Research on mycelium constructions is looking for solutions for resource-saving, fast-growing organic building materials. The 'root system' of fungi, the mycelium, serves as the starting material. It is a fast-growing, organic raw material that forms a malleable material in combination with waste products from the construction and agricultural industries. The fine hyphae (i.e. the root system) of the mushrooms combine loose, finely divided, organic fibrous materials to form solid shaped pieces that can be used as building material after drying out. The grown product is characterized by many advantageous properties. It impresses with its lightness, insulating properties and malleability.
Unlike other organic raw materials, mycelium grows within days and requires no energy-intensive production processes. It is completely compostable and can be returned to biological cycles as a biological nutrient in the sense of recycling management.
As an interdisciplinary research community of scientific institutes of architecture and biology with partners from the construction industry, the project investigates from different perspectives how mycelium-bonded natural fibers can be used as building material. The microbiological investigations look at the growth behaviour of the mycelium on different substrates and investigate the properties of the organism with regard to the application in building technology. A central question here is the resilience and growth optimization of the mycelium. On the basis material samples the structural qualities are analyzed. Constructional investigations of the component joining are carried out on the basis of the analysis results and on sample components. For the application-technical questions of handling, assembly and coatings the experiences of the industrial partner flow into the research.
The aim of the institute's ongoing research is to systematically bring the organic material mycelium into building applications and to develop an alternative to existing inorganic building materials in order to increase the proportion of sustainable building materials.
Previous research seminars:
Biobased materials, winter semester 2018/19
Growing constructions, SS 2019