Community Calendar -> Open Education

Lecture- Eben Bayer "Growing Materials"

Wed Jun 30th , 2010 7:00pm-8:30pm
Yestermorrow Design-Build
Venue: Yestermorrow Design-Build
189 Route 100, Warren, VT 05674 (Map) (Set as Local)
Lecture- Eben Bayer "Growing Materials" Warren Vermont

une 30 -- Eben Bayer

Growing Materials:
Using Mushrooms to Transform Waste into Building Products

Eben will document the cradle-to-cradle mindset that drove the evolution of concept, design, experimentation, and production of his company's "Greensulate" insulation material and "EcoCradle" packaging material, both of which are grown (rather than manufactured) from agricultural byproducts like seed husks and mushroom roots and are 100% compostable and biodegradable.

Eben Bayer, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) graduate, founded Ecovative Design with Gavin McIntyre in 2007. His fascination with fungal mycelium as it strongly bonded wood chips together inspired him to think of new ways of using mycelium as a resin. Gavin and Eben applied this concept throughout their final year at the university, experimenting with growing materials under their beds and whereever else they could find space. This work led to the creation of "Greensulate," an environmentally responsible alternative to Expanded Polystyrene insulation. In addition to decreasing the environmental impact of conventional polystyrene foams, this invention also created a whole new paradigm where composite materials are literally grown, harnessing the efficiency of nature. Shortly after its founding, the company won small grants from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). This funding was used to create initial samples of the material. This proof of concept enabled the company to win bigger grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to further develop the products. Ecovative products embody a cradle-to-cradle philosophy, and every aspect -- the source materials, the production process, the product's route to market and its end-of-use impact -- is geared toward efficiency, sustainability, and environmental responsibility.

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