Top 10 Green Advances in Residential Building


Mycoform Building Blocks

Mycoform mushroom blocks (the Smurfs would be so proud).
Mycoform mushroom blocks (the Smurfs would be so proud).
Image Courtesy Terreform ONE

There's been a lot of hullabaloo in recent years about houses built from recycled materials. In places like Nigeria, India and Central and South America, environmentalists are showing locals how to construct solid, inexpensive homes using old plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills. But what happens one happy day when we've finally recycled all of our recyclables?

Green manufacturers are already on the case, investigating sustainable ways to grow novel building materials from scratch. One company, Planetary ONE, is experimenting with using mushroom roots to create Mycoform building blocks. The team creates brick molds from recycled aluminum sheets and grows mycelium spores inside the form. The resultant blocks are as strong as conventional bricks but require very little energy to produce. The life expectancy of a Mycoform brick is roughly 25-30 years, and versatile, lightweight Mycoform can also be used to make acoustic tiles and insulation [source: Czarnecka].

Walls aren't the only aspect of green building garnering attention these days. Builders are also buzzing about new advances in green flooring. Next, discover which new flooring materials are kicking traditional wood, concrete, ceramic and linoleum to the curb.