duncan baker-brown

University of Brighton’s Waste Zone exhibition in London highlights waste from construction

The University is hosting an international exhibition and seminar aimed at stepping up efforts to eliminate waste in the construction industry.

The Waste Zone, an integral part of this year’s FutureBuild at ExCel London from 5 to 7 March, is being curated by University Senior Lecturer, architect and author, Duncan Baker-Brown, the man behind the University’s award-winning Waste House.

Duncan said: “Climate change is at the top of the political agenda and we are encouraging as many people as possible – including our students – to attend so they can learn more and spread the word about the urgent need to boost the circular economy.”

Duncan’s Waste House was constructed on the City Campus mostly from materials that otherwise would have found their way into landfill sites or incinerated. It was built with thrown-away materials including timber, 20,000 old tooth brushes and carpet tiles, and on the principal that there was no such thing as rubbish “just things in the wrong place”.

Duncan said: “In the last ten years the construction industry has nearly halved the amount of construction and demolition waste it creates, and it is also exceeding EU waste reduction targets.

“This is great news but there is lots of room for improvement as this sector still creates 120m tonnes of waste a year. In 2017 London Waste and Recycling Board identified that by 2036 a circular economy could provide London with net benefits of up to £7bn per annum, with up to 12,000 new jobs.

“I feel that the construction industry is very well placed to take advantage of this, and with over 50 per cent of the world’s population now residing in cities, they are now the main driver for economic growth and have the potential to power a successful circular economy.

“So I have invited as many designers, consultants, constructors, thought leaders, and suppliers as I can think of to share their knowledge and hopefully inspire visitors to FutureBuild 2019 to take advantage of the financial and employment benefits a circular economy will provide.”

The Waste Zone will include an exhibition showing how waste can be a valuable resource for the construction industry, and invited suppliers will get the opportunity to show their innovative closed loop products. And there will be a central seminar space where over 40 speakers will be invited to discuss the challenges and opportunities the circular economy presents.

They will include Cat Fletcher, Reuse Manager for Brighton & Hove City Council and who sourced much of the ‘rubbish’ used to build the Waste House, sustainable material and product designer Nick Gant from School of Architecture & Design, and Professor Michael Braungart who will be launching a new edition of his seminal book ‘Cradle to Cradle: remaking the way we make things’.

Futurebuild is the leading built environment event for industry professionals, developed in conjunction with industry partners and where visitors will be urged to take action on the most pressing challenges.

The Waste Zone is being led by Duncan Baker-Brown, Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton’s School of Architecture and Design and co-founder of architects BBM, and the event is supported by the University’s Responsible Futures which aims to contribute to a more just and environmentally-sustainable society through the development of research and enterprise collaborations with local, national and international industry partners.

Other speakers include Professor Michael Braungart, world authority on the circular economy and author of ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things’; Dr Zoe Laughlin, co-founder of the Institute of Making and presenter of TV programmes including ‘The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History’ for BBC4; and Mark Miodownik, co-founder of the Institute of Making and presenter of TV programmes for Sky and BBC.

To register for free, visit: www.futurebuild.co.uk/register.



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