A building You Can Live in and Eat

Haylee Thomas-Kuhlmann (Post 7)

post 7 picture 2.jpg

Picture from Mark Boyer

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!

 

References:

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.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. xion0851

    Firstly I would say that your initial paragraph is an opinion, mushrooms are very complex and with different types of mushrooms, the flesh of them could be very durable. Based on the blog post itself I’m just curious as to how these bricks would work and I generally have lot of questions.

    – It’s understandable that these mushrooms would act as bricks but would it be dual layered and would there be insulation?
    – If there were outer layers added on these mushroom roots, would it still be considered edible?
    – What kind of mushrooms are they using and are they edible mushrooms, dried mushrooms can still produce spores.
    – Are they resistant to corrosion and everyday wear and tear to the natural environment?
    – Ideally where would these bricks be used?
    – etc, etc.

    I think there are still a lot of questions at hand and that the argument you had was clear, there just isn’t enough information to show whether or not this system would be sustainable in every living environment.

  2. Comment #1
    I would agree that mushroom materials could be beneficial as an architecture material. And I can image that this material might able to save lives when used in walls and furniture at seismic areas, because of its eatable and lightweight characters. However, there are still some concerns need to be answered.
    I have to argue your idea about that people could grow the entire house for places with natural occurring mushrooms. Before making this conclusion, there are many things needs to take into consideration. One thing never mentioned in this blog is the ingredients and their proponent for mushroom materials. Even if there are enough fresh mushrooms at local that needed to create this more density and dry material, also acquiesce in people’s ability to figure out toxic mushrooms from good ones, one more thing we need to consider is the accessibility to other ingredients of the material. According to my research, this mushroom material also needs plenty of flour as well as mushroom fibers. Thus the suggestion that DIY the whole house at places with natural mushrooms might not be valid if the place lacks grains.
    Also, I doubt the ability of the mushroom materials to grow chairs and bedframes, etc. One important thing that not mentioned is how much this material could load, is it safe for use as loading structures? Another reason for my doubting is the fact that mentioned on the blog—its duration is not studied. I could not agree with your opinion that this material is “easily replaceable by growing another that may not matter”, as you stated at the beginning of the blog that the mushroom material is used between outside layers. Also, for the grow-in-mold furniture made from the mushroom material, flaw or damage at a small loading part, could cause the useless of the whole object, because it is a “grow” structure without any joint.
    Overall, I believe that the mushroom material would benefit our lives in some ways, but it might not be used as abundant as you stated if it does have the flaws as I mentioned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: