Climate: Ecosystems + Housing
Wall and roof insulation panels made of agricultural waste (sugar bagasse, coffee husks, and corn cobs), bonded organically with oyster mushroom mycelium.
Kenya has an annual housing demand of 250,000 units with an estimated supply of just 50,000, leaving an 80% deficit. Hundreds of thousands live in informal housing to cover this deficit.
MycoTile offers a high performance and cheaper alternative to traditional building materials. A carbon negative process is used to bond agricultural waste (such as maize cobs, coffee husks, coconut coir and rice husks) with mushroom mycelium to create a building material composite. The pilot product is wall and roof insulation, which have superior acoustic performance and fire-retardant properties compared to the available alternatives. The fire-retardancy is naturally enhanced by the chitin present in mycelium. MycoTile intends to prototype a larger portfolio of products, such as ceiling tiles, construction blocks, MDF-style panels and furniture. An important growth step was the conclusion of a co-manufacturing contract with a Kenya government entity. MycoTile is establishing partnerships with small scale farmers, who are compensated for providing agricultural waste, to assure security of raw material supply.
There are currently 28 contracted farmers and locals who package agricultural waste for MycoTiles and six non-contracted suppliers of agricultural waste.
Since the product has not been installed on a large scale, the benefits of the product in housing are yet to be documented.
One metric ton of waste has been reduced through reduction, recycling, and reuse so far, with the aim of upcycling hundreds of tons of agri-waste once production is rolled out.
Our pilot market is retrofitting informal settlements with thin-walled housing. Nairobi houses 2.5 million in these informal settlements with an assumed 10SQM of walling per person. This is a $150 million market in Nairobi alone. This does not include offices and roof insulation.
Partnered with the Kenya Government through Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) for consultancy services in mycology and space and facility for co-manufacturing.
Implementing partners of Challenge Fund for Youth Employment through Habitat for Humanity Kenya and Netherlands.
MycoTile Panels seeks:
Expertise on product management / review of a product roadmap
Expertise on accounting and financial reporting
Technological expertise in testing products for fire, heat, acoustics and life cycle analysis to prepare a standard and specification sheet
Financial partnership that will help grow out of government partnership and build internal production set-up