100% bio-based, sustainable and recyclable

The research project of the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at KIT in Karlsruhe presents a sustainable alternative to classic wood-based materials such as particleboard, MDF, and OSB. These wood products are currently used in many places. Replacing them with a more environmentally friendly material without losing load-bearing capacity and performance is a tall order. However, the recyclability of wood-based materials is questionable, as the products are currently bound and strengthened with synthetic adhesives. NEWood is one of those alternative building materials that could have a special significance for the radical turnaround in the construction sector.

© KIT Professorship of Sustainable Construction

The research project shows that NEWood has comparable properties to wood-based materials such as MDF, OSB and particleboard. The use of mycelium, the structural part of fungi, is a novel bonding method that enables the production of a 100% bio-based and fully recyclable alternative to wood-based materials. The project team, consisting of Dr. Alireza Javadian, Dr. Nazanin Saeidi and Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, is convinced that “NEWood” will be a sustainable alternative to conventional MDF and particleboard and has the potential to initiate a paradigm shift in the way we produce our future building materials in terms of the circular economy without leaving any waste behind.

© KIT Professorship of Sustainable Construction

In January 2023, the project was awarded the competitionline CAMPUS Award 2023. 165 projects from 54 universities took part this year. The spectrum of topics ranged from utopias for urban development and material studies to adaptive architecture and after-use strategies. The proportion of projects dealing with sustainable design tasks such as the conversion of existing buildings, climate adaptation in cities or research into alternative materials was particularly high. Besides the award for the faculty project NEWood, two final theses from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the University of Stuttgart and two student projects from TU Munich and Leibniz Universität Hannover were awarded.

More information here.