When it comes to building the best energy-energy efficient building it comes down to using environmentally friendly building materials. The following are only some of the many innovative materials that are now being further developed into commercial use.
This environmentally friendly building material is from the fungus called Ganoderma lucidum or also known as Reishi or Ling-chi developed from a mushroom farm in Monterey, California. The fungi’s thin, white root-like fibers or mycelium are said to be nontoxic, fireproof, stronger than concrete, mould and water resistant, and can trap more heat compared to fiberglass. According to engineering tests, densely packed mycelium is strong enough to be used in place of wooden beams.
Agricultural waste can be used in the making of the organic material, such as empty seed husks are cooked and inoculated with mushroom spores, water and myco-vitamins then left to grow in the dark.
A structure made from the fungus was exhibited at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf as part of the Eat Art exhibit. The structure was called Mycotechtural Alpha which has 500 shaped mushroom blocks. The test structure will be a part of a larger project which is said to be able to shelter 12 to 20 people at a time. Further studies will be done to figure out on how to develop complex forms.
2. Bacterial Cement
Dubbed as “Bacilla Filla”, this material is able to seal cracks and fractures in existing concrete structures. It is strong as concrete and can restore structural strength to the surrounding concrete. It is environmentally friendly and can seal from the inside out and can integrate with porous concrete instead of just sealing the crack. As this material gets further developed it will be more commonly used and will become a more eco-friendly way to preserve and restore buildings instead of replacing them.
3. Green Glue
This environmentally friendly noise proofing compound has very low volatile organic chemicals, containing less than 5 grams per liter. With just one layer of the glue applied between two layers of drywall or other building materials will significantly decrease the sound transmission by as much as 90 percent. This eco-friendly material is water based, non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.
4. EcoRock, created by Kevin Surace
Drywall ranks third as the greatest contributor to greenhouse gasses among building materials, behind cement and steel. It also generates 200 million tons of carbon dioxide gas during the material’s production. This alarming fact has caused Kevin Surace to make a plan to change how we build structures with the use of EcoRock. The eco-friendly building material requires no gypsum, no ovens to produce, is recyclable and is made up of 85 percent industrial by-products. Unlike traditional drywall, this innovative material is not susceptible to mold or termites to the same extent.
Filterpave is a paving material that is made from 96% ground glass that is bound with an acrylic binder. The surface is laid in the same manner as concrete, and it’s available in several vivid colors. What makes the surface so green is its ability to let rain easily seep through. Making the material perfect for parking lots, patios, walkways storm and water management systems.