17-0224 v3.1/Giant Panda Exhibit, Calgary Zoo/FSC Bamboo


Our team is seeking clarification on the applicability of FSC certification to raw bamboo poles used for theming and decoration in relation to  Imperative 12 – Responsible Industry.

Our project is the Giant Panda exhibit at the Calgary Zoo. The pandas will live in a naturalized indoor and outdoor enclosure that mimics their natural habitat. Chinese architectural theming is incorporated throughout the exhibit, and the use of bamboo as a cultural element is a large part of this.

Bamboo is a fast growing grass native to many parts of the world. Per Imperative 12 language, all “timber” products must be salvaged or FSC certified. Our team has researched many options for the bamboo and would like to categorize bamboo as a grass rather than a “timber” which would mean it would not therefore require FSC certification.

Our project team has sourced a Red List-compliant solid bamboo product that is pressure treated with boric acid to increase its durability and lifespan.

After extensive searching, our the team was unable to find any FSC-certified suppliers of raw bamboo poles. FSC-certified bamboo appears only as manufactured or composite bamboo products such as lumber, flooring, or dowels, but these do not meet the biophilia, aesthetic or life cycle requirements of the project.

We are looking to confirm that it is acceptable to use the raw bamboo poles as part of the theming to support the biophilia, cultural and educational components of this project.  The next best alternate we have found appears to be Red List compliant HDPE synthetic bamboo pole. While it technically meets LBC criteria, it does not support our goals of using natural materials, providing ecological and cultural connection to place, or the integration of culture and ecology into the design.


Due to the cultural/biophilic/educational importance of raw bamboo in this context, non-FSC Certified raw bamboo may be allowed, but only if there are no FSC raw bamboo poles available. Given the invasive nature of bamboo and the specific requirements of this project, a product is likely to have to be imported from Asia, but the FSC marketplace ( marketplace.fsc.org) also shows many results for "Bamboo raw Canada".
Due diligence efforts to source FSC Certified raw bamboo must be documented, including a letter from FSC staff stating that the required product is not available at this time. Any composite bamboo products must be FSC Certified.

Post ID 6389

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