UK’s First Permanent Building Made Entirely From Waste | BBM


Brighton Waste House by BBM Architects is the first permanent building in the UK that is built from rubbish, surplus materials, and thrown away items gathered from the construction industry, other industries and homes. The project uses discarded carpet tiles insulated with waste toothbrushes and floppy discs. The building is designed as a research facility and design workshop for the University of Brighton's Faculty of Arts. Read more about this innovative sustainable building at SURFACES REPORTER (SR):


Also Read: Designer Creates Soundproof Tiles from Wood Waste and Cocoa Husks | HexBix Tiles

According to Baker-Brown, Principal architect, BBM Architects, “There have been a lot of other projects where people have built sheds or temporary things out of rubbish, but to get full building regulations and planning approval is a first.”

Waste To Wonder

The foundation of the building was constructed using ground-granulated blast-furnace slag that supports a structure consisting of reclaimed timber beams, columns, and timber joists sourced from a nearby demolished house. As per the firm, the waste blockwork wall is filled with the materials such as 20,000 toothbrushes, 4,000 DVD cases, 2 tonnes of denim jeans, 2000 used carpet tiles (to clad the facades) and 2,000 floppy discs.

waste-house-bbm-architects-surfacese-reporterAround 253 students from City College Brighton & Hove and apprentices from social housing maintenance provider Mears collaboratively complete the design of the Brighton Waste House on campus at The Faculty of Arts Grand Parade.

waste-house-bbm-architects-surfacese-reporterThe waste materials are used as insulation that can be seen through transparent parts built into the walls. It was an experimental project as the heat-retaining properties, and other benefits of creating a house with rubbish will be measured over the next few years by sensors built into the walls.

waste-house-bbm-architects-surfacese-reporter The idea was that the students who were involved in the making of the house should know how to accommodate whole-house ventilation and heat retaining property into a design. "It's all exposed so people can see what's going on,” said the architect.

Also Read: Textile Waste Gets Upcycled into Simple, Smart and Circular Acoustic Panels | BAUX Acoustic Flexfelt

Design Details

The house facade comprises two-thousand used carpet tiles which were applied as weatherproof cladding. Apart from this, waste vinyl exhibition banners are used to form a permanent vapor control membrane that covers the house.

Chalk spoils of around ten tonnes is obtained from a local construction site that was pressed with the similar rammed earth wall-making technique to create a wall that boasts the staircase.

waste-house-bbm-architects-surfacese-reporterAlmost 500 cycle inner tubes are used to seal windows and soundproof first floor. 65m2 of rubber membrane used for roof finish that is made from old Pirelli car tires. 2km of second-hand 2"x2" softwood timber - used throughout the building and sourced from skips/ City College/ Brighton Wood Store. The kitchen worktop is made from second-hand coffee grinds & plastic coffee cups. 10 tonnes of chalk destined for landfill - used to create a beautiful load-bearing internal wall. 

waste-house-bbm-architects-surfacese-reporter20 liters of second-hand paint used in the wall interiors are supplied Newlife Paints. Waste is mixed with organic materials to create furniture for the interior of the house. One of the main aims of the project was to prove 'that there is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place'.

waste-house-bbm-architects-surfacese-reporterThe project is designed for the university's Sustainable Design MA course students and is used for hosting ‘Green’ themed design workshops and events that are curated by builders, architects, designers, artists, writers, scientists, whoever is interested.

The project is completed with the support of Brighton & Hove City Council Planning & Building Control departments, along with the generous contributions of suppliers within the construction industry.

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