Kevin McCloud a model of the eco-friendly house.

The house that Kevin built

Published:  21 October, 2010

BRIGHTON: A house of the future that captivated millions of TV viewers is to be rebuilt at the University of Brighton’s Faculty of Arts.

The House that Kevin Built was constructed live on TV in six days in 2008 for Channel 4’s Grand Designs Live and was heralded as the UK’s first low-energy prefabricated house made from eco-friendly materials.

The house was later dismantled but the concept is being reborn in the courtyard of the university’s Faculty of Arts in Grand Parade, Brighton. Kevin McCloud, the British designer who presented the TV programme, is backing the idea along with Brighton Hove City Council and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

The house will be built with cutting edge methods and materials to the point where the structure captures more carbon than it uses and cuts out waste. Walls, for instance, will be made with panels filled with straw bales to keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer.

The house will be regularly evaluated and new research will provide improved techniques and materials for the house over its predicted five to 10-year lifespan.

Professor Stuart Laing, the University of Brighton’s deputy vice-chancellor, said: “The house will be a working exhibit for people to view but it will also be a place for children, youth clubs and adults to meet, talk and learn about environmental issues, healthy living, reducing the use of carbon, and tackling climate change.

“It will be for university and community use as an experimental venue for research, student workshops, conferences, exhibitions and events that would draw the city and the university together around a shared concern for a more sustainable city.”

Professor Laing added: “This is an exciting project that we hope will become an example for sustainable construction around the UK and one that will produce far-reaching benefits for the university and the community as a whole. If all goes to plan, work on building the house could begin next Easter.”

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