mushrooms as building materials
Philip Ross, an artist, an inventor and a seriously obsessed amateur mycologist, is studying fungi's thin, white rootlike mycelium fibers. This super eco building material of the future is growing in dozens of shipping containers at Far West Fungi just outside Monterey, California. Ross is experimenting with the likes of shiitake, reishi and pom-pom and others to for dense bricks of the white spongy matter.
Mycelium doesn't taste very good, but once it's dried, it has some remarkable properties. It's nontoxic, fireproof and mold- and water-resistant, and it traps more heat than fiberglass insulation. It's also stronger, pound for pound, than concrete. Ross plans to create structures made entirely of mushroom. His first 6 ft tall and 6 ft wide archway is just the beginning.