Fungus: The Future of Building Construction

fungus will be the future of building construction
Image Source: Eelko Berkenpies, CC BY-SA 2.0

According to a post on Interesting Engineering, the process of decomposing and recycling organic matter will provide the foundation for building construction in the future. Basically, the technology will be based on fungus.

Over the years, scientists have been researching and developing technologies that will enable civil engineers to utilize fungus as a primary building material. Mushrooms, which are bodies of fungi, can quickly grow out thread-like roots known as “mycelium”. Now, it is said that scientists have already developed ways to use these web-like formations to create various construction materials, such as bricks.

One significant development in using fungus in building construction is the first mushroom brick tower in the world, designed and built in 2014 by the architectural team the Living. The 40-foot tower is built of around 10,000 bricks, which were made from fibrous fungi that grew from agricultural waste.

Basically, the builders made the bricks in three separate molds, which were then filled with organic matter infused with spores. After five days, the mushrooms transformed the organic matter into viable bricks. This cheap and efficient process has been known as mycelium material engineering.

However, mushroom bricks still require extensive research and development, as they are not as strong and long-lasting as concrete and other traditional building materials. As of yet, their low density makes them useful in areas that do not require much support, such as in insulation or interior wall support.