Mycelium-Based Bio-Composites in Architecture: A Biodegradable and Renewable Alternative to Construction

Mushrooms and mycelium
Project Type
April 2020
Research Themes

Mycelium-based bio-composites are bio-materials that are sustainable, biodegradable and can be grown with locally available resources. By implementing these materials in temporary and/or low-rise masonry constructions as alternatives for conventional masonry units, it would be possible to decrease the amount of waste produced by the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, but also reduce carbon emission.

In this research, as part of a collaboration among the Department of Architecture, the Mushroom Research Center and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State, new ways to use mycelium-based materials in mentioned purposes are being explored. The focus is on enhancing the material properties of mycelium-based composites by investigating the factors that affect the nature and growth of the cultivated materials and then, based on the constraints and affordances of mycelium-based composites, developing structural systems that work under compression, using computational form-finding techniques, generative design and optimization methods.

Resulting Funding

  • Davis, F. (Principal Investigator), Gürsoy, B. (Co-Principal Investigator), Ghazvinian, A. (Co-Principal Investigator), Oghazian, F.(Co-Principal Investigator), Pecchia, J. (Co-Principal Investigator), West, A. (Co-Principal Investigator), Grant, 50% credit, "MycoKnit: Cultivating Mycelium-based Composites on Knitted Textiles for Large-Scale Biodegradable Architectural Structures," SOM Foundation, Nonprofit Foundations. Total requested: $39,578.00, Total Anticipated: $40,000.00, Amount Funded (Total or To Date, as applicable): $40,000.00. (Submitted: November 8, 2021, date funding awarded: February 28, 2022, total start, and end of funding: May 1, 2022 - May 31, 2023
  • Gürsoy, B. (Principal Investigator), Pecchia, J. (Co-Principal Investigator), Ghazvinian, A. (Co-Principal Investigator), Grant, 100% credit, "From Waste to Biodegradable Structures with Local Fungi Species," American Institute of Architects, Associations, Institutes, Societies and Voluntary Health Agencies. Total requested: $25,000.00, Amount Funded (Total or To Date, as applicable): $25,000.00. (submitted: September 1, 2021, date funding awarded: January 7, 2022, total start and end of funding: December 1, 2021 - May 31, 2023. 
  • Gürsoy, B. (Principal Investigator), Grant, 100% credit, "Mycelium-Based Pavilion for the Biomaterial Building Exposition," Virginia, University of, Universities and Colleges. Total requested: $0.00, Total Anticipated: $10000, Amount Funded (Total or To Date, as applicable): $10000. (Submitted: January 14, 2022, date funding awarded: January 19, 2022, total start, and end of funding: January 1, 2022 - June 30, 2022.

Resulting Publications

  • Ghazvinian, A., & Gürsoy, B. (2022). Basics of Building with Mycelium-Based Bio-Composites: A Review of Built Projects and Related Material Research. Journal of Green Building 17, no. 1.  37-69. DOI:
  • Ghazvinian, A., & Gürsoy, B. (2022). "Mycelium-Based Composite Graded Materials: Assessing the Effects of Time and Substrate Mixture on Mechanical Properties." Biomimetics Journal 7, no. 2. DOI:
  • Walter, N., & Gürsoy, B. (2022). "A Study on the Sound Absorption Properties of Mycelium-Based Composites Cultivated on Waste Paper-Based Substrates." Biomimetics Journal 7, no. 3. DOI:
  • Ghazvinian, A.; Khalilbeigi, A.; Mottaghi, E. & Gürsoy, B. (2022). "The Design and Fabrication of MycoCreate 2.0: A Spatial Structure Built with Load-Bearing Mycelium-Based Composite Components." The Journal of Internation Association for Shell and Spatial Structures 63, no. 2. DOI:
  • Ghazvinian, A., & Gürsoy, B. (2022). Challenges and Advantages of Building with Mycelium-Based Composites: A Review of Growth Factors that Affect the Material. In Deshmukh S.K., Deshpande MV, and Sridhar KR (Eds.), Fungal Biopolymers and Biocomposites -Prospects and Avenues. Singapore: Springer Nature

Resulting Presentations

  • Ghazvinian, A.; Khalilbeigi, A.; Mottaghi, E. & Gürsoy, B. (2022). "Computational Framework for the Design and Fabrication of Spatial Structures with Mycelium-based Composites. IASS (International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures) Annual Symposium 2020/21.
  • [Biomaterial Building Expo], Invited participant, together with Ali Ghazvinian, Arman Khalilbeigi and Esmaeil Mottaghi (March 14 - April 30, 2022) 
  • Fungal Biomaterials and Biofabrication Symposium/Workshop, Co-Organizer, together with Zoubeida Ounaies and Jennifer Macalady (May 12-14, 2022)


In the News