architecture design waste

Building of the week – THTKB

On a normal building site, 20% of the materials are wasted. It means that for every five houses built, the equivalent of a whole other house is thrown away. In 2008 the TV series Grand Design set out to demonstrate that you could build a house out of that waste, and that it could be built to the highest standards of the sustainable homes code. They did it live at a trade show, in a week, and then took it down again.

The house, named ‘the house that Kevin built’ after Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, is now going to be rebuilt at the University of Brighton Faculty of Arts. It will be a home for research into sustainable architecture.

The house is prefabricated, constructed out of engineered timber Modcells that are packed with waste materials to insulate the walls. “There is a huge pile of construction waste that’s building up in this country and to ignore is quite frankly sinful,” says Duncan Baker-Brown, the architect behind the house. “Through this project we are going to show that there is no such thing as waste.”

Among the various other features are aerogel rooflights and windows made from softwood that has been pickled to make it as sturdy and long-lasting as hardwood. Take a look at the video to see how it turned out last time.

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