Brighton Waste House

SCHOOL-PUPILS-VISIT SUMMER-SCHOOL A32A1000Brighton Waste House, Brighton (United Kingdom) 2014

University of Brighton

The Brighton Waste House is the first permanent public building in Europe to be constructed from material the people threw away. It is a ‘live’ ongoing research project and permanent new design workshop focused on enabling open discussion and understanding of sustainable development. It is situated on campus at The University of Brighton’s College for Arts & Humanities at Grand Parade. Designed by Senior Lecturer and Architect Duncan Baker-Brown, together with undergraduate students, this project was built by apprentices from The Mears Group, students from City College Brighton & Hove and The Faculty of Arts as well as volunteers. In all over 350 students helped with the project.

One of the main aims of the project was to prove “that there is no such thing and waste, just stuff in the wrong place”. It is also an exercise in truly open accessible collaborative design and construction. This innovative low energy building was constructed completely by students & volunteers as young as 15 years old. Most were around 17 years old.

During the 12 month construction period the Waste House site was visited by more than 750 primary and secondary school pupils, many of which brought their old tooth brushes to help fill the wall cavities. Every pupil attended a presentation about the themes and issues relating to the project, i.e. sustainable design, locally sourced green materials v’s building with waste, and of course issues relating to circular metabolisms and in particular the Circular Economy.

Now an open design research studio, run in partnership with our colleagues delivering the Sustainable Design MA on campus, the Brighton Waste House is be available to schools, colleges and community groups for ‘green’ themed events and any interested parties can join in with sustainable design workshops and events curated by designers, artists, makers, builders, scientists writers-in-residence, whoever is interested.

Client: University of Brighton, City College Brighton and Hove, The Mears Group, Brighton & Hove City Council and an additional 35 other commercial partners

Tutors and Other Facilitators: Duncan Baker-Brown (Architect & Senior Lecturer), Prof. Anne Boddington (Dean College of Arts & Humanities), Nick Gant (Assistant Head EASE College of Arts & Humanities), Gem Barton (Interior Architecture Tutor University of Brighton), Cat Fletcher (FREEGLE UK), Gary Lester (MD The Mears Group), David Pendegrass (The Mears Group Site Agent), James Cryer (The Mears Group), Richard McKenzie (The Mears Group), Tom Dowds (Head of Curriculum City College), Nicola Sankey (City College), Ian Brown (Carpentry Tutor City College), Simon Coode (Electrics Tutor City College), Martin Randall (Brighton & Hove City Council)

Students (Brighton School Of Architecture):  Ana Sidorova, Francis Naydler Beth Rodway, Aluiza Garabedyan, Katia Soltysiak, Bronwen Chatwin, Louise Fisher, Hannah Bradley, Rosie Barnes, Emily Downs, Abi Aldridge, Tash O’Byrne

Students (City College Brighton and Hove): James Tilley, Jason Reeves, Brian Clarke, Amber Coatsworth (Electrician), Chloe King (Electrician), Ellen Rutter (Electrician), Marina Elliot (Electrician), Ellis Steadman (Plasterer), Harry Carter (Multitrader), Philip Fagan (Multitrader), Matthew Fox (Multitrader), Reece Baker (Mears Apprentice), Max Lucas Scion (Mears Apprentice), Fionn Coggeran (Mears Carpenter), Sam Sharp (Mears Apprentice Carpenter)

Plus an additional 360 students and apprentices

Volunteers: Ryan Challen, Ty Jeffery, Samina Choudhury, Jonida Murataj (London Metropolitan University)

Research Question: Can one design and construct a permanent low energy (carbon negative even) building made out of material other people have discarded?… and can this be undertaken by young people learning design and construction skills? Also the end result is an on-gonig ‘live’ updatable research project and open debating venue for local schools, communities and businesses as well as students studying at the University of Brighton. The building raises awareness of the potentials of waste to be a valuable reusable resource. The bottom line is that the Brighton Waste House gets people thinking about where things originate from and where they end up. It also runs with the notion ” that there is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place!”



101+, Architecture, Client-funded, Collaboration, Commissioned, Curricular, Initiated by institution, Interior Architecture, Months, Permanent, Self-funded, Sponsorship, Students with tutor, Undergraduate, United Kingdom, University of Brighton