Image
mycelium

Robotic Fabrication of Architectured Mycelium Composites for Sustainable Construction

Photo by Kirill Ignatyev

The increasing awareness on the embodied carbon footprint of buildings has shifted the interest in construction industry towards the development of renewable and biodegradable materials to create a sustainable built environment and circular economy1 . Mycelium, a subsurface system of fungal hyphae, has unique characteristics that can be leveraged to produce bio-based, low carbon, and energy-efficient building materials. When combined with organic substrates such as sawdust, straw, or hemp, mycelium develops a network of extremely dense fibers and acts as a natural binder to create composite materials without need for energy input and synthetic adhesives.

Recent advances in additive manufacturing have enabled the design and fabrication of complex architectured materials technologically and economically feasible. Linking these advantages offered by a new manufacturing technique with data-driven material design approaches will set the groundwork for achieving dramatic progress in the fabrication of large-scale circular mycelium composites. This project brings a cross-disciplinary team composed of a materials scientist, microbiologist, architect, and engineer, and aims to develop the fundamental knowledge needed to exploit the unique properties of mycelium in the fabrication of high-performance composite materials for building applications.

This collaboration a fungi expert at NC A&T University, an HBCU and agricultural-focused institution in the region. The project would produce key materials innovations for the building industry by rendering mycelium composites more suitable for construction. The project outcomes will help to transform the building industry towards an increased environmental and economic sustainability.

Project Team

Image
Baharlou
Ehsan
Baharlou
Assistant Professor
University of Virginia
Image
prasanna-balachandran
Prasanna
Balachandran
Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
University of Virginia
Image
photo of Osman Ozbulut
Osman
Osbulut
Associate Professor
University of Virginia
Image
Omoanghe Isikhuemhen
Omoanghe
Isikhuemhen
Professor of General Microbiology
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
Image
Smokestacks against a blue sky

Related News and Projects

Initiatives

All initiatives
Image
corner building

Related News and Projects

Image
corner building

Related News and Projects