Future economic and ecological development worldwide is strongly connected to the question of where our resources for future prosperity come from. As our mines are running dry, our forests are disappearing, and CO2 levels are reaching alarming levels, we need to think radically differently in all economic sectors. The building industry alone is responsible for 40% of our solid waste production, for 40% of the use of primary energy resources, and for 40% of CO2 emissions worldwide. To address this issue, we need to build a sustainable environment using alternative construction materials and systems. In this regard, mycelium, the structural part of fungi which forms its vegetative growth and mass can revolutionize the construction sector. Mycelium forms a net like structure and works as a binder which gets denser during the cultivation process on plant-based waste products. New age green technology to upcycle, transform, and repurpose organic waste into “wood from no wood” can address several environmental, economical, and socio-cultural concerns over construction industry.
About Nazanin Saeidi
Nazanin is a postdoctoral researcher and project coordinator of Mycelium-based composite materials lab at the Future Cities Laboratory, where she is working on upcycling plant-based waste products and turning them into ecological products with the aid of fungal mycelia as a natural binder. Dr Nazanin Saeidi attained her BS degree in chemical engineering from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran in 2008. She received an A* Star scholarship and pursued her post-graduate studies in chemical and biomedical engineering at the Nanyang Technological University, where she worked on engineering microbes to sense and eradicate a human pathogen. In 2013, she became a postdoctoral research fellow at the Singapore Membrane Technology Center where she studied the development of improved strategies to control Biofouling of membranes in the water industry. In 2014, she joined the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore to pursue a new research experience and to focus on emerging microbial contaminants of concern in tropical urban catchments and the effect of diverse land use on the geospatial distribution of Emerging microbial contaminants of concern in tropical environments.