Can a Start-Up Make Sustainable Construction the Next Frontier in Eco-Business?
Author: Eilene Zimmerman
Last year, Starbucks opened a sustainably constructed drive-through cafe in Abbotsford, British Columbia, about an hour’s drive southeast of Vancouver. The store was the first of its kind, built in six days with almost no construction waste, and its components - the walls, the floor and the roof - were manufactured so precisely that when assembled, they created an airtight seal. The design’s creators say it is expected to cut heating and cooling needs by 30 percent, reducing the store's carbon footprint. This Starbucks store was built by Nexii Building Solutions, a construction technology start-up based in Vancouver that has become a rising star in the expanding green building industry. Nexii was founded by the entrepreneur Stephen Sidwell, now its chief executive, in late 2018. The company reached “unicorn” status - a valuation of more than $1 billion - in 31 months, the fastest company to do so in Canadian history, according to Nexii.