The green construction company’s technology curtailed onsite construction waste to near zero and will result in a 30 per cent reduction in the restaurant’s ongoing carbon emissions.
Second only to water, concrete is the most-consumed material in the world, amounting to three tonnes per year for every person. Two times as much concrete is used in construction as all other building materials combined, but it can be very carbon-intensive to produce.
Vancouver-based Nexii, by contrast, employs more sustainable building materials in its construction process, remaining true to its mantra: “Why are we on this planet if not to make it better?”
The primary material Nexii utilizes is a proprietary product called “Nexiite”, which is more thermally efficient and less carbon-intensive than concrete. Nexii’s construction techniques also require fewer resources and use non-toxic materials.
“This is the new wave of construction technology,” Gregor Robertson, former mayor of Vancouver and executive vice president of strategy and partnerships at Nexii, said in a release. “Nexii manufactures our buildings off-site and then flat-packs them and ships them to the site and assembles them very rapidly.”
Nexii’s sustainable construction system
Using the latest technology and trends in construction, Nexii manufactures its green building products using 3D software. This process allows panels to simply piece together like a puzzle, which reduces the standard construction time by 50 to 75 per cent compared to previous builds of similar size.
The Popeyes restaurant was completed in less than two weeks.
The panels also create an airtight envelope, improving the structure’s energy efficiency and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Creating the pieces off-site also enables the company to eliminate nearly all onsite waste. Both the materials and the method of assembling the restaurant combine to reduce operational building carbon emissions by approximately 30 per cent compared to a traditionally constructed restaurant.
“As a company, we are committed to building the most-loved restaurant brands in the world and reducing our environmental impact while doing so,” said Robert Manuel, general manager for Popeyes in Canada, in a release. “We are therefore excited to partner with Nexii to reduce the carbon emissions of an upcoming Canadian restaurant in British Columbia.
“This is just one of many steps we’re taking as a brand to positively affect climate change, and we’re looking forward to continuing this important sustainability journey with our restaurants.”
Nexii’s not stopping at Popeyes
The lower-mainland Popeyes location is the 12th for the chain in the province and is expected to open this fall. Nexii is also in talks to develop additional projects at the site where both the Popeyes and Starbucks are located.
Nexii also constructed a first-of-its-kind, sustainably built Starbucks drive-thru in the same Abbotsford retail development as this Popeyes restaurant. Building construction was completed in only six days during December 2020, and the outlet has already been LEED-certified.
“Over the next four decades, the equivalent of 500 New York Cities will be built around the world as cities grow dramatically,” Robertson said in the release. “It’s essential that all new construction is also green construction to keep our planet healthy and liveable.
“We are proud to partner with major retailers, like Popeyes, to help them reduce the environmental impacts of their new buildings. At Nexii, we have married sustainability with speed of delivery: Not only can our technology reduce climate pollution by approximately 30 per cent, but we can also accelerate construction timelines.”
Nexii scaling-up production
Up next for Nexii is a partnership with Golden Globe award-winning actor Michael Keaton to develop a manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh.
Nexii joins Keaton and Craig Rippole of Trinity Commercial Development, both natives of Pittsburgh, to redevelop a brownfield site into a sustainably built plant that will manufacture and supply Nexii’s concrete alternative.
Nexii currently has only one fully operational plant in Moose Jaw, Sask., and a second production facility under construction in Squamish, B.C. To handle growing demand for its Nexiite product, Nexii will soon be expanding into Pennsylvania, Toronto and Alberta.
“We are excited and humbled by customer interest in Nexii’s green construction products to date, which is accelerating the roll-out of our plants across Canada and the USA. For North America to rebuild sustainably and achieve a green economic recovery, every industry needs to innovate and invest in new technologies,” said Nexii CEO Stephen Sidwell in discussing the company’s growth. “Buildings and construction together [are] the top contributor[s] to global climate pollution, and Nexii has the potential to curb the environmental impacts created by our buildings.
“Our goal is to aggressively scale Nexii, so that we can live up to our company mission to build a vibrant future for people and the planet.”