Making new building materials out of demolition waste and fungi

Architectural firm Redhouse Studio designed the Biocycler, a building recycler that uses living organisms like microbes and fungi to make new building material out of demolition waste.

Annually, millions of tonnes of demolition waste goes to the landfill, either from purposefully demolished buildings or homes destroyed by natural disasters.

To counter this, Redhouse Studio designed a mobile unit that can recycle buildings from demolition debris into new materials. The debris is bound together using bio-binders, including bacteria, fungi, and plants. Doing so, the studio plans to create structural insulating panels (SIPs) that can form the floors, walls and roof of a new building.

The lab will be equipped with all the tools to refine, clean and inoculate waste materials so they can be pressed into new materials. The organisms function as glue to naturally bind the waste together.

Using their technology, Redhouse Studio aims to make the building industry a little greener. The building industry in the US is responsible for 39 per cent of carbon emissions. Additionally, their technology can help clean up debris after a natural disaster, simultaneously creating new building materials.

The firm is currently building a proof of concept of the Biocycler in Cleveland, Ohio, after a successful fundraiser campaign. The aim is to create enough machines to take on the millions tonnes of waste from natural disasters, turning it into entire structures in a matter of weeks. In addition, the firm says, “We hope it will lead to a better understanding and appreciation for the nascent bio-materials market.”

Photos: Redhouse Studio