouse gas. In essence the
production and transportation of concrete represents more than 5 times
the carbon footprint of the airline industry as a whole. It is clear
that the very fundamentals of what materials we build our buildings with
are worth re-evaluating."
The "Timber Towers"
[PDF] report produced by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) cites the
potential to compete with reinforced concrete and steel, while reducing
the carbon footprint by 60 to 75 percent.
To cope with the heavy load, stresses, and vibrations a skyscraper
undergoes daily, it needs to be built from material far more durable
than normal timber. The SOM and MGA reports both agree that the solution
to constructing tall buildings from wood rests on the use of "Mass
SOM's report defines Mass Timber as solid panels of wood, engineered
for greater strength through the lamination of different layers.
SOM's researchers prefer to add concrete connecting joints when building
with Mass Timber, while MGA utilizes steel to reinforce the mass timber
panels. Whichever reinforcing method is chosen, the result is a very
tough building material which is worlds away from the timber framing
used to build many homes, and suitable for tall buildings up to 30
stories in height, even in high seismic areas like Vancouver.
(Excerpt of article by Adam Williams. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)
Lamboo, Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB), is unmatched in its potential as an
environmentally friendly and structurally stable building material. Bamboo can be produced on a
large scale with much more ease than timber forests cutting costs and limiting
energy consumption. Testing and predictions from experts has led to
Bamboo being referred to as "the next super material" due to its amazing
attributes and resiliency.
In its engineered form (Lamboo) bamboo is the ideal bio-based product for applications requiring superior structural strength and longevity. In fact, Lamboo components are on average
20% more stable than hardwoods and up to 40% more stable than softwoods
such as Pine or Douglas Fir.
Lamboo's popularity as a sustainable, higher performing product is growing; we encourage you to learn more from the links below and to contact us with any questions that should arise.
About Bamboo as a resource
- Produces 30% more oxygen in comparison to similar size timber forest area
- Sequesters 35% more carbon in comparison to similar size timber forest area
- Growth rate of 6-8 years to maturity (In comparison to 25-50 for traditional timber)
- Root structure eliminates need to replant
Learn more about Lamboo
What is Lamboo?
has been deemed the new “wonder plant” and with good reason. Bamboo
impacts the lives of over 1.5 billion people worldwide, has over 1500
uses that we know about now, is highly sustainable, sequesters up to 40%
more Co2 than a forest of trees the same size, and is stronger than
Bamboo is the fastest-growing
woody plant in the world, capable of growing up to four feet a day.
Most of it is grown organically, and in most locations requires no
irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizers. Because of its fast growth, good
mechanical properties, low price and abundant availability, bamboo is
widely recognized as a promising resource for sustainable manufacturing.
An acre of bamboo can
sequester 25 tons of carbon dioxide per year, compared to only 6 tons
from a young forest. Bamboo is so effective in this role that Japan and
the Netherlands are planting vast tracts of bamboo toward their carbon
credit. Much of America’s lands are suitable for growing bamboo. After
being imported as early as 1828 into the United States, bamboo grows
wildly mostly concentrated in the Southern U.S. and Eastern seaboard.
There are additional successful farms as far north as Ohio, Oregon and
Additional benefits of bamboo:
Bamboo requires only one
third of the water than cotton does. There is much less carbon
associated with growing bamboo such as operating tractors in harvesting
and maintenance than cotton.
Bamboo is stronger than
steel and more durable than wood. (withstands up to 52,000 Pounds of
pressure psi) It can be used as a composite, structural beams, flooring,
scaffolding, supports, housing, and concrete reinforcement.
Bamboo is flexible. It can be used in virtually any application such as bike frames, domes, and other products.
Bamboo filters soil of contaminants and prevents soil erosion.
This plant has a use in every industry.
The need for a bamboo industry in the United States.
Provided all legislation and
forecasts stay on course during this election a perfect storm is brewing
for the entrance of bamboo as a mainstream crop.
Read more about the effects the bamboo industry will have on the political, environmental, and industrial sectors of the U.S. here.
(Above is an excerpt of an article by Eric Stevens. NOT AFFILIATED IN ANY MANNER WITH LAMBOO)
Mr. Stevens is a prime example of the growing number of innovative leaders and advocates that are taking strong stands on environmental and societal issues. The fact of the matter is that with our rapidly growing society, the traditional way of building and supporting our society is unsustainable and drastic measures must be taken, and sooner rather than later. With the forests and non-renewable resources quickly depleting, our leaders will eventually be forced to look at alternative options. Advocates like Stevens are creating a great framework for this radical political and social shift by promoting the use of bamboo in the U.S. and internationally. Although bamboo will not solve all environmental issues, it can play a major role in the global struggle and movement towards sustainable living that upcoming decades will undoubtedly bring.
Lamboo is playing a large part in the use of bamboo materials in the
U.S. through our Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB) panels in nearly every
industry and market. Our materials are being incorporated all across the
U.S. (and internationally) for architectural applications including
residential, industrial, commercial, and retail markets. Learn more about our products at the links provided below.
Aiming to position timber as a first-choice ‘primary and preferred
construction material’, Wood First Plus will provide evidence of the
credentials of timber from cradle to grave.
Work has begun to create a free online information hub containing all
of the environmental and design data necessary for project managers,
designers and architects to specify timber as a first choice material.
The hub will be called Wood First Plus, and has been organized by Wood for Good,
the UK timber industry promotion and sustainability group, supported by
Scottish Enterprise, the Timber Trade Federation, Forestry Commission
Scotland and the Timber Research and Development Association.
Building on the arguments of the Wood First
campaign, which aims to position timber as a first-choice ‘primary and
preferred construction material’, Wood First Plus will provide evidence
of the credentials of timber from cradle to grave.
The project is a result of on-going consultation with timber industry
organizations and external stakeholders, including contractors groups,
architects, professional institutions and many others.
All stakeholders will be able to access whole-life information on
timber products free of charge through a dedicated website, managed by
Wood for Good.
Individual timber companies will be able to use this data as a basis
to develop specific environmental product declarations (EPD) for their
products to guarantee their sustainability and traceability.
David Hopkins, Wood for Good’s head of external communications, said:
“With the built environment sector now firmly focused on delivering
low-carbon, sustainable buildings, being able to quantify the
environmental impact of construction materials is becoming increasingly
“The aim for Wood First Plus is to provide empirical evidence on the
performance of specific wood products, making it easier for construction
professionals wishing to build with timber to do so, and helping them
to adhere to industry regulations. We look forward to announcing the
first set of results later this year.”
The use of wood in construction brings numerous benefits for the
environment, the economy, and the community. Trees absorb CO2 and store
it, and when used in construction form an important store of atmospheric
carbon, helping to limit global warming.
With sustainably managed forests and increased use of timber in construction it is an endlessly renewable process.
Additionally, wood has good thermal performance properties,
increasing the energy efficiency and operational performance of a
building. Timber framed buildings are often quicker to erect saving on
The organization is also calling for a 'Wood First' stipulation in
planning guidance that would require wood to be considered, where
feasible, as the primary construction material in all publicly-funded
new build and refurbishment projects, from housing to bridges to
PE International has been engaged to oversee the collection, analysis
and review of all life cycle assessment (LCA) data for a wide range of
timber and timber products that will be used in the online tool.
The company has extensive experience in the construction materials
sector and in working with the timber industry, having previously
completed a major LCA project on US hardwood lumber for the American
Hardwood Export Council.
(Excerpt of article from Link2. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)
As more and more organizations return to the basics and look for sustainable options in their projects, the demand for renewable resources such as wood will grow exponentially. Often overlooked by mainstream architecture, is an ancient building material that can meet these demands, bamboo. As a rapidly renewable, high performance, material bamboo can be integrated with other bio based (or renewable) materials to provide truly sustainable buildings and products. Bamboo has a wealth of environmental and performance attributes that make it ideal for the construction and retail markets.
Other articles of interest:
Carbon credits are certificates that represent a reduction of greenhouse gases
in the atmosphere. These reductions are accomplished by projects
designed to prevent the generation of greenhouse gases: they range from
windmill farms to geothermal energy projects to biomass alternative energy initiatives to reforestation.
INBAR has taken the reforestation project and put their own bamboo spin on it for Chinese companies. Carbon credits in the form of bamboo plantation investments are now available for companies.
With so many options available, with so many projects, with traditional hardwood forestry as an option, why invest in bamboo?
- It grows up to four feet per day so it can be harvested every 4-5
years as opposed to the 25-70 years it can take for traditional
hardwoods to mature.
- It removes CO2 from the air and produces over 30% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of hardwood trees.
- Below the ground, bamboo’s roots help prevent soil erosion.
- Bamboo improves soil quality. The roots remove excess nitrogen and
because the plant grows readily with no use of pesticides, fertilizers
or herbicides, there is no ground pollution involved.
- Environmentalists are researching bamboo’s apparent ability to soak
up excess nutrients in waste water as an answer to waste issues.
With all these environmentally-friendly qualities, what has kept bamboo off the carbon offset table?
Very simply, a lack of math. Because bamboo plants have very
different growth characteristics than trees, different mechanisms were
needed to measure their carbon outputs. And before now, there was no
way to determine how much carbon a bamboo plant can convert.
Thanks to INBAR,
the China Green Carbon Foundation and the Zhejiang Agriculture, a
methodology now exists that can calculate the amount of carbon available
in the massive bamboo plantations in China. (Well, they actually only
account for 2.8% of China’s total forest area but considering the land
mass of China, that is a significant chunk.)
“This is a really big breakthrough,” said Yannick Kuehl, a climate
change expert at INBAR who helped develop the technique. “This means
that now bamboo is recognized as carbon offset, and as a tool for
climate change mitigation measures.”
According to Kuehl, more than 10 Chinese companies have pre-ordered
carbon credits and the money they pay will go towards planting new
bamboo forests in China. In a country plagued with environmental issues, utilizing the sustainable bamboo plant is a positive step.
(Excerpt of article from Green Earth News. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)
“It’s not where you
start in life, it’s where you end up and all the places you went in between.”
– United States General Colin L. Powell former U.S. Secretary of State
For the closing keynote speaker of the stimulating,
three-day “Building Leaders” convention in Colorado, the American Institute of
Architects (AIA) selected one of America’s most admired public figures to share
wisdom and insight in becoming a great leader. (Excerpt Source)
AIA 2013 was a great experience for Lamboo and our partners.
Over the course of the show, Lamboo representatives Luke Schuette, CEO and Dir.
of Research, along with Matt Paul, Dir. of Architectural Product Development,
met with leaders, designers, and architects from all across the globe
discussing the future of the building community and the best steps towards a
Many of the attendees at the expo were shocked to learn of a
structural grade bamboo material that can be easily integrated into their
projects while out performing traditional sources in nearly every performance category.
Great connections were made at the show but we would
like to especially thank our partners for their collaboration in making AIA 2013 such a
huge success! These partners either incorporated Lamboo materials in their expo
booth designs or were represented at the Lamboo booth. These partners include: H
Window Company, NanaWall, Kolbe Windows & Doors, Dover Windows and Doors, Max-R, Pacific Architectural Millwork, G.R. Plume Company, Bless Construction
Inc., and Alamco Wood Products.
These companies represent industry leaders and innovators
who have chosen to take advantage of the tremendous benefits bamboo based
Lamboo materials can offer. These companies offer products in the following
Lamboo® Technologies AIA 2013 Booth!
For more information about the show, Lamboo products, or our
partners please contact us
or call (866) 966-2999!
ARCAT, Inc. is a premier building materials information
resource for architects, spec writers, engineers, and contractors. The ARCAT
directory/database is designed to be an efficient point of reference to collect
information on a variety of building materials and product systems. The
strength of ARCAT lies both in its great reputation/reliability and the
uniformity of its listings.
The ARCAT website includes 10,500 manufacturer listings by alpha or
CSI section, 9000 BIM Models, 900 specs all in the CSI 3 part format, 300
SpecWizards for automated spec writing and 7,000 CAD Details. All of these
files and documents are in a uniform ARCAT format allowing for research that is
faster and much easier. Site users can search and download information on
multiple products/projects all in same place and format, reducing costs and
time for the user. ARCAT is free and requires no registration to use.
Lamboo is taking advantage of the ARCAT system through the
use of a company profile. On the Profile product information and specifications
will be made available for individuals and companies interested in using Lamboo
products, all free of charge. Lamboo currently maintains an expansive Resource
Library on our website but is pleased to add this simple yet powerful profile
as a resource for ARCAT users.