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You’ll never guess what this house is made of

Yeah, okay, so there's wood involved. But, beneath the boards of this tiny one-room home lies something completely unexpected. Can you guess what edible product was made to insulate this house? Read on to find out.
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Simone Olivero, July 16, 2013 4:04:15 PM

The Property: The Mushroom Tiny House, Green Island, NY

Ecovative Design

More prototype than property, the Mushroom Tiny House is the latest innovation to come out of the laboratories of Ecovative Design. Though it doesn’t look like much from the outside, it’s what’s going on inside the walls that has got people talking.

Ecovative Design

The Wow Factor: If you didn’t guess by the name, this house is completely insulated with, wait for it… mushrooms! Here’s the deal. For a number of years, Ecovative Design has been selling a mushroom-based Styrofoam-like product to eco-conscious companies as an alternative to typical packaging materials, like plastic and foam. Made from mycelium, or mushroom roots, this natural material can be bound with corn byproducts to form a type of ‘living’ insulation.

Move ahead a few years and this technology is now being developed for the residential market. Housing insulation is expensive no matter which way you swing it, and most options (like spray foam) are super toxic to the environment. Mushroom insulation is not only natural, but because it grows into the space, it actually works really effectively in blocking drafts and providing a solid insulation between walls.

Ecovative Design

The Price: Like most things that are new and exciting, mushroom insulation doesn’t come cheap. Though not available in regular markets, it can be pre-ordered from Ecovative in kits. If you’re just looking for the insulation, that will run you around $8 a cubic foot, but larger projects like your own tiny house range between $9,000 to $12,000 depending on whether you want to select your own finishes.

Ecovative Design

Not sure you’re ready to make the switch to mushroom technology? Try out our handy mortgage calculator below to see what you can afford.

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Simone Olivero


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