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BioBuild Challenge

My-Composite: To Mycelium and Beyond

  • Creator
  • #2775

    RodRick Ekwall

    Mycelium is a foam-like root system produced by most varieties of fungus. By breaking down organic compounds found in the growing substrate, mycelium is able to advance its body to the outer limits of its container. When these limits are similarly of organic composition it fuses itself to these members. We call for a completely organic composite that is 100% biodegradable, plastic in its form-ability, uses no chemical adhesives, while also containing no thermal breaks in the wall construction. It has exceptional insulation qualities, is structural as a composite with timber, and is very lightweight. This material could be developed on the build site nearly anywhere in the world, avoiding costly shipping. Mycelium grows with mycelium spawn and any organic substrate. Though the type of substrate has a large impact there is potential for the utilization of found substrate from the build site by mulching the existing trees. Hence this composite is practical in almost any location on earth, can be produced with little cost, and could avoid the hassles of transportation of materials. Finally with the right selection of mushroom and suitable choice of substrate this composite can be an over-achiever, solving a range of modern architectural concerns such as vibration and sound dampening, thermal insulation, water filtration, erosion control, and easy fabrication. The finish, like the performance of this composite, is also a variable aspect allowing for the proper fit on nearly any job. However, with a finish of timber panels and wax, this composite could be as simple as setting up the wax form work with timber panels in place and filling the cavities with substrate infused with mycelium spawn. The final result is a beautiful collaboration of many parts of an ecosystem working together to better the next generation of human construction.

    Further considerations have also been made present on the accompanying information sheets as well as on the post from my team mate Jason Hester – jrhester.

    [starrater tpl=44 size=’24’]

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  • Author
  • #2783

    Jason Hester

    After demolition, a building will leave tons of waste that is often transported to landfills or worse absorbed by the surrounding landscape. Due to its biodegradable nature, mycelium can actually create new oportunities for the surrounding land or even waste land conditions. Research on mycelium and its effects on oil based mounds has concluded with surprising results on mycelium’s ability to recycle many forms of waste into living green fields!
    (begins at 8:00)

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