Retrofitting an ageing housing stock with high performance insulation in one of the main challenges to lower carbon emissions in London and the rest of the UK. With rising energy prices the case for insulating is not only environmental, but an economic one too.
But while traditional insulation is effective in lowering operational carbon emissions, reducing heating and cooling, its material production is often toxic, derivative from oil, and high in embodied carbon. When buildings are refurbished or demolished, this insulation end up in landfill unable to be recycled.
What if instead we could grow our insulation from scratch, capturing carbon in the process? What if our insulation was able to naturally decompose once it was placed back in the earth?
Mycelium is an ancient organism that has been around for millennia but is only recently finding its way into the construction industry as a biomaterial with excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties. We’re imagining a world in which we could grow Mycelium to insulate our homes.
But what if, like igloos and tents, the insulation layer was architecturally expressed internally, delaminated from the building shell to define space, shape and atmosphere instead of being hidden behind flat plasterboard? What if it grew and gave life to a building, changing our living spaces from sterile boxes, to cosy cocoons?
Homegrown Lining takes these practical questions about a very real situation we face in the UK, and playfully explores them in our pavilion proposal that symbolically celebrates the potential for Mycelium to revolutionise how we insulate our living spaces.
Shortlisted proposal for the WCCA and LFA EcoHome competition.
In collaboration with Ecovative, Buro Happold, SD Structures and Westgreen Construction.