Architect Duncan Baker-Brown’s latest project can largely be described as rubbish. By building a house entirely from waste he’s aiming to change the construction industry for the better. Jess McCabe reports
Duncan Baker-Brown points to a bag of broken up polystyrene. ‘That was packing casing from fridges and things like that,’ the noted environmental architect explains. ‘This is stuff that would have gone to landfill.’ Instead, it is about to be used a second time, as rough-and-ready insulation for a house.
Mr Baker-Brown is showing Sustainable Housing around a building site on a small square of land on the Brighton University campus, where he is in the middle of building his latest project: a house entirely made of waste materials.
With a whorl of red hair, only partly concealed by a yellow hard hat, Mr Baker-Brown looks more like a Viking than an architect. Best known for appearing on the Channel 4 show Grand Designs, he is friendly and tactile in person. In fact, he is so affable that it’s only later, listening back to the interview, that I realise he is given to blunt statements and isn’t afraid to criticise even his own previous projects.