When I went to New Orleans to help rebuild for the second time, I was plagued with a series of questions about the feasability of what we were doing. Was it worth rebuilding with the same materials that were used before, with the threat of another flood imminent? Was it smart to use the same materials that were responsible for the mold-flu epidemic?
Of course the answer was “no” but it didn’t seem to me that anyone else was asking those questions. But it turns out I was wrong.
On the second trip, we met with an amazing Professor from Tulane University (whom if you scroll back in this blog you can find out more about) who told us about the ways his students and fellow faculty were overcoming those obstacles. Surprisingly, the biggest answer was simple: bamboo.
It is a completely sustainable plant with a growth rate of approximately 1 meter a day, in good conditions. Bamboo shoots are edible, and delicious (I’ve heard) source of potassium, but most importantly,when used as a building material, bamboo is an extremely hard wood with high resistance to mold. Many companies are offering bamboo hard wood flooring furniture recently, but the benefits far outweight the trendiness.