Homes of the future could use transparent wood for windows and mushroom bricks for walls

February 8, 2021 |

In Maryland and New York, researchers are finding innovative ways to incorporate natural materials into construction.  

At the University of Maryland, researchers have made transparent wood that is harder than glass and could be used as windows. The process involves coating wood in hydrogen peroxide, leaving it under UV light, then soaking it in ethanol and injecting a clear epoxy. The process alters the lignin in the wood to let light pass through. The work was described in a recent issue of Science Advances. 

In New York, a team at the design firm The Living has turned mushroom mycelium into bricks that are lightweight, insulating, and hard enough to replace concrete. The bricks are made by growing mycelium and “cooking” them into a brick shape. Concrete production is a significant emitter of greenhouse gases globally. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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