Fungus as a Biodegradable Building Material


  1. Sustainability Problem

Waste: It is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the national solid waste stream is building-related waste and only 20 percent of construction waste or demolition debris (C&D) is actually recycled.

  1. Technology Summary

Philip Ross Molds Fast-Growing Fungi Into Mushroom Building Bricks That Are Stronger than Concrete

  • Technology discovered and developed by mycologist Philip Ross
  • Fungus mycelium (thin, root-like fibers) can be used “to form a super-strong, water-, mold- and fire-resistant building material.”
  • Can be grown and formed into any shape; stronger (pound for pound) than concrete.
  • 100% organic and compostable material, reducing/eliminating construction waste.
  • Technology can be utilized as packaging material, building insulation, and construction material.


  1. Organizational Stakeholders

Potential Stakeholders include:

  • Architects/Engineers/Contractors
  • Building Material Supply Companies/Manufacturers
  • Property Owners/Product End-users
  • City/Government agencies (sanitation departments)
  • Landfills/Hazardous Waste Clean-up representatives


  1. Deployment

The next three stages in deploying this technology could be:

  • Fine-tune and approve material for commercial uses (“in order to receive recognition from the building industry, the material needs to be comprehensively tested, and the effects of weather need to be better understood.”)
  • Forge partnerships with institutions to demonstrate viability to the public.
  • Provide incentives (or subsidies) to property owners/builders to integrate building material into construction practices.

See also: Contruction Waste Percentage MoMA’s contemporary art space displays fungus built tower Alternative uses for technology Present status in developing technology

One thought on “Fungus as a Biodegradable Building Material

  1. Hi Danielle,
    Thanks a lot for sharing this. The technology is beautiful, fascinating and can have extremely impactful applications. I love the idea of using nature to rebuild by design. Last semester I took the Urban Ecology class, where we talked about Mycoremediation as a method to clean the superfund sites (particularly the Gowanus Canal in New York). reading your post definitely blew my mind and made me think of other possible applications of fungi. Mushrooms are certainly very fascinating organisms!
    Thanks again for sharing this. It was a pleasure to learn about.

    – UNI: mb4033


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s