Mycelium can bind loose matter into solid, non-flammable, carbon-negative material with good acoustic properties.
We are growing carbon-negative materials combining mushroom mycelium and industrial byproducts. Currently focusing on furniture and interior products but keeping an open mind regarding the seemingly endless possibilities with fungi.
Through the use of nature’s intelligence and continuous research enhanced by design, we are able to change our tangible environment into a more natural and sustainable one.
Fungi have been living on Earth for hundreds of millions of years. Considering their experience it is clear that fungi are far more advanced than humans. It therefore should be natural to learn from them, especially when we have realised we can not continue as we have until now.
Comfortable life has brought us to a point where the materials and products that are used for a moment decompose over hundreds of years. Another issue lies in the way some materials are used. For example, burning wood for large-scale energy production is rather shortsighted as the CO2 stored in the material gets released, ecosystems destroyed and is simply inefficient.
We are using mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus, to grow compostable materials that can replace plastics and composites while valorising the wood and agricultural industry’s byproducts.
Mycelium consists of a network of hyphae that provide nutrients for the fungus. This network can bind loose matter into solid, non-flammable, carbon-negative material with good acoustic properties. The growth of mycelium is stopped by drying the material. No fruiting bodies and spores are formed, hence our products are safe for humans and buildings.
We are using Life Cycle Assessment methodology to make sure that we really are sustainable, and not just using the word for the sake of a trend. LCA maps the product’s journey from cradle to grave, including our energy consumption, transportation, the materials used, and residues in the process. Each step has its inputs and outputs that are calculated into CO2 equivalents. Based on that information we can say how much CO2 each production step and product as a whole emits.
Since mycelium-based production is energy-efficient and can lock the carbon in the residual organic material (such as sawdust) used in our products, we can state that our materials are carbon negative. Moreover, the mycelium materials are compostable, they return into the natural cycle when thrown away.
For example, our larger acoustic panel’s CO2 equivalent is ca -2.5 kg when an average furniture item emits 40 kg of CO2 during its production. (FIRA 2011)