The Brighton Waste House Is Now Open

Case Study

DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced breather membranes help waste products to perform in unexpected ways in a new building experiment


The Brighton Waste House is now open


Construction of the Brighton Waste House is now complete and the ‘living experiment’ is open for research and learning. The building features over 85% waste material, plus hi-tech solutions such as DuPont™ Tyvek® breather membranes. Photo courtesy of Brighton Waste House, all rights reserved.


The timber framed structure is made largely of timber off-cuts with salvaged ply and is insulated in a variety of ways, from donated KoolthermK15 boards to internal wall ‘cassettes’ filled with old VHS tapes and compact disc cases, discarded wallpaper and 19,800 disposable airline toothbrushes! In excess of 85% of the building product has been sourced through reclamation of some kind, but certain new products and hi tech solutions have been added where needed.

For example, making the structure as wind and watertight as possible, while also capable of diffusing interstitial vapour to the exterior, was crucial to the success of the experiment, and it became clear to the team that the ideal membrane solution to protect the build was the renowned reliability and performance DuPont™ Tyvek®. In total 400 square metres of DuPont™ Tyvek® Housewrap has been used to seal the building envelope and a similar amount of the specialised DuPont™ Tyvek® UV Façade membrane has been installed directly behind the second-hand carpet tiles that act as rain screen cladding to the external walls.

Architect and project leader Duncan Baker-Brown of BBM Sustainable Design Ltd comments, “We were very happy to specify DuPont™ Tyvek® Housewrap and DuPont™ Tyvek® UV Facade for The Brighton Waste House, as the products guarantee the proper performance of our rather unusual walls made of reclaimed and surplus material from the construction industry, as well as from household waste. DuPont™ Tyvek® Housewrap ensures that our carbon neutral building manages moisture sensibly, while DuPont™ Tyvek® UV Facade forms a highly effective weather seal for the building, sitting just behind our unusual external rain screen, which is of course, also made of waste.”

Mark Hill, DuPont Building Innovations, Sales Manager for UK and Ireland adds, “DuPont has been delighted to support this fascinating research and learning project with the donation of our advanced breather membranes for buildings, with two different types of DuPont™ Tyvek®. This experimental and important build involves the community from industry experts and manufacturers to students and schoolchildren. It’s an exciting and innovative way to explore all the possibilities for building with optimum efficiency by combining waste material with hi-tech products that have been designed for very specific purposes, and whose performance cannot easily be replicated by other solutions.”