Ehab Syed is a British entrepreneur who has been working since 2016 on a totally innovative idea: to use mushrooms as a building material. He and his team have developed a new insulating material made from mycelium, the mass of filaments that comes out of the ground and allows the mushrooms to be fed with nutrients from the soil. According to Syed, this material has unsurpassed insulation capabilities, purifies the air and self-extinguishes when it has done the job.

The project consists of building blocks of dried mycelium, so that a rigid material is obtained that can be painted and used as a construction element with extraordinary insulating properties. According to Syed’s calculations, if only 150 UK buildings were built with this material, 300 million kilowatts, 10 million tonnes of waste and 4.5 billion euros a year in energy could be saved.

The proposal has already allowed him to win the COINS Grand Challenge award in innovation in 2018 as well as attention in specialized media.