We all know that mushrooms are really nice to eat, and they can be used in a wide variety of ways for cooking too, but it’s their roots that may prove to be far more important to mankind than the tasty over ground fungi.
The famous, and delicious ingredient for many a meal can be used to make mushroom based building materials, well, the root can be. Furthermore, it’s stronger than concrete, offers more insulating clout than fibreglass, and, just to make things that little bit better, they are completely compostable.
Mycelium grows underground in the absence of light, and as a result, requires no external energy source to do its thing. Just inject it into a mixture of corn stalks, rice husks, or any other crop waste and it’ll swiftly digest any available lignin, capture and encapsulate everything left over.
Carrying on, and building from the pioneering work of Paul Stamets, an American, Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, who are two former mechanical engineers students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, established themselves a company called Ecovative. Ecovative produce building products from mycelium. The company name is a composite of “ecological” and “innovative.”
One of their products is an environmentally friendly insulation material that outperforms traditional fibreglass. It has the capability to be injected between an interior and an exterior wall, where it will grow, quite contently (and silently) in the dark. In fact, the insulation becomes so strong the wall won’t even require internal metal or wooded studs in order to support it.
Additionally, Ecovative also offer another product, simply called Mushroom Material, a range of structural items that look like chip board but actually contain no wood. They are cheaper, lighter and stronger than normal chip board and are 100% compostable when they reach the end of their worthwhile life.
We’re waiting to see who will be the first to build a glamping abode using these materials. But for now, while we wait on these innovative progressions in construction, Brecon Beacons log cabin holidays await for all your glamping needs.