The group evaluates the potential for walls, ceilings, plumbing and electrical components of a home to be replaced by living fungus that continually regenerates itself. The goal is to replace construction materials like concrete that have a large ecological footprint.
“Fungal materials can have a wide variety of mechanical properties ranging from foam-like to wood-like to polymer-like to elastomer-like,” coauthor Han Wösten, a microbiologist at The Netherlands’ Utrecht University, tells Futurism. “The fact that we can make wood-like materials implies that we can use it for the building industry.”
Wösten notes that the fungus is biodegradable. “At the same time, it should not degrade when actually used as a building material. We can work around this apparent paradox by coating the material. In fact, we also coat wood with paint of oils to protect it against degradation.”