‘There’s no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place.’ This is the motto of the team of designers and builders involved in the construction of the first building in the UK to be made entirely out of waste and organic materials.
Duncan Baker-Brown, an architect based in the UK’s seaside city of Brighton hopes the house, known as ‘The House that Kevin Built’ after the prototype built in 2008, will act as motivation for increased sustainable construction across the UK.
Disturbed by the startling amount of construction waste he found after building projects had been completed, Baker-Brown, who is working on the building in conjunction with Brighton’s arts faculty, hopes the project will encourage people to have a greater awareness of the importance of living sustainably and reducing our carbon footprint. “There is a huge pile of construction waste that’s building up in this country and to ignore is quite frankly sinful,” says Baker-Brown. “Through this project we are going to show that there is no such thing as waste.”
So, what exactly will Kevin build his house from? The walls will be constructed from waste timber, with plywood panels, also made from waste material, inserted in the gaps in the timber structure. The house will be fully fitted with solar panels and a heat recovery system. And whilst it will take more than a few strong men to put the building together, Baker-Brown also plans to set up a community production line on the site itself so that members of the public – students, apprentices and even school children – can muck in and help out with the construction.
The ecological building will, upon completion, be used as a space for local community groups to display expositions and hold workshops. Upstairs, the Brighton arts’ faculty will install their headquarters for sustainable design.
Baker-Brown’s building was motivated by his perceived need to find new ways to build and live sustainably. And this need is indeed great. In the UK, 45 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions come from architectural structures, and it is hoped that the House That Kevin Built will act as the starting point in a mission to reduce CO2 emissions in Brighton by over 30 per cent, exceeding EU targets.
The building, which is set to be completed in May 2013, is hoped to act as central hub for all those who share concerns about sustainable, carbon-neutral living, and, hopefully, it will inspire more people to reduce the size of their own carbon footprint.
Sources include: The Guardian, Brighton Arts Faculty,
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