Haylee Thomas-Kuhlmann (Post 7)
A building You Can Live in and Eat
As a child we were told not to touch mushrooms and if we did they would fall apart and crumble very effortlessly. They were not thought of as a robust product and were often undesirable in our food. Mushrooms don’t get the attention they deserve, especially when they can be used to create bricks tougher than concrete (Mok) while being 100% organic and compostable (Boyer).
Small fibers called mycelium act as a mushrooms roots and when dried it is essentially a strong, fire-resistant, water-resistant, and mold-resistant material (Mok). These fibers can be grown to fit the shape of a brick by using a mold. Once taken out of the mold it takes 5 days for the fibers to dry but once dry it is a complete lightweight brick (Arthur). After the brick is done many outside layers could be applied to get the look desired or be a form of protectant (Boyer, Mok). This process creates no carbon emissions or waste like most material processes today (Arthur).
This could truly be an astonishing idea for many places that have naturally occurring mushrooms. People could essentially grow their entire house themselves and also make the brick the way they would like. Many other things can be made using mushrooms because it grows into the mold of choosing. Chairs, bedframes, and tables are all possibilities. This could be an amazing idea for those who cannot afford a house or prefer to build on out of completely 100% organic materials.
There has not yet been research on how long these bricks could last but if they are easily replaceable by growing another that may not matter. Most of the time it is a huge ordeal if a section of a building falls or is broken but in this case one could just grow a few extra bricks and replace them moderately fast with slight labor.
Another thing that was not mentioned in detail was the growing process of these bricks. How much water is needed? How much light? Does it need soil? All of these are important questions to think about because some places are lacking sources of water, fertile soil, and the right light qualities for mushroom growth. Although these bricks seem extremely amazing the growing process could be complicated and could be quite difficult.
Without this information it is truly hard to know whether this organic building material is logical but it is very fascinating that one could rip a brick from their wall and eat it!
Arthur, Golda. “Making Houses Out of Mushrooms.” BBC News. N.p., 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.
Boyer, Mark. “Philip Ross Molds Fast-Growing Fungi Into Mushroom Building Bricks That Are Stronger than Concrete.” Inhabitat Green Design Innovation Architecture Green Building. N.p., 25 June 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.
Mok, Kimberley. “Mycotecture: Building with Mushrooms? This Inventor Says Yes.” TreeHugger. N.p., 6 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.