Stig Torvund / Hayden Filer Double Dynamite

Published 31 May 2016   

 Hayden Filer & Stig Torvund. Business associates in the new eco-friendly Nevhouse project.

Hayden Filer & Stig Torvund.
Business associates in the new eco-friendly Nevhouse project.

Bali where the creative mind meets, too much and not enough is an understanding to what these guys are bringing to the planet.

S.B. Begin the begin.
S.T. Stig Torvund, forty seven years old, from Norway and have been living in Bali with my wife Trudi for four years.
H.F. Hayden Filer, married to Kellie, three kids, four, seven and nine, New Zealander, but lived all over the world. Asia for eleven years, Hong Kong, Singapore and London, Citizen of the world and I’m forty three today.

S.B.Well ,happy birthday to you. Can we have a bit of your backgrounds?
S.T. From Norway I took a masters in strategy and finance and I worked for Dow Jones markets, when I got out of school. At the age of 26 I started my own company called Infostream, making information and trading systems for banks and oil companies which I IPO’ed in 1999. I then founded a company called Green Energy Group in 2008 focusing on renewable energy. Indonesia has the largest potential in the world for geothermal power and massive opportunity in hydro power, so I established my companies here and running them now out of Bali, Jakarta and Singapore. I am also building a couple of sustainable resorts on different islands, running on renewable energies, with a focus on wellness, health and fitness experiences. I met up with Nev Hyman, the founder of Nevhouse some years ago when I was with the Rotary Club. Nev was also the founder of Firewire Surfboard, he focused on the amount of plastic in the ocean and said he had this idea to create a prefabricated house, which is made out of waste plastic and different waste materials. He wanted to make a very strong composite of it and a prefabricated house system. I loved the idea and started working on it with him and built an enthusiastic team including Hayden here. Bali has many interesting people with many skills for sure.

S.B. Your background Hayden?
H.F. Educated in Australia, graduated with a commerce degree with first class honours, and I wrote a thesis on particular transformation and leadership. My main background is fast moving consumer goods, food and drink. In 1999, myself and a couple of other guys launched Red Bull in Australia, that was back in the day when nobody had heard of energy drink. That went on for five years, then launched in the Japanese market in 2005. Then I met Stig and Nev on a chance meeting. Bali is one of those places that bring people together for whatever reason and it sort of happens, with myself, the marketing mind, Nev the visionary pioneer, Stig and his business partner were the innovators. The housing concept started slowly.  We totally underestimated the need for housing. We discovered though that in order to fix housing for the homelessness, you need over two hundred and fifty million shelters.

S.B Is there anybody out there doing this kind of project?
H.F. We’re the first to use recycled materials to do it. It took two years of research and development. This was no walk in the park. It’s been a long and complex process, we’ve met prime ministers, vice presidents, governors, and mayors, crooked politicians, straight politicians, billionaires, poor people, everyone you could think of. Yeah, it’s been quite a journey.

Where we are at the moment is actually building our first community, that was just handed over by the acting prime minister of Vanuatu to the people of Tanna Island, and from this the phone has been ringing off the hook. Brazil, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Morocco and southern African nations. Right now in Nevhouse we are six people full time. We need resources, human capability, not just employees, but consortium  partners, solar energy providers, infrastructure providers, sanitation providers, clear water providers. We’re not just building a school or a medical centre; we’re building entire communities.

S.T. Besides the employees we have a factory in China that makes the Nevhouse prefab type houses, and the houses come like flat pack packages, the construction contractors then build the houses in only five days. The house can take winds up to cyclone force 5, is fire resistant and is constructed based on the cultural heritage of the region.

The Nevhouse. Two all-weather, eco-friendly buildings erected in Vanuatu.

The Nevhouse.
Two all-weather, eco-friendly buildings erected in Vanuatu.

S.B. Has this been tested?
S.T. Yes, its certified cyclone force 5 proof. We can rebuild national disaster areas quickly, but more importantly, they are cost effective and the houses and structures will last. Governments and NGOs have budgets for housing the poor, but are lacking a solution. Right now as it stands we’re in final discussions of delivering homes, schools and medical clinics to South Pacific nations.

S.B. What about Bali?
H.F. We’ve had numerous discussions, although we are putting a little bit more energy into other areas.

S.B. Are you interested in putting up some prototype housing here?
S.T. Oh, without a doubt, very much so. Im sure we will be doing that very soon, but so far we have focused on delivering to the village in Tanna in Vanuatu, where they needed urgent housing.  The island was hit by massive cyclones some time back and their houses, schools and hospitals where destroyed.

S.B. Never mind the empire at stake, but you guys are really contributing to a world wide cause in many respects, and very much needed. Thank you.

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