Ordinarily, finding mushrooms in your home would mean that you’ve got a moisture problem somewhere. But the Mushroom Tiny House built by Ecovative includes fungus as an essential part of its structure.
The exterior of the home is wood, but between the exterior and the wooden interior walls sits an insulation layer of mycelium (the “roots” of mushrooms). The material is affordable, fire resistant and contains virtually no VOCs. It also offers amazing thermal protection, saving the home dwellers money on heating and cooling.
This particular home was built to demonstrate that the construction industry has green, inexpensive alternatives to the typical materials they have been using for decades. It’s truly tiny – just 12′ X 7′ – but it wasn’t intended to be an actual home. It was constructed for the 2013 Tiny House Fair in Vermont.
Ecovative is working on other mushroom-based construction alternatives. The Mushroom Tiny House features acoustic ceiling tiles made of a mushroom material and the group believes that they will soon be able to offer a DIY kit for making your very own Mushroom Tiny House.
More from the designers
“We didn’t just build a tiny house, we grew it. That’s right, the Mushroom® Insulation in the walls were literally alive and grew in place. This is a radical test of Ecovative’s Mushroom® Insulation.”
“Ecovative uses mycelium (mushroom “roots”) to bond together agricultural byproducts like corn stalks into a material that can replace plastic foam. We’ve been selling it for a few years as protective packaging, helping big companies replace thousands of Styrofoam (EPS), and other plastic foam packaging parts. We’re now working to develop new products for building materials. This project is an exciting, radical and innovative approach to try a bunch of ideas, learn a lot, and grow something really awesome.”
“Here’s how it works. Mushroom Insulation grows into wood forms over the course of a few days, forming an airtight seal. It dries over the next month (kind of like how concrete cures) and you are left with an airtight wall that is extremely strong. Best yet, it saves on material costs, as you don’t need any studs in the wall, and it gives you great thermal performance since it’s one continuous insulated wall assembly. The finished Mushroom® Insulation is also fire resistant and very environmentally friendly.”