Because every single component is designed to be disassembled and reused, no waste is produced at any stage of a building’s lifecycle.
Approximately half of all New Zealand's waste—about 1.6 million tonnes every year—is generated by the construction sector.
The current widespread use of adhesive-based fixings and single-life materials means that building a single new home will create about four tonnes of waste during construction, and even more when it’s eventually demolished and taken to the landfill.
A Victoria University of Wellington architecture student—Ged Finch—is working with Wellington UniVentures to commercialise a game-changing building design that has the potential to eliminate waste and reduce the amount of raw materials being used by the building industry.
His idea centres around a framing system that can be disassembled and re-used at the end of a building’s useful life—an architectural solution he hopes will transition the building sector from a linear (take, make, dispose) economy to a circular economy—where materials are reused in endless cycles.
Features and benefits
Easy to assemble
The self-braced, interlocking design enables pieces of wood to simply clip together like flat-pack furniture, enabling rapid assembly/disassembly using unskilled labour and a bare minimum of tools.
Easy to customise
The clip-together design means that any type of structure—floors, walls, ceilings—can be created, while adding doors or windows - and even additional rooms - is made simple.
After Wellington UniVentures introduced Ged to KiwiNet in 2019, the young entrepreneur was accepted into the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme; he is now using the funding and mentoring he's received from the programme to finalise engineering designs for the earthquake-resistant, hold-down fixings for the walls and interior. Ged is also testing the structural integrity and weather-tightness of the X-frame product—with financial assistance from BRANZ as part of his PhD scholarship with the independent research organisation.
Once testing is complete, Ged will undertake a series of small-build prototypes in the form of a cabin and a sleep-out to demonstrate his ideas at scale—all while taking part in a nine-month Circular Economy Programme with an Australian-based incubator, and working with Wellington UniVentures to establish the best pathway to market. One option that he is currently exploring involves using X-Frame in the commercial interior fit-out market.
We are now seeking industry partners to help commercialise this technology. Get in touch with the Commercialisation Manager below to find out more.