Mycelium in Construction?…some tangible progress

In this post:
Short life Construction?
Fire
Water
More TARGETED FUNCTION,
A Project that really Tests the Functions of Mycelium in Weather
Going off in another direction – a new proposal
…at the bottom other posts & MycoComposite Material suppliers

above image: from the FUNGAR project, at the end of this post

So where are we with
Mycelium in the Construction Industry?

From what I have found, there is still a lot of R&D to do before Mycelium will succeed in Construction. There is progress, however. In 2019, Krown.bio insulated 2 buildings. This is the kind of activity that needs to be monitored and successfully commercialized in volume, to scale. MOGU, is selling Floor and Acoustic Tiles. And Mycotech is selling mycelium board composite tiles.

A specific target
Will a mycelium composite accomplish a particular task? What we need is more of this; R&D based on a specific result that you want. Have you found the right components/materials/mushroom spawn to accomplish your specific target? This seems to be the next major step in research; the right mushroom, the right substrate (waste material to grow it in), other additives, special coatings to prevent moisture absorption if required, etc.

What I have found up to now says that moisture absorption is probably the biggest problem. No one has set up a project to see if there is anything specific in their “formula” to prevent moisture absorption to see how mycelium hold up in varius weather conditions, aside from a final coating of the mycelium composite.


Today, someone searched on google for:
“can mycelium be strong enough to hold up a person”

In the project below, first a prototype was produced:
“Thick and Thin” Prototype structure after six weeks of drying. After eight weeks, it had the capacity to support the load of a person weighing 75kg.

The project’s final structure was THE MONOLITO MICELIO PAVILION

Short life Construction?

THE MONOLITO MICELIO PAVILION

MONOLITHIC MYCELIUM:  GROWING VAULT STRUCTURES 
Summer 2018

CONCLUSIONS: … The ability to rapidly grow structures cultivated from composites of bio-materials and agricultural waste has the potential to greatly impact current construction practices by promoting circular material economies. At a time when buildings are being constructed with very short expected lifespans that result in landfill disposal, mycelium can help challenge our traditional perceptions of the permanence of buildings, what materials we use, and where they go when we’re done using them. As mycelium continues to demonstrate promise as a commercialized bio-material for building construction, it will not only be important to continue inventing new ways to use it, but also specify the contexts in which it is most appropriate. A major weakness of mycelium material used as a part of a superstructure, is how fragile it is in the face of external elements and organisms without proper treatment. … Jonathan Dessi-Olive

This project had a short life: It was carried out in a very humid and rainy climate. The mycelium growth period was not stopped as it usually is by baking it in an oven, or something similar such as drying for a long period “inside” a building. After:
Month 1 – already saw cracks on the upper portion, possibly due to the flat roof and rain water collection
Month 3 – material from the upper portion began to fall away and the initial cracks grew wider
Month 4 – the cracks had gone completely through the upper structure and there were wide gaps through to the sky, the 4 column were covered with decay, mold, etc.
After 12 months, there are parts of the supporting columns left showing lots of mould and decay


Water

Implementing bio-design tools to develop mycelium-based products May 2019

Experimental results indicate a clear correlation between fabrication settings and final material properties. … (a need for) Density Implementing bio-design tools to develop mycelium-based products. … and physical performance (high density and low water absorbance, depicted in Figure 6), suggest that incompatibility between fungal specie and substrate type or incubation conditions result in a denser, more rigid and less water-absorbing material. …
Based on the results of this study, a fabrication protocol and material composition were selected for further exploration, to be used with computer aided (bio)fabrication methods and produce functional mycelium-based artefacts. (one of the Authors: Noam Attias)


Engineered mycelium composite construction materials from fungal biorefineries: A critical review [comparisons] December, 2019

Table 3 – Comparison of the cost, physical, mechanical, fire, thermal conductivity, acoustic absorption, moisture uptake,termite resistance, manufacturing and end of life properties of mycelium composites and typical synthetic foams (polystyrene (PS), polyurethane (PU) and phenolic formaldehyde resin (PF)) and wood products (plywood (PW), softwood (SW), hardwood (HW)) used in construction


Mechanical, physical and chemical characterisation of mycelium-based composites with different types of lignocellulosic substrates March 2019

The thermal conductivity and water absorption coefficient of the mycelium composites with flax, hemp, and straw have an overall good insulation behaviour in all the aspects compared to conventional un-sustainable materials. The conducted tests reveal that the mechanical performances of the mycelium-based composites depend more on the fibre condition, size, and processing than on the chemical composition of the fibres.


Fabrication factors influencing mechanical, moisture- and water-related properties of mycelium-based composites November 2018

Highlights
•The type of fungus influences homogeneity of mycelium composite materials and thickness of the fungal skin.
•The fungal skin impacts mechanical behaviour of the mycelium composite material and improves water resistance.
•Straw-based materials are stiffer and less moisture-resistant than cotton-based mycelium composites.
•Heat pressing improves homogeneity, strength and stiffness of mycelium composite material.
•Heat-pressed mycelium materials have similar density and elastic modulus as natural materials (e.g. cork and wood).


Myconoe
Kearney, Nebraska, USA
This Community College Student Made A Boat Out Of Mushrooms And Sailed It Down A River
September 2019 “Myconoe, the eight-foot canoe I grew from mycelium last summer. It is still in great condition and fruits after each float,” Katy Ayers wrote.

Katy Ayers built her Myconoe – 8 foot mushroom boat – by bending pieces of oak lattice into an inner frame, wrapping the frame in plastic sheeting, using Papier-mâché to create an outer and inner mold, and built a hammock to provide extra support during the packing process. The next step was to pack the Reishi spawn (myceliated pallet wood) tightly in between the molds with the frame in the middle. After seven days of growing, the Myconoe was ready to be unmolded. She let the boat grow for another week before the first signs of green mold showed up, which was the sign to take it outside to bake in the sun.

A boat made of mushrooms: CCC student to present her fungal creation at state fair, test the waters on the Platte River August 2019

Ayers … realized that since mycelium is both buoyant and waterproof (???), she’d try to showcase that through a boat.
To start, Ayers made her own “steam table” using a $70 wood steamer and a downspout, which she used to steam the base wood and craft it into a boat shape. Then the papier-maché mold and the “canoe hammock” to suspend the boat materials as the mycelium grew. She stuffed mycelium substrate into the mold, watched and waited.
Mycelium Growth stopped by the sun
The process of growing the boat only took 14 days. On Tuesday, the boat was sitting outside the Nebraska Mushroom LLC farm building in Grand Island, Nebraska to dry and stop the growth.

(Nebraska Mushroom is the place where Katy has been learning about mushrooms. This is not the first time mycelium composite has been used to make a water craft, but maybe the first, uncoated? Does this have something to do with the type of mushroom spawn she used? Reishi )

On Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 9:23 PM Ash <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Lesley!
I would love to help people grow mycelium and mushrooms in any capacity.
Ash
Owner/Operator
Nebraska Mushroom LLC
[email protected]



Fire

Waste‐derived low‐cost mycelium composite construction materials with improved fire safety May 2018

The findings of this study show that mycelium composites are a very economical alternative to highly flammable petroleum‐derived and natural gas‐derived synthetic polymers and engineered woods for applications including insulation, furniture, and panelling.


Thermal Degradation and Fire Properties of Fungal Mycelium and Mycelium – Biomass Composite Materials December 2018

Mycelium has been found to possess certain flame-retardant properties (e.g. high char residue and release of water vapour) and could be used as an economical, sustainable and fire-safer alternative to synthetic polymers for binding matrices.



More TARGETED FUNCTION necessary to develop successful end products.

Engineered mycelium composite construction materials from fungal biorefineries: A critical review 29 November 2019

Mycelium can replace … traditional construction materials … However, limitations stemming from their typically foam-like mechanical properties, high water absorption and many gaps in material property documentation necessitate the use of mycelium composites as … supplements to traditional construction materials…


Mycelium bio-composites in industrial design and architecture: Comparative review and experimental analysis 10 February 2020

The study shows that in order to produce desirable designs and performance within an inclusive circular approach, parameters such as material composition and fabrication conditions should be considered according to the target function of the final product throughout the design process.



A TARGETED FUNCTION, Mycotech mycelium board composite

commercial Mycelium in Construction
BIOBO is mycelium board composite

BIOBO is a mycelium board composite without using any harmful chemical as a binder agent. Mycelium texture on the surface meets contemporary expectations of architects and designers.

The material dampens noise and contributes to restful acoustics in residential buildings, industrial premises and public spaces. BIOBO is a mycelium composite board that is chemical adhesive free.



A TARGETED FUNCTION, Products by Mogu

FLOORING
Resilient floors: From agro-industrial residues to luxury living environments, Mogu Floor is a collection of bio-based resilient tiles for interior design and architecture. A perfect solution to support a fully circular approach within the building industry.
MOGU Floor tiles consist of a mycelium composite core, coated with a proprietary formulation of 90% bio-based resins.

ACCOUSTICS
Mogu Acoustics below full information for each:
Wave, Kite, Plain, Fields

Frequently Ask Questions about Mogu Products:

Can Mogu products be used outdoor?

No. Our Acoustic products are designed for interior design only.

How can I clean Mogu Acoustic products?

Mogu products are naturally antistatic; hence they will accumulate little dust over time. You can clean them with a sweeper or with gentle spray of compressed air. Please avoid the use of any moist or wet material on the products. (???) You can consult our Care & Maintenance manual to learn more here.

Can I install Mogu products in kitchens and wet rooms?

Although Mogu products are moisture resistant and naturally hydrophobic, we advise against installation in environments with high level of moisture. This might affect the durability of the product.

Are Mogu products sound isolating?

No! Soundproofing and sound absorption mechanisms are different. Soundproofing is used to block an unwanted sound from either entering or leaving a space. In this way, the sound made inside the room stays in the room, while the noise from the outside is drastically reduced within the room. Sound absorption, on the contrary, means that a fraction of the sound wave is absorbed by the panel, reducing the unwanted noise, such as echo, within a space.

Can Mogu products be used in BREEAM or LEED projects?

Yes! By choosing Mogu products, your project will earn high ‘scores’ in different areas of evaluation, such as substances, emission measurements (VOC) and responsible purchase. Please note that products cannot be certified for BREEAM or LEED, as this is a certification for architecture and construction projects.

Can mycelium materials cause allergic reactions?

No. Besides being harmless to humans and spore-less, we have tested our materials for skin contact and they cannot cause any allergic reactions.

Are Mogu products durable?

Yes! Thanks to our selected protocols, and their unique finishing process, we have engineered durable products from mycelium. Our materials will biodegrade only if the correct industrial conditions are provided, once disposed at the end of their life cycle.

Are Mogu Acoustic panels fire proof?

Our acoustic panels are certified for a striking B-s1-d0 fire rating, thanks to an exclusive and eco-friendly fire retardant finishing. The finishing is non-bromurated, non-halogen, antimony and heavy-metal free. We are also happy to provide Mogu Acoustic panels in their natural, non-coated aesthetics, achieving a D-s1-d0 class.

Can I receive samples of Mogu products and materials?

Yes, we would be glad to supply with a sample kit of Mogu products and materials. You can request more information for purchasing the sample box at [email protected]



A Project that can really Test the Weatherability of Mycelium in Construction

The Growing Pavilion

I am hoping that here is a structure that will be around long enough to give some history, some testing of Mycelium Panels in our weather systems to see how they “wear” in weather. The Growing Pavilion has that possibility…….

Mycelium construction project
The Growing Pavilion in the RAIN …………………Biobased Creations- “Reasons Why” Animation Video

On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 1:12 PM Klarenbeek – Dros, designers of the unusual <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi Lesley,
This pavilion, is outdoor, and will move to a new outdoor location for the coming two years.
 https://stichtingnieuwehelden.nl/project/the-growing-pavilion/

In the Netherlands (especially in Zaandam where our studio is based), we have a long history in wooden houses. As mycelium can be comparable to cork and wood, it’s possible, with or without coating, though to prevent it for the long term, a bio-coating is advisory (such as with wooden houses).
All the best,Eric
Studio Klarenbeek ∞ Dros – Designers of the unusual
Oostzijde 355, 1508 EP, Zaandam, The Netherlandstel:
[email protected] – www.ericklarenbeek.com

8:49 minutes The story behind the Growing Pavilion and
the reasons to build with Bio Based Materials

From the Growing Pavilion Atlas:
These are ALL the materials used in the Pavilion

(in Dutch and English in the document)

mycelium facade panels By Krown.bio design

lifespan:
Because mycelium can be used for many different purposes, the duration of use varies. Packaging will last for weeks to months, furniture will last for a few years and building products, such as those used in The Growing Pavilion, can last for decades.

impershield coating By impershield europe

made from:
This coating is made from resin from tree barks and grasses from Mexico. Growing the grasses takes 6 months and they can be harvested twice a year. Because the bark falls off the tree by itself, there is no infringement to the life of the tree. Once the bark has fallen, the resin is removed. Together with the grasses, it is made into Impershield through fermentation with a maximum temperature of 60 degrees.
supplier:
Impershield Europe supplies natural coatings that help protect building materials against moisture, dirt and UV. The goal is that the processed materials will last longer and maintain their beautiful appearance. It is a good replacement for chemical variants such as fiber plants and paints. The mycelium plates that form the wall of the pavilion have also been processed with this coating. Impershield Europe is located in Halsteren, the Netherlands.
lifespan:
Impershield can last 15 to 20 years before the product needs to be treated again.

If Eric is correct, then the coating may be the answer:
Go to https://www.c2ccertified.org/products/registry: Building Supply & Materials
I do not know, but among the 19 – Paint, Finishes, & Coatings in Building Materials there might also be a coating that works with Mycelium composites…. if impershield coating is not availble in your location.


Our Biobased Creations team will present The Growing Pavilion at Landscape as Cult. A changing view on our nature– an exhibition that puts the people/landscape and culture/nature relationships into sharp focus.



Going off in another direction?

Fungal architecture ?
A sensing and computing building made of fungi

Abstract:
We propose to develop a structural substrate by using live fungal mycelium, functionalise the substrate with nanoparticles and polymers to make a mycelium-based electronics, implement sensorial fusion and decision making in the fungal electronics and to growing monolithic buildings from the functionalised fungal substrate. … Our overarching goal of designing and bio-manufacturing a sensing and computing building with fungi will be achieved via the specific objectives described below:
Biofabrication: Cultivation of large (metre length scale) living mycelium. …
Functionalizing: Changing electrical and mechanical properties of mycelium network. …
Computing: Implementation of information processing on mycelial networks. …
Designing: Development of design rules and construction logics. …

An impressive group of people in this proposal. Among them:

Mycelium in Construction project
(Image credit: Future)


Professor Andrew Adamatzky, Centre for Unconventional Computing
World-first ‘smart’ fungal building to be developed by UWE academics A revolutionary new type of intelligent building made with green construction materials and capable of adaptively reacting to changes in light, temperature and air pollutants is being developed by UWE Bristol academics in collaboration with partners from Denmark (Centre for Information Technology and Architecture), Italy (MOGU) and the Netherlands (Utrecht University).
Academics are making ‘intelligent buildings’ with the help of fungi
…”Fungi sense everything as humans sense, and much more,” says Adamatzky. “Keep in mind that fungi were the first ever living creatures on Earth. So we all originate from fungi. The buildings made with fungi will be intelligent buildings, they will be able to sense, make decisions based on what they sense and also somewhat interact with their environment and inhabitants.”
Known as FUNGAR, this means that fungi grown inside the building will act as a sensor detecting changes in light, pollutants, and temperature, and computers will analyse the information.

Mycelium in Construction project
(FUNGAR/CITA)

Phil Ayres, architect and associate professor of architecture in Copenhagen
Why fungi could be the future of environmentally sustainable building materials February 2020
How is the mycelium going to be used as a building material?
The way it’s currently been explored is to actually kill the mycelium. You are casting it in blocks and bricks (baking it to stop growth) and then assembling it from there. We are actually considering the idea of growing things monolithically, which requires us to keep the mycelium alive.
Another reason we are needing to keep the mycelium alive is because our partners in the U.K.-based Unconventional Computing Group are looking to functionalize it and to turn it into a rudimentary sensing and computing device
What would this mycelium framework look like?
We want to use an old weaving technique called Kagome weaving, this weaving is essentially a tri-axial weaving system
What are some of the actual challenges to making this work? 
The key challenge for us is with this target of growing monolithically. Most of the growing that we see in the industry happens in very controlled and sterile conditions.
… And some of our initial work is really looking at trying to see how we can try and promote the growth of mycelium in non-sterile conditions.
The other interesting challenge, from an architectural perspective, is how architectural scale, features and spatial organizations might impact the computational capacity of the mycelium.



Are you working on a – mycelium in construction – project? Does your project have a clear, specific and practical target?

Suppliers of Mycelium Composite Material, around the world:

>>>>Australia:
>Mr. Russell Whittam, www.aussimushroomsupplies.com.au,
I’ve done lots of work with universities the last few years; supplying them with substrate and how to make their own materiel, etc. as well.
I’ve got a new product coming out about mid-2020 – for making things – just add water, spawn and mold the material. Then let it grow. Contact him at: [email protected]

>Ecovative Design is closing a license agreement for Australia. Write to them to get specifics.

>>>Europe:
>Grown.bio – has a license agreement with Ecovative Design.
their new MycoComposite™ kits consist of only LIVING mushroom material and are supplied to the EU countries. Possible also for geographical Europe, but customs clearances must be taken care of by the person making the order.
Grown.bio is now supplying the Mycelium Composite ™ material to insulate buildings. They have insulated class rooms in an Amsterdam school building and in a house in a village near Rotterdam. Scroll down to Building & Architecture products here. They have supplied the MycoComposite™ to many of the projects taking place in Europe, recently, that have been mentioned in my posts. Grown.bio sells other things made from MycoComposite™.

>>>Indonesia:
>MYCOTECH has an internship, offer. It makes a lot of sense to get some controlled experience with mycelium. MYCOTECH produces and sells, mycelium board composite panels BIOBO, and supplied the labor and material for the MycoTree project.

>>>>New Zealand
> Bio Fab NZ a new website that Ecovative has lincensed in New Zealand.

>>>>UK
> The Magical Mushroom Company a new website that Ecovative has lincensed in the UK.

>>>>USA:
>Grow-It-Yourself Kits for MycoComposite™ are now available direct from Ecovative’s Grow.bio. Here you will find all instructions, learning, and purchasing information. Grow.bio, however, only ships the MycoComposite™ material within North America.
>Ecovative Design has transferred all their Mushroom Packaging production equipment to a facility 4x bigger at Paradise Packaging Co. The new company and new website offer you more information about the mushroom packaging material and how it works. As always, the company is also happy to discuss licensing.

>The Mushroom Guru, Ash Gordon, that assisted Ms. Katy Ayers with her Myconoe, would be happy to “help people grow mycelium and mushrooms in any capacity“. Nebraska Mushroom LLC, [email protected]

>>>more places around planet Earth:
From Ecovative: “We are finalizing licenses that will soon bring MycoComposite™ to Western Asia, Northern Africa, and Southern Europe. Ecovative receives dozens of licensing inquiries a week. We are establishing licenses to serve markets around the world, in order to reduce cost and carbon footprint when shipping material. A license is in the works for Australia. If you don’t see your location listed now, you can be sure Mushroom® Packaging will be available in your region, soon. Contact Ecovative to get specifics.

In additional posts, you can take a look at Mycelium in:
Construction industry,
Packaging industry,
Textile industry,
Furniture industry
Mycelium R&D Projects
Mycelium in Fashion Marketing – One Approach
May 2019 Mycelium in Industry update: Construction, Packaging, Textile, Furniture, +
June 2019 Mycelium Composites? Hands-on – How to do it yourself
October 2019 Mycotecture? more-Mycelium in Construction
March 2020 “Mycelium in Industry” Where else can you get information, help, assistance?
March 2020 Mycelium in Construction?…some tangible progress

….all of which can be what was discussed on the first post in this series; the foundation of thousands of Local Future Businesses – The Mycelium Industry – Ancient and New

Your eco-business concerns are the motive for my blog. Tell me what’s on your mind, good or bad.

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