Eco Casa, a dream home built with a vision for green composites
Brisbane boat builder Ian Wright’s dream home may be small in size but
it is huge in vision for the future of composites in the construction
and housing marketplace.
The house marks the launch of a ‘green’ composite building material and
assembly method developed by Ian’s company Norman R. Wright and Sons in
conjunction with Gold Coast supplier ATL Composites.
looking for a sustainable product to add "green" boats to his range of
high performance commercial and plaesure craft, Ian had the idea that
the material would also be ideal for use in the housing industry.
Eighteen months in development, drawing on the expertise of the
composite engineering and chemical professionals in both companies, the
revolutionary building panel material and frameless assembly system went
through a long process of engineering analysis and certification before
the plans for Ian’s dream home were approved.
A boat builder constructed the two sections (the 2m x 4m stairwell and
the 18m x 4m house) and installed all fittings in the Norman R Wright
“After earth works and the foundation posts and stairwell were in place
we transported the house to the site on a boat trailer and then a crane
lifted it into place,” says Ian.
The whole house weighs less than nine tonnes and is so stiff it only needed two slings for the lift.
Perched on top of a windswept hill in Wynnum North overlooking the
ocean, “Eco Casa” is fitted out with the same meticulous attention to
detail and finish as Ian’s boats, using sustainable, renewable or
recycled materials throughout.
At less than eight squares it is small by many people’s standards but
Ian says the open plan design is spacious for his needs especially
compared to living on a boat! He has big plans for the new building
material Eco Casa showcases.
“This is a very different move for our company,” says Ian. “Wright and
Sons has grown organically over the past century based on a very
conservative business model.
“I originally wanted a product to build green boats, but then I thought
it would be ideal as a building material. It’s revolutionary, I don’t
believe there’s another eco-product like it.
“It can be used to build very strong buildings, very quickly. It’s
waterproof, has better weathering capabilities than timber and it will
be cheaper than conventional building materials.
“The high wind loading of the structure, its light weight and the
highly efficient insulation of the 70mm thick outer, ease of assembly
and installation make it attractive for a wide range of applications
both here and overseas from emergency to permanent housing to
multi-storey solutions for environmentally conscious European cities
under pressure to increase housing density,” he says.
Director Nicholas Cossich said ATL Composites has considerable
experience in developing products for the building industry and in
composite products derived from natural, sustainable sources. ATL
chemists had a strong personal interest in the latter, however there was
little demand from fabricators.
“It takes someone like Ian, who has the foresight, and the courage of
his convictions to bring a new product and a project like this to
reality,” said Mr Cossich.
Reproduced with permission of Composites Australia.