In The Future, Your Home May be Made Out of…Mushrooms?

We hear a lot of buzz about what the future of a particular type of home design will look like. Sleek, plugged in and tech forward, the sexy smart home of the future is on its way. But what scientific advances will we make in the world of affordable housing? Christopher Maurer of Redhouse Studio, an architecture and humanitarian design firm, is investigating just that.

With the abundance of building material waste being generated a year—530 million tons to be specific—the folks at Redhouse saw a missed recycling opportunity. The Cleveland based firm has developed a system that recycles old building waste and turns into a new useable material. Working with scientists and researchers at NASA and MIT, the team has developed a sustainable, eco friendly ‘brick’ that they think could revolutionize the ways we use building waste and how we build new structures.

The “bricks” wouldn’t just be made out of recycled materials. There’s a special ingredient in all of this — mushrooms. Actually it’s mycelium, the organisms which create mushrooms. The mycelium are mixed in with the recycled material and then put in molds to resemble bricks and compacted into a structural material. In theory, the material can last as long as the mycelium (thousands of years), it just can’t get too wet. An added bonus is that the bricks could grow mushrooms as a source of food.

The team has started a new Kickstarter for BIOCYCLER, a mobile unit that would go around to demolition sites in Cleveland to collect waste and turn it into new materials and test them for proof of concept.

Maurer hopes that the new materials may one day be used for refugee housing and disaster relief shelters. “We can promote food security, water security, and provide shelter at the same time using those methods,” Maurer told Fast Co.

h/t Fast Co. Design



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