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.

 

Acoustic phone booths

Together with Stichting Glastuinbouw Innovation (SIGN) Fungalogic developed two acoustic phone booths based on their shared vision on interior design: Interior of the future is circular, modular, constructed from biobased materials and contributes to a healthy work environment.

The acoustic phone booths are built with acoustic panels from ‘growing materials’, made by Fungalogic. These panels are made from tomato stem fibres and mycelium, a natural ‘glue’ based on oyster mushrooms.

The booths are constructed of wood,  Ecoboard and Ecor panels. They can be (dis)assembled by one person, for relocation or recycling. The cushioning consists of I-did felt from recycled Efteling tenues, padded with metisse from recycled jeans.

 

Mycelium insulated office interior

In collaboration with GISPEN, Stichting Innovatie Glastuinbouw (SIGN) and the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoeBBE), Fungalogic developed the first prototype of an office workspace with acoustic mycelium insulation, exploring the potential of mycelium products in a future with circular and biobased office interior

 

Acoustic panels

One of the benefits of our material is the wide range of (waste) biomass streams that can be used to make it. Nevertheless every material results in different properties of the composite. In this project we developed a variety of framed mycelium-based acoustic panels for The Hague start-up hub Apollo 14. A selection of local biomass streams, including reed, flax and tomato stems, are combined with different types of fungi into acoustic panels, in search of the combinations with the best (acoustic) properties. These panels are developed with the support of Impact City after Fungalogic won The Hague Innovators Challenge 2018 student’s prize. The panels are placed in a meeting room at Apollo 14, to test their acoustic properties in practice.