Building Systems: Mycostructure

Seminar winter semester 2020/2021

Most building materials are based on inorganic substances extracted from the ground. These resources are however limited. Sand, for example, which is essential for the production of concrete, is likely to run out in the next few years. Building materials, which were used to a large extent in the construction industry last century, will no longer be available in the future due to their scarcity and their impact on the climate.

Moreover, global population growth will increase the demand for new buildings. Research and development of new building materials are therefore imperative. Renewable ressources and bio-based building materials will determine the future of construction.

In this seminar, we will work with mycelium composites, which are still largely unexplored in the building industry. Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungi, composed of a dense, root-like, branching network termed hyphae. When grown on the lignocellulosic substrate, mycelium binds it into a lightweight composite material with advantageous physical properties. We will investigate how the material can be produced and how it can be used in building construction.

Nowadays, mycelium composites are mostly used in the packaging industry where parts are produced with the use of polypropylene plastic molds. In our opinion, the change in construction requires not only more sustainable materials but also sustainable fabrication methods.

During this seminar, students will be asked to rethink the possibilities of fabricating building elements with a special focus on flexible and textile formwork. Seminar work will require hands-on work with models and mock-ups from the mycelium material provided by the institute.


Time: Thursday, 09:00 – 10:30

Lecturer: Prof. Martin Ostermann, E. Biala, P. Fabirkiewicz, A. Greiner

max. Participants: 8 Master + 12 ITECH

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