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A conversation with Nexii

Supporting greener industry

Nexii is a green construction technology company based in Vancouver, Canada, co-founded by Stephen Sidwell and sibling entrepreneurs, Michael and Ben Dombrowski. Nexii’s vision is to "build a vibrant future for people and the planet”. This includes reducing carbon emissions, energy use, waste, and inefficiencies inherent in traditional construction, while providing disaster resilient building products that are fire, flood, hurricane, and earthquake resistant. The ultimate goal of Nexii is to “reduce climate impacts connected to buildings and construction, while providing building solutions that are durable and can withstand the significant effects of climate change”.

From today until 2060, the world will build the equivalent of a New York City every month - 230 billion m2 built in new construction1. This creates huge environmental challenges, as the industry is currently the largest contributor to solid waste, filling 33-50% of landfills2. Buildings and construction are also the number one source of climate pollution, accounting for 39% of greenhouse gas emissions globally3.

Beyond these environmental issues, productivity in construction has remained nearly flat for decades. The industry faces increased stress from high demand, low productivity, and challenges recruiting skilled talent. This is compounded by climate change and increased severe weather events impacting the supply chain, materials volatility, and demand for disaster resilient building solutions.

Nexii is tackling these issues through innovative technologies that offer fast, efficient development of sustainable, cost-efficient, and disaster-resilient buildings. Nexii has developed a breakthrough building material - Nexiite - that has comparable properties to concrete but contains no Portland cement, significantly reducing end-to-end carbon emissions from Nexii buildings.

Nexiite is a proprietary blend of readily available ingredients, with no ILFI Red List toxic substances. This material is used to create Nexii Panels that are:

  • rapidly assembled onsite - up to 75%4 faster build times than traditional construction
  • sustainable with reduced embodied and operational carbon
  • near zero construction waste
  • mould, mildew, fire, and water resistant, surpassing concrete in fire, flood, hurricane, and earthquake resilience
  • airtight with improved energy efficiency/indoor air quality

Company action

First-of-its-kind green construction technology

Sustainability is at the core of Nexii’s values, designs, and building products. Nexii’s revolutionary green construction technology was designed to reduce building carbon emissions by approximately 30% and create near-zero onsite waste.

In 2020, Nexii worked with Starbucks Canada in support of their “Greener Stores Framework”. This Framework aims to halve carbon emissions, waste output, and water impacts over the next decade while growing their business. Nexii constructed the first-of-its-kind sustainably built Starbucks in Abbotsford, Canada, demonstrating the following benefits of its sustainable building solutions.

To further the benefits and capabilities of Nexii’s offerings, the company is also collaborating with leading building technology providers to bring together a full decarbonisation solution, from construction through to operations. This integrated technology partner (ITP) programme brings together best-in-class technologies with the Nexii platform to help further net zero buildings.

The Lloyd’s link

Insurance can protect against unforeseen risks to support innovation

Unforeseen events can hit any company, and if the company does not have the capital or insurance policy to help protect against emergencies, the consequences can be severe. Insurance offers companies like Nexii financial protection against the risks involved in scaling up an innovative, sustainability-focused business.

Businesses innovating in the construction industry need an insurance partner that can understand the unique set of risks and challenges they may encounter. Lloyd’s is the world’s specialist insurance market and, like Nexii, is committed to the transition to a low carbon economy. The Lloyd’s market, an expert in protecting against complex risks, is well placed to assist climate-positive innovators and industry disruptors with the insurance they need. The market’s unrivalled expertise enables the creation of bespoke insurance solutions for industry disruptors like Nexii.

Insurance offers companies like Nexii protection against the risks involved in scaling up an innovative, sustainability-focused business.

The future

Scaling green construction technology

Green construction materials can present challenges like cost and increased risk (e.g. flammability of insulation), due to the technology and sustainable production process. While Nexii is breaking through many of these barriers, the attenuated risk of the current global supply chain crisis - which has caused huge disruption to the construction industry due to supply shortages and escalating prices - will remain a challenge as they and others in the green construction space achieve scale. Remaining competitive on price will help to accelerate the adoption of sustainable building materials. Encouragingly, Nexii is successfully overcoming this challenge by performing ahead of traditional construction materials and techniques on a cost-per-square-foot basis. 

Nexii currently operates two corporate plants in Canada and is working with licensees, called Nexii Certified Manufacturers (NCMs), to open additional plants across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The first NCM plant, in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, commenced operations in October 2021 and officially opened on February 8, 2022.  Nexii has forecasted two additional operational corporate plants in the US in 2022 with a range of other North American NCMs at various stages of development with plans to open in 2022 and beyond.

For any small business, achieving scale can be a challenge. However, Nexii has received strong private financing thus far and aims to continue on that trajectory. To date, Nexii has raised 195M CAD in funding and assembled a highly experienced board of directors. The company is actively pursuing Healthy Product Declarations (HPD’s), Environmental Product Declarations (EPD’s) and Zero Waste certification and will be Net Zero across their operations and value chain by 2030, in alignment with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

The Lloyd’s market is the perfect partner to help climate positive innovators grow and will look to work with companies like Nexii as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.

You can find out more about Nexii and Lloyd’s climate action commitments below.

2 Transparency, Construction Waste Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2017 – 2025.

3 UN Environment Global Status Report 2019; EIA International Energy Outlook 2019

4 Based on on-site assembly of Nexii CRU envelope vs conventional envelope.