From Mushrooms To Mansions: Organic Building Materials

Philip Ross runs a mushroom farm called Far West Fungi. And on it he's growing your future house. Or at least the nontoxic, fireproof, mould- and water-resistant building blocks for it.

Ross has dozens of mushroom-filled shipping containers on his farm, but what he's after is the "fungi's thin, white rootlike fibres" also known as mycelium. He's after these fibres because they make great building blocks:

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.

If you doubt how strong the material is, consider this: Ross "destroyed many a metal file and saw blade" while shaping 500 of these mushroom bricks into a 1.8m by 1.8m archway. He hopes to destroy many more tools by one day building entire homes out of mushroom bricks.

And my parents thought I was nuts when I told them I wanted to live in a mushroom just like the Smurfs. [Time via Futurismic]

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