Till now, most of the building materials are derived from inorganic substances extracted from the ground. These resources are however limited and have a high impact on the climate. The rising demand for wood, which can be hard to meet, pushes many to look into the direction of other cultivated, regenerative resources and investigate their potentials for the building industry.
This seminar aims to explore the possibilities of fabricating building elements from mycelium composites. Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungi, composed of a dense, root-like, branching network, termed hyphae. When grown on the lignocellulosic substrate (for example wood or hemp chips), mycelium binds it together into a lightweight composite material with physical properties similar to hard foams or softwood. Mycelium composites are one of the few renewable materials, which allow for molding and are biodegradable. They open up new perspectives for the fabrication of free-form elements with the use of flexible formworks, lost formworks, or 3D-printing. The use of regenerative materials as formworks or reinforcement (for example bamboo fibers, hemp textiles, or flax fibers) allows further customization of properties and forms of building elements, without losing their biodegradable characteristics.