Swiss company pioneers mushroom-based bricks and panels for houses
In a new addition to the Three Little Piglets fairy tale, instead of building houses from straw, wood or brick, a Swiss international company has developed a building material made out of living mushrooms. The firm, based near Lucerne, hopes the eco-friendly invention will replace bricks and floorboards in housing in the near future.
Swiss company develops mushroom-based flooring
According to SRF, in the future, the Swiss housing market could be festooned with buildings made of live fungi, thanks to the work of Swiss company Mycosuisse. The new building boards - which took 10 years to develop - are made with a mixture of live mushrooms, water, wood chips and vegetable waste.
Speaking to the national broadcaster, project leader Patric Mürner said the material uses Oyster mushrooms as they are able to thread their spores through the material to make a natural glue. The two-centimetre panels are robust and similar to plywood - perfect for smaller buildings.
Hopes of replacing regular building materials with mushrooms
While mushroom-based building materials are not a Swiss invention, Mürner said their product can “replace petrochemical products with mushrooms" in the future. He noted that boards and bricks made of mushrooms would be better for the environment as energy does not have to be used to “bake” the bricks and the building material would actually “absorb CO2.”
To test their product out, Mürner has installed floor slabs made of mushrooms at the Museum Stapferhaus in Lenzburg near Aarau, to see how the surface will react to thousands of visitors walking over it. “The floor panels for the Stapferhaus are about as strong as a cork panel. No Rolls Royce, but we hope that the plates will last for the duration of the exhibition," he concluded.
Mushroom bricks and plywood to be released in Switzerland in the near future
After the material tests, Mürner said he hopes to release a product line of mushroom-based building materials in the future, although SRF conceded that it may be a while before we buy and rent houses in Switzerland made of fungi.
Want to see the innovation for yourself? Then check out the Nature. And us? exhibition at the Stapferhaus in Lenzburg.