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This ginger genius has a green planas Nev's house in order

SUSTAINING: Nev Hyman with a sustainable house he built for those in need overseas.
SUSTAINING: Nev Hyman with a sustainable house he built for those in need overseas. Contributed

SURFING is renowned for its cutting edge design but not all surfboard "seers” turn their skills to developing a model for sustainable living.

However this year's Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing will feature the NevHouse created by surfboard designer turned r sustainable housing entrepreneur Nev Hyman.

Revered in surfing circles as the "genial ginger genius", Nev in March will construct his low cost modular construction made from recycled plastic at Noosa's Frist Point.

This radical design module,already providing livesaving shelter in the developing world, will serve as the festival's media and information centre and be available for inspection every day. At the conclusion of the event, the NevHouse will be dismantled and donated to the Noosa community.

The innovation recently won the Duke of York's global Pitch@Palace Global Entrepreneur of the Year award from 25,000 other submissions.

It was a reward for four years of hard slog to see the NevHouse project was up and running and now the eyes of many of the world's leading philanthropists are focused on it.

His reaction to his win at St James Palace in Londom: "This is like surfing a perfect barrel at Burleigh with everyone watching.”

According to business bible Forbes.com: "Since its inception four years ago, Pitch@Palace has helped start-up businesses create 1,600 new jobs and generate more than $630 million of new economic activity."

He and his team raised capital for the research and development before delivering 15 homes in Vanuatu in 2016 in the wake of Cyclone Pam.

"We're thinking big scale because we're not going to be satisfied with just delivering a few houses to a few small communities,” Nev said.

"Affordable housing shortages are a global problem. A United Nations report suggests that there are more than 250 million homes needed globally."

Nev's business model is to build a sustainable company through selling NevHouses to commercial concerns so that the ongoing profits can be ploughed back into supplying emergency housing .

"We call it philanthro-capitalism,.

"And the secret to making it work is to create a product that is attractive, low cost and leaves a minimal footprint on the environment."

This is a progression from the Nev Future Shapes business set up on the Gold Coast more than 30 years ago. He established Firewire as the leading global brand in green surfboard design and sold it to Kelly Slater.

Nev and his team will be on site at the NevHouse throughout the "8 Days of Pure Stoke" and Nev will be the keynote speaker at a gala festival dinner at Peppers Noosa on Friday, March 16.


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