Design for a circular economy

Construction and demolition waste is the biggest part of waste produced in the EU (33,5%). This imposes a tremendous loss of both resources and energy. Most of the waste is impossible to recycle because glues, sealants or screws prevent materials from being separated economically. Or because the material itself just isn’t recyclable. A good example of circular economy being as much a material science as a design challenge.

Our interpretation of circular building is not just designing for deconstruction and re-use, it’s also using as few valuable and finite resources as possible. Our mission is to create a natural, infinitely growable building material which is not harmful in any way.

Circular pavilion

In 2018 we built a ‘fully grown’ meeting room at the ministry of Economic Affairs in the Hague. It is comprised out of modular timber panels, filled with our mycelium insulation blocks to enhance acoustic and thermal properties.

The pavilion is designed without compromises, however it merely uses harmless, fully recyclable materials. We chose Ekotex graphite paint (C2C Gold), building felt from I-did (made out of old KLM-suits) and second-hand office furniture. The lamps and acoustic panels are also grown out of mycelium. A ceiling-high plant wall with natural light entering from above ensures a healthy indoor climate.

After being used, the meeting room can be easily disassembled and used elsewhere. Even after the products lifetime it can be fully recycled without any harmful substances.