Growing architecture through mushrooms

Mycelium is like a glue: it latches onto whatever it finds around it,usually, low-value organic matter like plant stalks or cotton hulls—to create a super-dense network of threads. It is grown it in dark cartons for three to five days, after which they use extreme heat to stop it from blossoming spores. It‘s an incredibly speedy organism, which makes it ideal for manufacturing. Then there‘s the fact that it grows to fit any mold, almost like a dense foam. It is a 100% compostable and biodegradable material made of mushroom roots (using mycelium as a resin), seed husks and agricultural waste. It was originally developed to replace Styrofoam for packaging and insulating purposes. An applications thats being developed further is using myecelium as a once piece building and insulation material. Greensulate and Ecovative are two companies that develops that product.

Tests done by the University of Seville shows that for the same amount of material produced, it consumes about ten times less energy and produces eight times less CO2 emissions than Polystyrene foam. If it replaces foam panels for insulating purposes, the overall CO2 emission would decrease 25.000.000 Kg in two years. That means reducing energy consumption during production processes and environmental footprint as well. A Greensulate panel has better structural properties than a foam one, since it is 20% stronger and its density is higher. It has a very low flammability and it resists longer than foam against fire. It does not emit toxic gases when it burns. Bricks for construction can also be grown from this material, making way for a self growing architecture to take place. Since the material is biological, it can work as a green wall where vegetation can be planted.

Fig.1-Mycelium-and-agricultural-waste-based-biocomposite-490x367Oyster_mushroom_(Pleurotus_ostreatus)_mycelium_on_coffee_grounds

Original sources:

http://www.gsapp.org/AAR/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Mayoral_0910_GROWING-ARCHITECTURE- THROUGH-MYCELIUM-AND-AGRICULTURAL-WASTE.pdf

http://gizmodo.com/the-futuristic-material-that-will-replace-plastic-is-511544462

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