Monday, April 6, 2009

Mosses project!

Informing you excellent people that the moss wall element is progressing. I've been working on experiments with an indoor moss wall, although I am not entirely convinced of their success. I'm not entirely sure how to interpret the results and I will have to repeat the experiment more times to get some more precise findings.

Claopodium crispifolium

Dicranum scoparium

In the meantime, this is what moss looks like when it's attached to a net. It's still a bit fragile but I'll give the moss some more time to grow.


  1. I'd be interested to see how sturdy it is, for example on the netting.
    Can we make a large sheet?

  2. This is very exciting!

    what if the moss had a more significant backing? Examples from nature are- moss growing on trees, or on the ground in large areas. Perhaps if there were something for it to attach onto that was more dense, it would be sturdier.

    Other things to contemplate-
    at the meeting for the Whalley Project, there was a fellow who had been involved in a lot of house construction, and he expressed the concern that moisture would be a major issue. I'm not sure how to balance this with the need for an airtight home that conserves heat. Precedents to look at: how do animals keep themselves the right temp? Maybe housing that conserves energy is going about things in the wrong way. Is there a better way to create a living system?

    also, are there species of moss that prefer different levels of water?
    Eugene, can you tell us more about moss?

  3. speaking of moisture, could the target humidities for wooden structures and moss be incompatible? What happens if the house starts rotting due to too much water for the moss?
    Is this a concern?

  4. Yes it is a concern. I hadn't originally approached this as an indoor wall idea, and moss needs a lot of moisture to stay alive (it can survive dessication, but it's not really living if there's no water in it). Different mosses can tolerate different levels of moisture. Additionally, I haven't gotten any results to indicate that mosses are useful, although it may simply be a flaw in experimental design.

    At any rate, if your structural material is sensitive to different humidities, then mosses may not be compatible. That depends on what you're building with, then.