Mushroom Construction!

Mycologist Philip Ross is seriously into mushrooms, but not as a food — instead, he uses fungi as a building material. Beneath the surface of the ground, fungi form a wide network of thin, rootlike fibers called mycelium. That part of the fungus isn’t particularly tasty, but Ross discovered that when dried, it can be used to form a super-strong, water-, mold- and fire-resistant building material. The dried mycelium can be grown and formed into just about any shape, and it has a remarkable consistency that makes it stronger, pound for pound, than concrete. The 100% organic and compostable material has even piqued the interest of NYC’s MoMa PS1, where the award-winning Hy-Fi Mushroom Tower pavilion is currently being built.

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We discovered Ross’ unique mycelium material at The Workshop Residence in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood during AIA SF‘s month-longArchitecture and the City festival.

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“I want to demonstrate how you can create this kind of fabrication using local agricultural waste,” Ross told Food Republic regarding his Workshop Residence furniture.

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A variety of different lacquers and finishes can also be applied to the outer layer of the brick to seal it and give it a glossy finish.

Read the full article Inhabitat