Australian duo creates cyclone-resistant shelters

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Australian duo creates cyclone-resistant shelters
A Nev House, designed by Ken McBryde, for remote communities on cyclone-ravaged Tanna Island in Vanuatu
Australian duo creates cyclone-resistant shelters
A Nev House, designed by Ken McBryde, for remote communities on cyclone-ravaged Tanna Island in Vanuatu

An Australian duo has created a series of cyclone-resistant prefabricated shelters for remote communities in Vanuatu.

The buildings are adapted from a prefabricated, recycled plastic house prototype, named Nev House, which are designed by Ken McBryde, a principal at Hassell. Thirteen school and community halls and a medical clinic were recently installed on the remote Tanna Island in an effort help rebuild the island after it was devastated by Cyclone Pam in March 2015. Located across four villages, the buildings together than provide shelter for more than 1,000 people in the event of a cyclone.

The Nev House is the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Nev Hyman, who is recognized in surfing circles as the designer of Firewire surfboards. The houses, which are made, in part, from recycled plastic, were born from Hyman’s involvement as an investor in a plastics recycling company that made wood replacement products.

“I was in Indonesia and I saw a floor plan and an elevation of a house that the Indonesian government hoped to provide for a community in Lombok and I thought to myself, ‘I can make that out of [recycled plastic] materials,’” Hyman said.

On his return to Australia, Hyman connected with McBride, who shared his passion for surfing, and the two began working on a prototype for the prefabricated, modular houses. […]

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