Mother Earth Living

Magic Mushrooms: Organic, Biodegradable Insulation

Organic, biodegradable insulation—made from mushrooms!
By Kelly Smith
November/December 2008

Mushrooms are the basis of an innovative and organic Styrofoam replacement.
Photo Courtesy of Ecovativedesign.com


Content Tools

Related Content

Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

The flavors of toasted sunflower seeds and creamy blue cheese complement each other well in this Blu...

Cash for Caulkers Part 1: Home Star Rebates Reimburse Homeowners for Insulation and Air and Duct Sealing

The “Cash for Caulkers” home-retrofitting program, known as the Home Star program, is expected to pa...

Super Diet, Super Immunity: Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms have immune-boosting properties that help prevent the body from forming cancer ce...

Biodegradable Wedding Reception

Jessica explains how she achieved an entirely biodegradable wedding reception with bamboo disposable...

Two recent engineering graduates have created an organic, biodegradable insulation that’s turning heads in the building industry. Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre’s Greensulate is made from agricultural waste products—such as rice or buckwheat hulls—combined with mycelium, the fibrous network created by mushrooms. After the organic composite boards are “grown,” they’re dried and heat-treated in convection ovens. (This process requires little energy, but the company is developing solar ovens to offset the energy that is used.)

Petroleum-free Greensulate carries a price and an R-value competitive with standard rigid board insulation, such as Styrofoam. “Our material won’t compete directly with fiberglass or blown-in insulation,” Bayer says. “Instead, we will compete with synthetic insulators, such as foam board, that have no green competitors today.”

Bayer and McIntyre founded Ecovative Design to commercialize Greensulate, and plan to offer a Greensulate-based product, such as a surfboard or a biodegradable cooler, by mid-2009. Greensulate organic insulation should be available to select customers by the end of 2010.

“The building industry is in need of an exterior rigid insulation that’s not fossil fuel-based, says green building consultant and author David Johnston, president of Boulder, Colorado-based What’s Working. ”I studied mycology in college, and it forms a very pervasive network in soil. This is the kind of innovation that makes the green building field so exciting right now.” For more information, visit www.ecovativedesign.com 







Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 50%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.