Surfboard designer, Nev Hyman, was sick of seeing plastic waste in the oceans and wanted to make a change. Together with surfer mate and architect, Ken McBryde, Nev decided to address two massive issues with the design of the Nev house, turning waste into affordable housing for disadvantaged communities.
"I was sick of seeing the oceans destroyed by plastics "
The Nev house, which comes flat packed, can be erected in just 5 days and has been specifically designed to house communities in the Pacific, tropical areas which are prone to extreme weather conditions. The design is features large overhangs to keep shelter from the hot sun and heavy rains, as well as full height adjustable louvres for maximum ventilation and privacy.
Nev explained that after Cyclone Pam went through Vanuatu, the majority of fatalities occurred from semi permanent housing, that was not structurally sound. Many believed they were safe but when the cyclone came through were forced to run from their falling homes, so the Nev house has been engineering to withstand cyclones. He says "It's an affordable, but category five-rated building."
"We're actually a commercial business trying to solve a problem that the traditional not for profit sector... hasn't been able to service"
The first project for the Nev house, under an agreement with the Vanuatu government, is seeing the construction of more than 100 Nev houses for use as homes, schools and medical centres. The program has received a lot of interest from neighbouring Pacific nations, including Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Gordon Irons, managing director of Nev House, says the company is working to solve the problem of safe affordable housing whilst facilitating assembly jobs for local contractors. "We're actually a commercial business trying to solve a problem that perhaps the traditional not-for-profit sector hasn't done a good job of."
Irons estimates that over the next four years, the company will be saving about three million tonnes of plastic from landfill, all while providing safe housing to disadvantaged communities.
You can read more about the Nev house here.