Problem addressed

Construction materials emit massive amounts of carbon long before the lights of a building are even switched on. In fact, 11% of worldwide carbon emissions come from their manufacturing (World GBC). As a result, the legislative landscape in Europe is changing to impose stricter regulations on embodied carbon emissions. In the UK, from 2025, the current materials on the market will struggle to meet new legislation like the Future Homes Standard.

PUR/PIR, Polystyrene and Phenolic insulation materials are made out of plastic, they’re non-renewable and their manufacturing process has high energy consumption. A challenge is that the alternative sustainable products currently on the market are often not as affordable and high performing as their oil-based counterparts.

Solution overview

The MykoSlab is an insulation sheet for construction bio assembled from cellulosic feedstock and fungal mycelium.

Mykor’s solution is to create highly performative building materials made from biomass waste. Their fabrication technique involves the use of mycology to propagate mycelium on cellulosic waste from the paper industry, that would otherwise be discarded to landfill or incinerated. Mycelium is the “root” of mushrooms and functions as a natural adhesive.

Mykor insulation utilises 90% less water and 40% less electricity than polystyrene. The Mykor team has estimated that they will be able to repurpose 20,000 tonnes of waste on average each year.

With studies linking air pollution’s negative impact on our health, it has become important to improve the quality of air in our homes. Mykor promotes higher standards of air quality compared with synthetic materials which emit toxins as they degrade. Their materials prevent the accumulation of dampness, they are breathable, vapour-permeable, and free of volatile compounds. The Mykoslab is stronger than EPS and more water resistant than hemp, wool and straw insulation. Its thermal performance is estimated to be competitive with mineral wool while its estimated sound-absorption is 75% at 1000Hz. It possesses good water permeability, and it is non-toxic, VOC free and fire safe (estimated Euroclass B).

Mykofoam can be used as a direct substitution for other insulation products available on the market.

An LCA is currently being produced for Mykofoam, due at the end of April 2024 which can be used in a whole-life carbon assessment.

Case study

Currently in development.

Facts and Figures

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