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Nexii builds new homes for fire ravaged Lytton, B.C.

Warren Frey
Nexii builds new homes for fire ravaged Lytton, B.C.
NEXII BUILDING SOLUTIONS — Nexii Building Solutions bolts together a prefabricated structure. The company has developed a proprietary building material called Nexiite. This material will be used for several homes in Lytton, B.C. which was destroyed by wildfires in 2021.

A fire-ravaged B.C. town is starting the road to recovery with two new sustainable homes.

Vancouver-based Nexii Building Solutions has been tasked with building two fire-resistant, low-carbon homes as part of the rebuilding effort in Lytton, B.C. after the town was wiped out by wildfires in June 2021.

The climate-resilient homes will be built using Nexii’s proprietary material Nexiite, which the company states is a “sustainable alternative to concrete with less embodied carbon.”

The structures will be manufactured off-site at Nexii’s Squamish production facility and assembled onsite in Lytton.

“Nexiite has been independently certified as fire resilient by GHL Fire Engineers, verifying that the panels can achieve a 1HR Fire Resistance Rating to resist wildfire as prescribed in the Canada National Guide for Wildland Urban Interface Fires,” Nexii executive vice-president Gregor Robertson said in an email to the Journal of Commerce.

“This means that a Nexii building can resist the exposure of a standardized fire (flames and heat) for one hour. Wildfires typically move through communities in a fraction of that time and non-combustible buildings are critical for reducing exposure time and impact.”

The homes are also low-carbon, making them more sustainable than traditionally built structures.

“Nexii buildings are low-carbon due to two key innovations: breakthrough building materials and a high-performance panel system.

“Nexiite, used within its building panels, is more thermally efficient and less carbon-intensive than concrete. When assembled, Nexii panels create an airtight building envelope. Together, this markedly improves a building’s energy efficiency and, in turn, significantly lowers the energy costs and carbon emissions for ongoing building operation,” Robertson said.

“Delivering universally designed and fire-resistant housing directly helps my community to have a more stable and safer life that keeps our families closer to the main social circles in the community. The Lytton First Nation will continue to research home build technologies like Nexii in providing safe and affordable homes for our community members,” Lytton First Nation Chief Janet Webster added.

The new homes will be built in collaboration with the Village of Lytton, Lytton First Nation and the SAFERhome Standards Society, a non-profit dedicated to adoption of universal design principles for the Canadian housing sector. The initiative is also supported by the Building Supply Association of BC as a technical partner along with its members Levven Technologies and Western Forest Products who are donating local mass timber for the roof structure of the homes.

“It is important that anyone regardless of their age, size, ability or mobility can enjoy their home. With these two homes, both the Village of Lytton and the Lytton First Nation are now able to showcase the type of innovation, inclusivity and forethought that is so needed in today’s changing needs and climate events,” said SAFERHOME Standards Society chairperson Larry Clay.

“The wildfire that engulfed the town of Lytton has completely devastated all residents. I hope to rebuild a town that is better able to withstand any future fires and provide homes that you can live in comfortably without barriers as needs change,” Lytton Mayor Jan Polderman added.

Follow the author on Twitter @JOCFrey.

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