May 22 2006
Today, almost 1 million acres of forest vanish per week. This alarming rate of deforestation has forced many world economies to rethink their business and manufacturing practices. A sixty-foot tree cut for market takes 60 years to replace. Meanwhile, a sixty-foot bamboo cut for market takes 59 days to replace* (*International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)). Bamboo is officially recognized as the world's fastest growing plant and has a tensile strength comparable to steel.
In response to figures like these, in early 2005 a new bamboo flooring company was born in Washington, DC. Ambient Bamboo Products Inc. brings the next generation in building materials to the market – high quality bamboo flooring. Driven by the ever-growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products, Ambient introduces several bamboo flooring products to the market that appeal, aesthetically and practically, to a wide variety of consumers.
“It’s an exciting venture,” said Will Latta, Ambient Bamboo Product’s Director of Sales. “As one of the few companies in the United States specializing only in bamboo flooring, we are proud to be among the leaders in environmentally responsible building materials “. Ambient works closely with carefully selected manufacturers in Asia to provide only the highest quality bamboo flooring products. All products are made with Moso species bamboo, which is widely regarded as the sturdiest of bamboo species. All of the bamboo used in Ambient’s flooring has reached a maturity of 5 years, and all resins used in the manufacturing process meet stringent European E1 low formaldehyde emissions standards. All products have a minimum 25 year residential warranty and are made with industry leading finishes such as Klumpp and Treffert.
"We will ship around the planet"! Ambient has filled orders in the United States, Canada, and Mexico and offers shipping to anywhere in the world. Ambient’s geographical proximity to the booming Washington DC real estate market offers local consumers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood flooring types, often at lower prices and even lower shipping costs.
Ambient believes strongly in its company philosophy, “Flooring For The Future”. This philosophy is based on important ecological findings:
*Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth. It is known to produce greater biomass and 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest of comparable size, while improving watersheds, preventing erosion, restoring soil, providing sweet edible shoots and removing toxins from contaminated soil. Ecologists tout bamboo as a renewable source of food and building material. Many promote bamboo planting for erosion prevention, and even to reverse the effects of global warming.
*Bamboo helps reduce carbon dioxide gases blamed for global warming. Some bamboo sequesters up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare, which makes it a highly efficient plant, and conducive to fresh air. Bamboo can be selectively harvested annually and regenerates without replanting.
*Bamboo is a natural water control barrier. Because of its wide spread root system and large canopy, bamboo greatly reduces rain run off, prevents massive soil erosion and keeps twice as much water in a watershed. Bamboo helps mitigate water pollution due to its high nitrogen consumption, making it a solution for excess nutrient uptake of wastewater from manufacturing, livestock farming and sewage treatment.
*Bamboo can restore degraded lands. It is a pioneering plant and can be grown in soil damaged by overgrazing and poor agriculture. Proper harvesting does not kill the bamboo plant, so topsoil is held in place. Because of its dense litter on the forest floor it feeds topsoil, restoring healthy agricultural lands for generations to come.
Typical hardwood lumber trees, such as the ones used in conventional wood flooring, take 30-50 years to regenerate. In the meantime, there is less oxygen produced, less carbon dioxide consumed, and more soil runoff in the spot where that tree was harvested - all producing negative environmental effects. Our biosphere is suffering from resource depletion, habitat loss, species extinction, and ecosystem pollution. Ambient believes that suggesting sustainability is not enough.
Ambient specializes in Distressed and Strand Woven bamboo flooring. Distressed flooring, also known also as 'antique' or hand scraped, is hand crafted by factory workers so that each plank has a texture and personality all its own. A plank of hand scraped flooring takes 12 times longer to produce than a plank of traditional wood flooring. This flooring has experienced a surge of popularity in Italy and the Middle East, where the older architecture demands a refined, warm, classical look.
Ambient’s Fortec Strand Woven bamboo flooring is a relatively new product that is gaining industry-wide accolades for its durability and aesthetic appeal. Strand bamboo floors are made using a unique manufacturing process that is different from all other bamboo flooring types - by heating long strips of bamboo, weaving them together, then laminating them under extreme pressure. This bamboo strand manufacturing process produces flooring that is twice as hard than traditional bamboo flooring, which is already one of the hardest wood flooring products available. It is made with a non-toxic, water-resistant resin that allows for use in kitchens and bathrooms. It has a unique grain that is a mix between traditional wood floors and regular bamboo flooring.