DuPont Tyvek at University of Brighton's 'Waste House'

 DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced breather membranes help waste products to perform in unexpected ways in a new building experiment at the University of Brighton

Architect Duncan Baker-Brown and the University of Brighton’s Faculty of Art have undertaken a fascinating new ‘living experiment’ in sustainable building. The Brighton Waste House aims to use as much reclaimed and recycled material as available or appropriate – but where a certain type of product or technology proves to be the best solution in terms of optimum efficiency, then new materials or equipment have been specified. The building aims to demonstrate ways to combat the 45% contribution to CO2 emissions in the UK that can be attributed to architectural structures.


The timber framed structure is made largely of timber off-cuts with salvaged ply and is insulated in a variety of ways, including 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.”

The DuPont™ Tyvek® family of advanced building membranes are distinctive in several key ways that make them ideal for today’s construction projects. All the essential requirements for a high-performance breather membrane are embodied in DuPont™ Tyvek® which is unique in the market because of its high-quality single layer construction. DuPont™ Tyvek® is naturally vapour open but also wind and water-tight due to its composition of millions of micro fibres bonded together to make a “maze” that’s impermeable to air and moisture but which allows water vapour to pass through its natural pores.

Lightweight yet robust, DuPont™ Tyvek® is easy to install to exterior walls and roofs and offers long term proven reliability and durability with its unique composition. Designed to protect the building envelope against the effects of weather and moisture, the membranes also offer optimal air-tightness and can help to improve the thermal performance and energy-efficiency, as well as the interior climatic stability and comfort of a building.

DuPont™ Tyvek® UV Facade was developed using the same unique technology that has made DuPont™ Tyvek® the market leading breather membrane and this innovative solution allows for greater freedom and confidence when designing open-jointed facades. The membrane reliably protects against wind, water, interstitial condensation and air-leakage, while being designed especially to resist UV damage and offering an entirely black finish. DuPont™ Tyvek® UV Facade bears the CE mark in accordance with EN 13859-2 and rigorous testing has shown it to be able to withstand UV exposure for a very significant length of time. 

About DuPont - DuPont (NYSE: DD; has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, non-governmental organizations, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.

The Brighton Waste House was officially opened on June 10th 2014. For more information:

For more information about DuPont™ Tyvek® in the UK please visit: www.

or call 01275 337 660 (087 922 2740 in ROI)




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