Built on the campus of the University of Brighton, the squat structure known as the Waste House is an almost joyous attempt to create a whole building using recycled, thrown away, or found items to make a lasting message about sustainability.
Created by volunteers and undergraduate students, the house is literally full of trash. Built on a foundation of waste blockwork (compressed clay and stone flakes) and around a frame made of plywood recovered from a nearby construction site, the two story house is not actively inhabited but is meant to be a “‘living laboratory’ for ecological architectural design.” The walls are filled with all manner of garbage as insulation such as tens of thousands of disposable toothbrushes, old VHS tapes, DVD cases, and floppy disks, and over two tons of waste denim. The exterior of the building is covered in over 2,000 used carpet tiles which also aid in the insulation process. In the end, a full 85% of the house is complete rubbish.
The creators of the Brighton Waste House fully admit that smaller structures have been built from waste in the past in similar projects, but they fully intend for their structure to be a permanent building that can pass the stringent codes of any other construction project. The space is currently used as a sustainable design studio and environmental event venue. Many of the building materials are also visible inside the structure reminding all visitors that they are surrounded by garbage.