Skip to content
Home » Blog » Natural AirCon with Bamboo

Natural AirCon with Bamboo

Harnessing the Cooling Power of Bamboo

Generating a Cooling Breeze: The Natural Air Movement Effect of Clumping Bamboo

Bamboo serves vital roles in the microclimate through shading, evaporation, and wind control. Firstly, it provides shade, shielding surfaces from direct sunlight and preventing heat accumulation. Additionally, bamboo cools itself and the surrounding air through evaporation, akin to the human body’s cooling mechanism. Moreover, bamboo regulates wind flow, slowing it down with its leaves to retain cool air. A complete bamboo canopy is more effective than a single plant in cooling. Furthermore, depending on their shape, bamboo enhances wind flow at pedestrian level, creating a refreshing breeze and making individuals feel cooler.

Example visual: Warm and cool air circulation (Valley and Mountain Breeze)
Example visual: Warm and cool air circulation (Valley and Mountain Breeze)

The Natural Air Movement Effect

When hot air rises and cooler air sinks, this creates a temperature difference that can result in natural air movement. This effect can be enhanced by the presence of tall clumping bamboo, which can create microclimates with cooler air temperatures and higher humidity levels.

To understand this effect, let’s consider the following formula:

ΔT = H * (g / Cp)


ΔT = Temperature difference (in °C)
H = Height difference between two points (in meters)
g = Gravitational acceleration (9.8 m/s^2)
Cp = Specific heat of air at constant pressure (1.005 kJ/kg*K)

Assuming a height difference of 20 meters between the ground and the top of mature clumping bamboo, we can calculate the temperature difference between these two points:

ΔT = 20 * (9.8 / 1.005) = 196°C

The top of the bamboo can reach temperatures up to 196°C higher than ground level. However, this doesn’t guarantee cooler air beneath the bamboo due to other factors like solar radiation, humidity, wind, and thermal mass.

Materials like metal roofs or tiles absorb and retain heat, increasing the surrounding air temperature. Here’s where the natural air movement effect becomes crucial. Cooler, denser air beneath the bamboo can flow upward, displacing warmer, lighter air, and creating a convection current that reduces the surrounding temperature.

In hot and humid climates, this air movement effect is particularly valuable, enhancing comfort for people and animals. Planting mature clumping bamboo enhances this effect, creating sustainable and comfortable living environments.

The natural air movement effect of tall clumping bamboo is a valuable tool to mitigate climate change impacts. By comprehending its science and promoting bamboo in sustainable practices, we can harness nature’s power for a better future.

Energy savings from removing the air conditioning use

Clumping tropical bamboo not only creates natural air movement but also reduces the need for artificial cooling systems like air conditioners, thus saving energy.

In a study published in the journal Energy and Buildings, it is revealed that mature clumping bamboo can provide shade, reducing solar radiation by up to 97% in tropical regions. This shading ability could potentially lower air conditioning energy consumption by 31%, leading to decreased greenhouse gas emissions.

Let’s consider a building with a typical 1 kW air conditioning load, used for about 12 hours daily. By reducing energy consumption by 31%, it could save approximately 3.72 kWh of electricity each day. This translates to around 1,358 kWh of electricity savings per year, resulting in significant cost and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

It’s important to emphasize that the energy-saving potential of clumping tropical bamboo varies depending on climate conditions, building design, and cooling system efficiency. However, by promoting the use of natural shading and ventilation systems like mature clumping bamboo, we can effectively lower energy consumption and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Waste heat not released into surrounding environment

Not only does removing air conditioning usage save energy directly, but it also brings about additional energy savings and environmental benefits in the microenvironment.

When air conditioning systems operate, they release waste heat into the surroundings, contributing to the urban heat island effect and exacerbating local temperature increases. The urban heat island effect occurs when urban areas, with their heat-absorbing surfaces and lack of green spaces and natural ventilation systems, experience higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas.

Research published in the Journal of Environmental Management indicates that increasing vegetation in urban areas can mitigate the urban heat island effect and reduce energy consumption by up to 13% during peak cooling periods. By offering natural shading and cooling effects, clumping tropical bamboo helps decrease the reliance on air conditioning, fostering a more sustainable and comfortable microenvironment.

For example, a study in Singapore discovered that using shading devices like plants and trees can lower building facade temperatures by up to 11°C and indoor temperatures by up to 4°C, resulting in a 10-20% reduction in cooling energy consumption.

Conclusion Bamboo positive impact on microenvironment

In conclusion, incorporating natural shading and cooling systems, such as mature vegetation like clumping bamboo, brings several benefits to the microenvironment. It helps mitigate the urban heat island effect, enhances local air quality, and promotes sustainable and comfortable living conditions.

Sources Study

Cooling Effect of Shade Trees with Different Characteristics in a Subtropical Urban Park

Cooling Effect of Shade Trees with Different Characteristics in a Subtropical Urban Park Authors: Bau-Show Lin and Yann-Jou Lin


We conducted a study in a park in subtropical Taipei City, Taiwan, to examine the impact of shade trees on air and surface-soil temperature reduction. For the study, we selected ten tree species and two bamboo species that resembled trees in shape, with tightly clustered tall stems and spreading branches. During the summer of 2007, we measured the leaf and canopy characteristics of each species.

Repeated measurements were taken at midday without precipitation to compare the microclimate conditions under the tree canopies and an adjacent unshaded open space. Results showed that air temperatures under the canopies were 0.64 to 2.52 °C lower, while surface-soil temperatures were 3.28 to 8.07 °C lower compared to the nearby unshaded open space.

Regression analysis revealed the relative contributions to the air cooling effect in decreasing order: foliage density, leaf thickness, leaf texture (surface roughness), and leaf color lightness. Foliage density had the greatest contribution to surface-soil cooling, followed by leaf thickness, leaf texture, and leaf color lightness.

Additionally, the regression analysis indicated that solar radiation, wind velocity, and vapor pressure at the site significantly influenced the temperature reduction attributed to shade trees or bamboo.