Rebuilding Cleveland with mushrooms

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In Ohio, Redhouse Studio’s founder and principal architect, Christopher Maurer, is trying to rebuild Cleveland one house at a time by taking the over 7,000 abandoned or condemned homes that need to be demolished, mixing the old building materials with mushrooms and microbes to build bricks for new buildings. With 9,000 homes demolished in Cleveland over the last 12 years, using the old construction debris and mycelium biobased materials could help the city rebuild.

Redhouse Studio is working on a prototype of biocycling which includes renovating a 2-story 19th century building and recycling the building debris onsite with mycelium and microbes that will be then turned into building blocks for a nearby urban farm’s shed. Using mushrooms actually helps detoxify the building because mushrooms absorb contaminants and toxins, making it a valuable material for buildings.

“The ultimate goal,” Maurer told The Guardian, “is to reduce the embodied carbon footprint, to be able to make new buildings entirely out of old ones.”