Powerful Inspiration and Purpose behind the development of MAXMASS™ Construction Technologies.
When unexpected extreme natural events occur, the wisdom of earlier building decisions is starkly revealed. The dramatic failure of houses and homes represents the greatest losses in both numbers and impact. They are the most prolific building type, they are personal, valuable, they define communities, and are often slowest to rebuild.
Clear evidence indicates that something needs to change.
As the dust settles, detailed evaluations can be made and information gathered about what happened, what worked, what did not, and most importantly, what is needed to prevent future building failures. These extremely valuable moments in time not only allow us to investigate new solutions for house construction, but also present perfect opportunities go further, developing and activating new technologies that can make future houses perform better in every way.
Taking a small country like New Zealand as an example, approximately 65% of existing housing stock or more than 1,000,000 homes exceed 50 years in age and were constructed in times when modern housing performance standards did not exist. They cannot be economically retro-fitted or improved to meet modern standards, they are vulnerable in extreme natural events, and in their current state have been proven to contribute to human health problems and a general lowering of living standards over time. Ageing housing stock is a global problem that grows by the year. In addition to normal market growth demands of population increase, migration and increasing urbanisation, evidence suggests this unique combination is now presenting a 'perfect storm' across many housing markets, pushing demand to unprecedented levels, and increasing pressure on housing industries in many locations to perform well beyond their realistic capabilities.
Current methods are proving to not be good enough. New thinking, new solutions and urgent action is needed!
Designing and Constructing new housing was undertaken in a way that really thought about the natural environment and where materials actually come from and where they go.
The idea of 'Green Building' also meant the care and preservation of forests, ecosystems and green wilderness.
Recyclability was most important, with raw materials selected and sourced responsibly and ethically with verifiable chains of custody at every step, and end-of-life use already planned.
Technology in building design and construction was enhanced in ways that could benefit humans and the natural environment equally.
Houses were designed and constructed in ways that passively reduced energy use and provide reliably safe, warm, dry and healthy environments for people.
New approaches to house construction were more efficient, more cost effective, faster to erect and finish, and contained all the above...
We focussed on the world's most robust, readily available, highest performing but widely misunderstood construction material to help meet the challenges.
We set out to combine that with technologically proven Modern Methods of Construction for an optimum combination of factory produced product, logistics, management and site assembly.
That seems like a pretty good idea!
New alternative construction methods need to meet an immense variety of criteria to be accepted by an equally immense number of stakeholders. It's never good enough to just come up with a new idea. If a new way of doing things is proposed, it needs to be subjected to critical analysis and thorough research and development, with solutions that can address all interests, regulations, standards and even philosophies. MAXMASS is a response to that extent of research and analysis with economics and industries, natural environment philosophies and human aspirations embodied in design solutions and applied in physical trials.
MAXMASS Construction Technologies is the product of our extensive research activities.
MAXMASS Construction Technologies portfolio of Products and Services are developed from extensive design and building science research. This is carried out within our design practice for both stable urban environments and volatile and post natural disaster locations. Our combination of practical and university-based research is unique in that it allows modern cutting-edge theory to be directly applied to real construction challenges and real buildings. Our work targets a global environment, finding commonalities between construction methods, available materials and resources, and internationally traded building product lines, technologies and systems.
Crossing thresholds and putting ourselves in everyone's shoes is one of the big differences that make MAXMASS unique.
Our work is about making ICF construction techniques better, more efficient and more accessible for both industries and consumers.
MAXMASS Construction Technologies and our R&D studio The SURI Project are located in the South Island of New Zealand. While New Zealand may seem a remote country, it has sophisticated governance, is politically and economically stable and has well established technology and construction related industries. It is unique in having a wide variety of climatic conditions from cold alpine to sub-tropical, and for active testing and analysis of building durability it is also a very seismically active region. New Zealand is well connected to all parts of the world with effective communications and transport making knowledge exchange, business activities and remote project involvement easy. This location is both a geographical advantage and perfect for our future Research and Development Technical and Design Hub dedicated to the expansion of Concrete and ICF construction knowledge, research, testing and market development for businesses and industry stakeholders worldwide.