green manufacturing

EERE Support Yields Breakthrough in Manufacturing of Triple Pane, R-5 Energy Efficient Windows

Support from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) has been instrumental in GED Integrated Solutions achieving a breakthrough in the manufacturing of energy-efficient residential windows. A worldwide supplier of insulating glass and vinyl window and door manufacturing systems, GED’s Automated Tri-Lite Assembly System (ATLAS) produces a triple pane insulating glass window unit in 20 seconds.

In a Manufacturing First, Innovative Material is Grown by Fungi

Normally manufacturers must rush their products off the assembly line, but EcovativeDesign has a novel approach. They just wait, up to week, and let mycelium do the manufacturing work to construct everything from insulation to packaging materials.

In a completely new way to make stuff, they let mycelium – a fungal network of threadlike cells – grow the material by combining itself with agricultural byproducts like plant stalks and seed husks. Mycelium is like the “roots” of mushrooms. In 5 – 7 days, in the dark, with no water, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium digests the agricultural byproducts.

Once the mycelium has bound the agricultural waste then a quick heat-drying treatment at the end halts the organic growth, resulting in a stable, strong, waterproof structural material.

Over the last ten thousand years, we humans have put many plants and animals to work for our ends, but it is likely that this marks the first manufacturing work by the kingdom of fungi.