After being announced as one of the 46 finalists for the Index Award 2021 in June, the Biohm team is delighted to be awarded the top prize in the ‘work’ category this week. We are very grateful to the Index Project and to the excellent jury members who spent time reviewing nominations from all around the world. Oksana Bondar, our Director of Design, was there to accept the award in Copenhagen.
The Index Project, based in Denmark, is a non-profit organisation that rewards innovative products designed to change some of the world’s most unsustainable practices and tackle genuine problems in various sectors such as the food, fashion, health, and construction industries. The designs are assessed by a jury made up of design and innovation experts who decide on the winners based on three criteria: Form, Impact, and Context. Previous winners include Solar Foods (2019), Zipline (2017), and Tesla Roadster (2007). Often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for design,’ the Index Award is the most prestigious sustainable design award in the world.
Biohm were rewarded for harnessing the unique and regenerative properties of fungi in developing carbon-negative, energy-efficient, naturally self-extinguishing and superior thermally insulating mycelium panels. These insulation panels were devised to meet the needs of an environmentally harmful and inherently wasteful construction industry, which currently is the source of 62% of total UK waste (UK Statistics on Waste, 2021). Of course, in the natural world waste does not exist, and by producing mycelium insulation using organic and synthetic by-products which can be cold composted and remanufactured at the end of their lives, Biohm aims to mimic such a world in construction. This concept of regeneration forms the basis of Biohm’s philosophy, which hopes to steer the construction industry towards a more natural, circular future. Not only do mycelium insulation panels have a much better health, environmental and social impact, important factors for both the Index Project and Biohm, but they also outperform conventional insulation products.
Image: Stills from a video shot for the Index Award
‘Our mycelium insulation is a perfect manifestation of nature’s genius – it really embodies how we can make a huge impact in the climate crisis without compromising on building performance’, says Ehab Sayed, founder of Biohm.
The Biohm team first began working with mycelium around four years ago and we quickly realised the exciting potential of this innovative material. More recently, we are opening Biohm’s first Biomill. The hyper locality of our Biomills creates job opportunities in the surrounding community generating an immediate positive impact on the local economy. Building symbiotic relationships with communities not only ensures Biohm’s positive impact on the construction industry and the natural environment but also on the social and economic environment it is grown in.
At present, Biohm is on the cusp of having the world’s first accredited mycelium insulation and will soon be ready to start integrating them into houses, with the aim of insulating around 120 homes a month once the accreditation is in place.
Once again, we would like to thank the Index Project for awarding us this prestigious prize, and we are confident it will help us inspire new sustainable solutions across the globe.