Changing planet and changing habitat
Author: Written by Dr Sandra Piesik and contributions from Duncan Baker-Brown
Featured project: The Brighton Waste House
Following Dr Sandra Piesik’s recent editing of Habitat which explores vernacular architecture for a changing planet. Designboom have now published Piesik’s essay which continues the themes of waste utilization, building for hurricanes and raising awareness of cultural identity.
The full article can be found here.
“Dr Sandra Piesik is an architect and a researcher who has worked extensively in the middle east on projects that reconnect traditional knowledge systems with modern applications. As the founder of several multidisciplinary research groups, piesik is actively engaged in addressing global climate change. she was co-creator of the urban and rural resilience programme for desert regions and participated in the COP22 UN climate change conference in marrakech”.
The Brighton Waste House as it became known was opened in June 2014 and continues to be a ‘live’ on-going research project and permanent new design workshop (it is not a dwelling) 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 & Architect Duncan Baker-Brown, together with undergraduate architecture & interior architecture 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.
The Brighton Waste House is the first permanent ‘carbon negative’ public building in Europe to be constructed from approximately 90% waste, surplus material & discarded plastic gathered from the construction and other industries, as well as our homes. It has Full Planning & Building Regulations Approvals. It tries to prove “that there is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place!” The project continues a line of research by BBM considering truly sustainable sources of materials and construction systems, or to be more precise truly ‘circular metabolisms’ that will one day help create a ‘Circular Economy’. Duncan discusses this at length in his recently published book “The Re-Use Atlas: A designers guide towards a Circular Economy’. To read some of the case studies covered in the book visit our blog here.