Xenius: Future building materials

Mycelium, Paperboard, Popcorn

In a new episode of Xenius by arte, the presenters Dörthe Eickelberg and Pierre Girard set out in search of alternative building materials. Cardboard, mushrooms or popcorn – nothing is impossible!

Video about future building materials © arte

Up to now, the building industry has mainly used concrete and steel. In order to be able to build more ecologically and sustainably in the future, scientists are looking for alternative building materials. And there are some innovative ideas. Cardboard, mushrooms or popcorn – nothing is impossible!

At the KIT in Karlsruhe, Prof. Dirk E Hebel and his team are researching mushrooms as an alternative, cultivated biological building material. Mushrooms are simply fed with biological waste and can be shaped into stable, pressure-resistant forms. In the Urban Mining And Recycling Unit, which was created in collaboration with researchers from the ETH Zurich, many other innovative, forward-looking construction techniques are also used in exemplary applications, which allow the sorted disassembly and the later reuse of all used materials.

Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, KIT © arte

At the Technical University of Darmstadt, scientists are researching a way to build houses out of cardboard without any additional wood coatings or protective foils. In Munich, a visionary architect is growing trees into each other in such a controlled way that load-bearing structures are formed that will support bridges or even entire houses years later.
The presenters Dörthe Eickelberg and Pierre Girard visit Prof. Alireza Kharazipour in Göttingen, who wants to make popcorn acceptable not only as a delicious cinema snack but also as a versatile building material. His goal: to replace plastic materials as much as possible with the renewable raw material corn.

Watch the full episode on arte.tv here.

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Images: © arte, Xenius