Stab Magazine | Nev Hyman Wins Good Design Award For Cyclone-Proof Modular Homes

Nev Hyman Wins Good Design Award For Cyclone-Proof Modular Homes

From Firewire to cyclone-resistant architecture.

Words by Elliot Struck

For Nev Hyman, Firewire surfboards is no longer a professional focus. While he still designs by request for the company he created, he’d rather let (new owner) Kelly Slater, Tomo, Jon Pyzel and the rest of the gang handle things while he focuses on building strong, resilient homes for weather-devastated countries. And, fair enough.

Remember what Cyclone Pam did to Vanuatu last year? Ever since the country was ravaged by Pam’s fury, Nev and his team have been deep in rebuilding homes, schools and medical clinics there. Most particularly, on Tanna Island. The initiative is better known as Nevhouse.

2016 04 25 TED5778+1

“This is a house that’ll last 100 years that’s impervious to bacteria, free of maintenance, and to a degree withstand hurricanes and earthquakes,” he told Mashable. “So from this perspective, they are important tools for disaster relief and it can be built and taken down again in just two days. What’s more, it’s culturally relevant to its host nation and community.”

https blueprint api uploads card image 102575 2016 04 25 TED5772

On Friday, Nevhouse won the prestigious Good Design Award for Sustainability. The modular, pre-fabricated structures Nev developed with Ken McBryde were inspired by Nev’s increasing concerns over waste in the ocean (and most particularly, plastic). After investing in a plastics recycling company in 2004, his new interest eventually evolved into Nevhouse: Originally planned to use entirely recycled materials, 60 percent turned out to be more realistic (along with sustainable timber) for the strong, cheap structures, which can be erected in five days or less. Perfect for the needs of less-fortunate countries scrambling in the wake of weather destruction.

2016 04 25 TED5796

Nev built his first major structure, a school in Vanuatu’s Port Vila, last year following Cyclone Pam. Then, in April this year, Nevhouse began work on 15 structures on Tanna Island (which’ll be finished any day now). As Mashable says: “Building in Vanuatu means the structures have to be able to withstand a Category 5 cyclone and provide a safe house for locals, not only a pleasant place to live. According to Hyman, the building’s sturdy frame and the mechanisms by which it’s tied down means it won’t be pulled out of the ground by high wind. It’s also appropriate for tropical temperatures. Thanks to the structure’s many louvres, there is considerable air movement through the building.”

2016 04 25 TED5808

Now, Nevhouse isn’t a charity (the cost for a school room is around $50k, which gets cheaper the more they use local labour), but according to Nev the company can deliver for a cheaper price than other cyclone-resistant housing.

“Nevhouse is currently in talks with governments, aid agencies and charities to find potential clients,” says Mashable. No doubt the Good Design Award for Sustainability will help their cause.



Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Joyride Board Test: The Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto Twin

Critically examining one of the hottest new boards on the market.

Oct 20, 2021

How An American’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Built One The Greatest Surf Accessory Labels Out Of A Workshop In Yallingup, Western Australia

Mick, Steph, & Jake Paterson tell the story of Creatures founder, John Malloy.

Oct 20, 2021

Why We’ll Always Catch One Down The Beach

The Misc: To the left of the stand.

Oct 20, 2021

The Highest & Flyest Performance-Based Challenges From Stab Highway Presented By Monster Energy

Rinse off the hangover and shoot for the sky.

Oct 19, 2021


Lower Trestles From Unusual Angles Ft. Kolohe, Griffin, And Co.

So much for Stagnant Ambition.

Oct 19, 2021

Are Surfboards Made To Fail?

Industry insiders open up about whether or not boards are intentionally fragile, thus driving repeat…

Oct 18, 2021


A 14-Year-Old Ladybird Takes On Solid Nias & Desert Point

Bela Nalu will go.

Oct 18, 2021

Premium Peek: Torrey Meister Tempts Fate In ‘Grit n Water’

What's scarier — bull riding or big wave surfing?

Oct 17, 2021


Someone Sponsor This Kid

Eimeo Czermak is an animal who consistently delivers jaw-dropping clips.

Oct 17, 2021


Palatable Portuguese Wedges With Mason Ho

Washed down with a pink cosmo and Franchesinha.

Oct 16, 2021

Did You Know The WSL Has A Pension Fund?

CT surfers post-2014 have a nice chunk of cash waiting for them after they retire.

Oct 16, 2021

Stab Podcast: Is Huntington Beach A More Exciting Contest Venue Than Ericeira?

Surf sins, a rundown of this week’s surf cinema, and an unpopular opinion from the…

Oct 15, 2021

The WSL’s 2022 Season Wildcards Revealed

Pray for Matthew McGillivray.

Oct 15, 2021


Dylan Graves Explores The Topics Of Race And Inclusivity In Surfing

“If you know it’s wrong, say something.”

Oct 15, 2021

Watch: Episode 2 of Stab Highway Presented By Monster Energy

Broken bones, KFC/meat pie collabs, 'feary' river mouth swims, and incredible kneelo tubes.

Oct 15, 2021


Kolohe Andino Is Doubling Down On Surf Films

"I want to give the world my view of how surfing should be perceived."

Oct 14, 2021


Jordy Smith Was Stuck In Hawaii For The Best Late-Season Run In Memory

"It was 6-8 foot for weeks straight. I surfed Pipe with one other guy out."

Oct 14, 2021

What Happened To All The Surf Gangs?

Times have changed, for good or ill.

Oct 14, 2021