Green Shoots Blog
There is a great debate going on in the decking world today: stick with wood, or make the leap to composites. Cali Bamboo’s BamDeck® product is a composite made of 100% recycled materials. Of course, it also contains a not-so-secret ingredient making it sturdier and greener than any other composite on the market — bamboo. (You probably didn’t need a psychic to predict that one.)
BamDeck® bamboo composite decking is composed of 60% recycled bamboo fiber (the byproduct of the production of other bamboo products) and 40% recycled HDPE plastics. (High density polyethylene plastic products are labelled with the number “2” and include bottles, laundry detergent containers, plastic bags and water pipes to name a few.)
So let’s break down the composite vs wood competition and put the great debate to rest…
BamDeck® COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL WOOD DECKS
Most timber decks continue to be made out of redwood, cedar or Ipé — woods chosen for their strength and relative resistance to insects and rot. However, these trees take decades to reach maturity and do not grow back after being chopped down. Redwood decks in particular, are often made using old-growth timber which have a 500 to 700 year lifespan. “Old-growth” refers to the forests that are considered ancient, and tend to promote the most biodiversity because of their unique filtration of sunlight. Many redwood lumber companies prefer using this old-growth wood because it is sturdier than the younger trees and can be given a longer warranty. Today, a mere 4% of these original old-growth giants are still standing as a result of a relentless demand for lumber. Bamboo, on the other hand, can be harvested again and again about every five years without any damage to the plant or surrounding environment. The recycled bamboo fiber used to create BamDeck® Composite is derived from the processing of other Cali Bamboo building products.
BamDeck® COMPARED TO OTHER COMPOSITE DECKS
While other composite decks also incorporate recycled plastics, BamDeck® is the only material using bamboo fiber instead of wood. This means the composite bears all the unique benefits of bamboo — a material much more dense than wood and naturally termite resistant. Tests performed by a licensed third party — in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) regulations and specifications — determined BamDeck® Composite to be more than twice as hard and four times stronger than other decking products. Tests show the product absorbs one tenth as much water and scores lower on flame and smoke tests. Cali Bamboo’s decking is also slip resistant and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. BamDeck® is also LEED qualified and priced competitively to other composite decking options.