PhD student’s waste-free building solution ‘X-frame’ gets commercialisation boost

Victoria University of Wellington PhD candidate Ged Finch’s ‘X-Frame’ structural solution for creating waste-free buildings is one step closer to becoming a commercial reality after securing support from the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme.

Ged Finch's xframe prototype being constructed. Two wooden panels of x shaped wood constructed in field

Ged's clip-together design allows any type of structure to be rapidly assembled and disassembled many times, with the advantage of creating no waste in the process.

Approximately half of New Zealand's 1.6 million tonnes of annual waste 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,” says Ged.

Ged's self-braced interlocking wood design removes the need for single-use fixings, eliminating waste and reducing the amount of raw materials used in the building process.

KiwiNet CEO Dr James Hutchinson says Ged’s vision is to transition the building sector to a circular economy where materials are reused in endless cycles.

“His approach could set a new benchmark for sustainable design, and it makes great commercial sense,” says Dr Hutchinson.

Ged is currently building a small (10m2) prefabricated prototype dwelling in Auckland and believes the completed prototype will be New Zealand’s most sophisticated ‘circular’ building.

The KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme seeks to enable scientists with clever new ideas to work alongside businesses to create prototypes and solve industry challenges.