Nev Hyman on Plastics Revolution

Nev Hyman of NevHouse:

Building homes from plastic waste

In this episode of Plastics Revolution, I chat with Nev Hyman of NevHouse.  Nev started his career shaping surfboards for the world’s best surfers.  Along the way, he even sold a company to famous professional surfer, Kelly Slater.

So, how did this surfboard maker get into building homes from recycled plastic?  That’s exactly what we talk about in this show, as well as, Nev’s future plans.


Hosted by Tammy Ven Dange
Produced by Jonny Puskas
Theme Music by Joseph McDade
All Rights Reserved 2020

Topics from this episode:

  • 0:00 | Intro
  • 2.00 | How did Nev go from surfer to entrepreneur?
  • 5.03 | Nev packs up and decides to move to the east coast of Australia where some of the biggest surfing events were held and where he starts his next surfboard shaping company called Nev Future Shapes.
  • 7:38 | Can you take the “soul” of a surfboard if it’s not made by hand? The creation of Firewire with the help of computer aided design technology, and what does famous surfer Kelly Slater have to do with it now?
  • 10:20 | Nev returns to the Future Shape brand.
  • 11:01 | How in the world did Nev go from surfboard maker to making homes from recycled plastic?
  • 14:38 | The accidental recycler.
  • 19:51 | How did he get investors to put money towards this idea.
  • 21.05 | Nev explains the technology behind his homes and how it differs from what Replas does. “It’s not rocket science.”
  • 29.16 | The investment challenge with building a manufacturing facility in Australia.
  • 30.22 | Why NevHouse is a profitable investment.
  • 31.59 | Opportunity Zone Funds in the US. The new Nev Earth Oz Fund that he created there to fund his first plant.
  • 35.11 | Who’s the customer for NevHouse flat pack plastic homes?
  • 38.37 | As for the plastic waste?
  • 40:23 | The opportunities for providing disaster relief housing quickly.
  • 42:32 | Reach out to Nev if you want to know more about the homes and/or the investment opportunities. Contact details below.

Quotes from Nev Hyman in this episode:

“I’ve had the most charmed life travelling, surfing, shaping surfboards around the world to make money in the early days.”

“All of a sudden I started making surfboards, for some of the world’s best surfers back in the day. We’re talking people like Shaun Thomson, Ian Cairns, Dane Kealoha are people that only if you surfed, you would know who these people are. But they were the gods of surfing back then. And I was a little grommet coming from Western Australia that just so happened to start making boards for these guys.”

‘I realised that I couldn’t keep up with the demand for my surfboards so I instigated that process to turn hand shaping of surfboards into CAD CAM, meaning computer aided design and computer aided machining. And whilst that is commonplace now, back in the late 80s it was, “Oh no, you can’t do that!”’

‘I was in New Caledonia or an atoll off New Caledonia in 1992, and I noticed a lot of plastic on the beaches. And I thought, “Well, what’s going on here? Has somebody dumped a bunch of plastic in the environment?” It’s just washed up on the beach here.’

“I didn’t set out to become this so-called environmentalist. It was out of anxiety. It’s the mother of invention. The anxiety around trying to protect my financial interests made me dig deep to find out how I could turn this company into something that the world needs.”

“Thank you, China, for putting up the China Sword and stopping the West’s waste from coming to your door, because now the West must deal with their own plastic waste.

“There is no question the best solution or use of co-mingled contaminated plastic waste… is in construction, in housing.”

“I’m being offered $50 to $150 a tonne to take plastic waste in Australia and then offered at least $50 a tonne in the US to take plastic waste – the same waste that I would have had to pay $300 to $500 a tonne four or five years ago.”

“This is not going to change. Plastic is not going to get valuable again. It’s not going to because we’ve lost China.”

“Sadly, I’m almost certain now that the first facility will be in somewhere like Knoxville, Tennessee, where Denton and Dallas or L.A.. That’s where the first one going to be. What an incredible opportunity missed by Australia.”

“If we can build a 50m2 house for US$5000 and make a profit for investors, then guess what? If we build a 50m2 house for an eco-resort, we could charge $50,000 for it or $20,000 for it. So, it’s an incredibly profitable scenario we’re heading into.”

“Our business plan is to build locally everywhere, globally. Because we can build a small facility that costs a couple of million dollars. It’ll take 2000 tonnes of plastic waste out of that local community and build 300 homes.”

Links & Resources

Published by

Tammy Ven Dange

IT Consultant for the Not for Profit Sector | Host of "Executive with a Cause" Podcast

2 thoughts on “Nev Hyman of NevHouse:”

  1. Great interview. So positive to hear from Nev that world leaders, politicians and Entrepreneurs alike are taking the negative impacts of plastic to our environment seriously – and wanting a solution. And, as history repeats itself, the innovations this country produces has to go overseas for full recognition and development. Thank you for your gentle approach Tammy and bringing these wonderful interviews to us. Deborah.

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