WOHN Homes · Homes as a service
Denne idé er en del af The Circular Construction Challenge – Rethink Waste
WHO WE ARE
WOHN Homes is a Danish start-up established by Tomas Horne and Morten Bove.
Tomas and Morten have two very different but complementary backgrounds with Tomas founded in building, engineering, architecture and planning, and Morten in international sales, marketing, communication and technology.
Common grounds are design, design thinking and sustainability.
Both Tomas and Morten are experienced founders of earlier startups.
We have been working on the WOHN Homes project since early 2018, and the company is recently founded under the
CVR no: 3989 8047 as a 50/50 ownership of Horne Holding and Bove Today Holding.
We are in the project already partnering with CLEAN, ÅF, Sparekassen Sjælland and SEKAcom.
WOHN Homes develop and delivers sustainable modular homes primarily sourced from waste glass and waste plastic.
The concept digs into the escalating urbanisation and envisions that we need that we need to rethink the concept of homes for urban usage than the present offering.
A WOHN Home consists of a number 10m2/ 30 m3 modular cubes - from one to many and can be built up to three storeys.
The cubes are self-sustaining and are build ready-to-use off factory and are placed on ground plugs rather than a concrete foundation.
This means that the WOHN Cubes are mobile which enables us to take back unused cubes from families when demand changes and thereafter recirculate them to new families elsewhere.
Ultimately you don’t own you WOHN Home. You lease it, but you might own a fraction of all built WOHN Homes ‘at a given time’ through the WHN token to be introduced in roll-out phase 3.
Thus living in a WOHN Home you live in a circular sustainable home which in the making absorbs waste plastic and waste glass making the planet a better, cleaner and less energy consuming place.
We call our concepts Homes as a service and Waste for Homes.
We start with Student Homes.
In WOHN Homes we envision a future where assets are more equally divided than today and where waste and waste management will be an integrated part of everybody’s supply chain.
Our vision is to be on the forefront on this future and create the possibility for everybody to own a small piece of property through tokenification of the WOHN Homes assets - i.e. the homes we build.
WOHN Homes has a clear mission of fighting inequality through urbanisation, and use this mega trend as the driver for sustainable growth.
Means are our Wohn Cubes sourced and built from waste plastic and waste glass, enabling everybody to access an affordable home.
We go to work everyday with the mission to make homes cheaper, greaner and accesable for the many.
WOHN Homes - homes with a purpose.
WHAT MAKES WOHN HOMES CIRCULAR?
WoHN Homes wishes to break a century-long trend in our society, where the consensus and accepted habit has been a »Cradle to Grave« life cycle principle for materials and products in general. A principle which has created huge mountains of waste around the world, over utilization of the earth’s resources and an environmental and societal problem of incredible scale.
In the same way as we harvest fallen fruit and upcycle it into precious juice WoHN Homes will harvest waste plastic and glass and upcycle it into prefabricated houses and thus create a circular value chain from waste to homes.
Sources are many from industry disposals, household waste and waste already present in our environment.
Clear measures will change the notion of waste:
Imagine a future where you collect 3 tonnes of glass and 2 tonnes of plastic and you get a 10 m2 home in return.
We believe that such clear measures will help us transform the notion of waste and turn it into a precious resource we collect and exchange for homes.
TYPES OF WASTE OUR SOLUTION REDUCE
In the WOHN Homes solution, we have two streams of waste sourcing:
1: Virtually all types of plastic and fiberglass waste from industry and domestic households and from collected waste in nature and oceans.
The plastic and fiberglass mix will be grinded, extruded and used for the construction of the WOHN Cube.
2: All types of glass from ie. bottles, containers, windows etc.
The glass will be grinded, popped and used for insulation of the WOHN Cube
Plastic and fiberglass:
Plastic occurs in many different compositions and with many different properties. However, we believe that the vast majority of the most widely used plastic types will be part of our solution sorted on site for controlling the correct mix of the plastic sources in question at each collection point. Where available waste fiberglass from ex. windmill houses and wings will be added to the mix.
After sorting the plastic and/ or fiberglass will be granulated and mixed according to our specifications ready for entering the cube production line.
For insulation we use popped and refined sand/ Silica (Si). As glass consists of pure silica, i.e. sand, we will through grinding, baking and popping of the glass use it in the same way as refined sand is used today.
By popping the glass we expand the surface area of the grain and make it hollow improving the weight/ volume ratio and insulating properties.
THE WASTE AMOUNTS AND FRACTIONS WE REDUCE
There are many ways to categorize waste. Fractions are one way.
The individual waste fractions are characterized by having certain specific characteristics or qualities that make it economically, resource or environmentally beneficial to treat them separately.
In our solution, it is plastic and glass in general that we define as the two waste fractions we source and upcycle.
For the WOHN solution, we estimate that we use about 2 tonnes of plastic and 3 tonnes of glass per 10m2 / 30 m3 cubical unit.
And the waste products created in connection with our production can yet again be granulated and recycled, hence we do not create new industrial waste that cannot be recycled in our own process.
Today, only a small part of the plastic waste is recycled in Denmark and the EU. World production of plastic has risen from about 1.5 million tonnes in 1950 to about 322 million tonnes in 2015 and is expected to be doubled by 2050.
Based on 2015 data The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has calculated that the total potential for collection of waste glass in Denmark for recycling amounts to approximately 156.000 tonnes. About 66% of this is collected today. The remaining 53.000 tonnes are disposed.
In other words, we dig into to two dominating global occurring waste fractions.
At the time of writing, we are mapping the industrial suppliers of waste plastic and waste glass, so we do not yet have the full overview.
The Danish green cluster CLEAN is advising us in the process, and besides the present waste deposit stations we are also in contact with industry facilities for sourcing their plastic and glass waste.
We have estimated that almost all type of plastics can be used for the casting of the structure. Even fiberglass will be granulated and added to the various types of plastics, to obtain a mixture that meet our requirements for the solution. However PVC is expected to be one of the product types we cannot upcycle in the production because of the toxic chlorine contained in the material.
Get paid for receiving waste as a raw material
From a commercial point of view our findings show the interesting side effect that many of our potential suppliers today pay for disposing their plastic and glass waste. Which in other terms mean, that we can improve our financial production metrics by sourcing from the before mentioned suppliers and take payment for it.
WHY ARE OUR WASTE FRACTIONS IMPORTANT TO REDUCE?
Plastic is made of oil and when it is burned as waste it contributes to climate change. On top plastic is a dominant polluter in our environment damaging entire ecosystems.
Today, we use eight percent of the world oil production to make new plastic. This is largely due to the fact, that the plastic is not being recycled. Some plastics end up in the nature and oceans, where it takes many years to break down or it turns into micro-plastic, which again damages marine life ecosystems.
Glass is one of the most durable waste materials and is believed to be able to be in nature for 1 million years before it decomposes. Since glass does not contain substances that are distant from nature's own substances, glass is not directly harmful. However, the shape of the glass, such as bottles, and the sharp edges of glass cracking can be extremely harmful to the wildlife, and in view of this, all glass should be collected.
ROUGH MEASURES ON OUR CO2 REDUCTION
We have at the moment not been able to calculate the total amount of carbondioxid that our solution will reduce overall. However, since the solution uses recycled plastic for the main load bearing structures, energy will not be used for the production of new raw materials like steel, wood, brick or concrete, but only energy for the grinding and upcycling of the waste plastic.
Similarly when new plastic is made from oil, much more energy is used compared to the processing of recycled plastic.
Among others research from the Ministry of Environment and Food in Denmark and plast.dk show that 1,5 tons of carbon dioxide is saved, every time a ton of plastic is recycled, which in theory can be applied to the Wohn Cubes.
HOW DOES THE SOLUTION DIFFER FROM OTHER SOLUTIONS IN THE MARKET
Where it is usually custom to design houses within the perimeters given by tradition, norms and standards.
In WOHN Homes we want to move the boundaries and disrupt the building industry both through our sourcing channels, our 1-stop production line and through adapting technology solutions from other sectors like automotive and space in order to reduce production cost, energy consumption and increase product performance.
When WOHN Homes build a cubic and home, no middleman has been involved, as everything from sourcing and upcycling of raw materials to assembly of in- and exterior facilities are made in-house. Thus no extra add-on margins from middleman to middleman have been applied enabling us to cut 20-30% of the cost, which we pass on to the users.
COMMERCIALISATION & VALUE CREATION
DEVELOPMENT PHASES, CUSTOMERS AND USERS
WOHN cubes have numerous utilities and we have planned the following phases and introduction of concepts in the roll out:
We regard phase 1 as our Minimal Viable Product (MVP) - in a Danish geography.
Initially, when we have our Block 1 series ready for delivery, we focus on student homes in connection to existing or new campus facilities. Thus the customer is here educational institutions and/ or the municipalities hosting the campus, and the users are the students.
In fact we are already now in final round discussions with Campus Kalundborg managed by University College Absalon, Novo Nordisk and Kalundborg Kommune. Campus Kalundborg will host the Biotech engineers and analysts bachelor programmes and be integrated in the Industrial Symbiosis Kalundborg http://www.symbiosis.dk/en/.
Similarly it is likely that the first WOHN production unit will be intergrated in the Symbiosis as well.
There are various business models in play which can change the view on who is the customer and who is the user.
For instance if WOHN in before mentioned example owns the homes and acts as a landlord renting homes to the students, the students are both the user and the customer, - and the municipality/ educational institution change their roles from customer to a strong (non financial) stakeholder and partner.
We see this happen in phase 2.
Numerous requests for other usages
Whilst testing the concept to various people in our network we also get tentative requests for usages as holiday homes, allotment garden houses, teenage annexes, cold and dry stores and the likes, but as we see the student homes a perfect market fit in the MVP phase we are in now, and a space where we can create massive change for most people we focus on student homes.
However in an inquiry for a holiday home turns into an order we will deliver, we just do not do any active sales and marketing efforts in this field at the moment.
PHASE 2: Homes as a service
When we launch our Block 2 series in phase 2, we will introduce our leasing concept and »Homes as a service« as well, which basically is a platform for leasing, configuration and exchange of all goods and services related to living in a WOHN home.
WOHN Homes will manage the leasing and configuration part of the WOHN Home platform as this ties directly into our production line of WOHN cubes. Both the ones we own and lease out and those we sell.
The exchange of goods and services part are open to everybody and we expect the goods and services part of the platform to develop into a type of market place for global and local WOHN goods, generating a new commission based revenue stream for WOHN Homes.
In Phase 2 we expand the customer base from student homes to general lower income populations in selected urban environments, who cannot afford to by or rent traditional homes.
PHASE 3: Waste for Homes powered by the WHN token
In phase 3 we go full circle with the WOHN Homes vision and introduce the »Waste for Homes« programme which in short enables people (without financial means) to collect and deposit waste plastic and waste glass at selected WOHN assembly points and get one 10 m2 WOHN unit in return for previously every 2 tonnes of plastic and 3 tonnes of glass they collect.
Future lease of the WOHN Home can be paid in more collected plastic and glass waste, which will integrate into the overall WOHN raw material sourcing scheme.
Deposits and payment for waste raw materials will be paid in WHN tokens/ crypto currency, likely to be a stable coin backed by the WOHN cubes assets.
Introduction of the WHN token will be the final step in a fully democratized framework for moving equity ownership for the few to ownership for the many. Where every WHN token represent a fraction of every WOHN Home in the world, owned and monetized by the Wohners.
It is foreseen that WHN tokens (as a stable coin) will trade on the WOHN goods and services market platform as well.
Please note that the token design by no means is final.
A GLOBAL CONCEPT FOR A GLOBAL MARKET
As mentioned before WOHN Homes MVP is student homes – in Denmark and this is where we kick-off in Phase 1.
The concept is global with global sourcing in the very urban environments we service, so the target market is global and when we have enough traction in Denmark we will start expanding into Europe and Africa according to a roll out strategy to be made.
Drivers for where to expand first can be many such as:
- Sourcing potential
- Student engagement
- Political support (or not)
In phase 2, where we expand the user base to other lower income populations for domestic usage, it is likely that this roll out follow the paths of the Student homes in Phase 1.
In terms of the ‘Home as a service’ platform, critical mass is important, thus a too wide spread geography will be counter productive. Hence geographical roll out and phase expansion will be carefully monitored according to above criteria.
In Phase 3 we increase the market reach yet again, fulfilling the vision of making homes accesable to everybody and make property equity for the many.
WOHN HOMES ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
WoHN Homes support the seventeen UN Development Goals and have made them our own.
The ideology behind the WoHN Homes services is based on social values, equality, democratization and sustainability and the goals are bench marks for the decisions we make along the way in our development.
When fully developed the WOHN Homes concepts meet directly the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:
09 · Innovation and Infrastructure
10 · Reduced inequalities
11 · Sustainable cities and communities
12 · Responsible Consumption
As well and as a consequence of above also Development Goals:
01 · No poverty
08 · Good jobs and economic growth
13 · Protect the planet
UNLIMITED MARKET POTENTIAL
The market potential for affordable homes in a continuous urbanized world is basicly unlimited.
As one measure latest research from Dansk Byggeri shows that e.g. in Denmark we have an unmet demand for 35.000 student homes.
A similar analysis was made in Ireland mapping an unmet demand for 25.000 student homes there, and the picture is the same all over the developed world.
Modular and affordable houses in cities for lower income populations are also in high demand and scarcity is distinct, with people from many low and medium income levels being unable to afford a decent home in the cities.
Even small societies face urbanization
An interesting perspective in all this is, that every country and region have their own urbanization. In Greenland for instance which has a total population of 55.000 people, the capital, Nuuk faces a huge move from the settlements on the island of some 15.000 people within the next 5-10 years, which basically will more than double the population of Nuuk.
This is also urbanization and massive change.
PARAMETERS AND ACTIONS REQUIRED FOR REACHING THE MARKET AND SCALE - FAST
In order to reach the market and scale fast, product-market-fit and a clear path for sourcing and scalable production is needed.
With our focus in the MVP on student homes as the first vertical in a limited geography we have already experienced a tremendous product-market-fit, ie. demand for affordable student homes with a clear mission to change the world.
Market contact and dialogue with students and campuses has so far been limited to presentation of the vision, the present visualization and 1:10 size mockups and the result has been overwhelming.
As mentioned before we are now shortlisted for campus Kalundborg and have as well attracted very strong business partners on the production and development side of the business.
As mentioned previously in the solution description, we have a very clear sourcing strategy in place built on our two key fractions: Waste glass and waste plastic/ composite fiberglass.
We strongly believe this very clear sourcing strategy will help us scale as the waste sources in question are available all over the world and knowledge on benefits and constraints on specific mixes of plastic, composite and glass will be shared between each production facility accordingly.
On top our sourcing strategy is very easy to tell and understand, which helps local and global adoption and authority approvals, again boosting market penetration.
Tied closely to our sourcing we have mobile and flexible production units where we in-house sort, grind and process the waste sources in question and in a continuous flow ‘further down the assembly line’ produce and equip the Wohn cubes according to the local requirements and the specific order.
The concept behind the production lines is, that they are flexible and easy to move in suited containers – later on in WOHN cubes – industrial grade, enabling us to produce close to both our sourcing streams and the location where the WOHN Homes in question will be raised.
In scalability terms this means that we can quickly either copy a production unit and locate it where needed, and/ or we can move our production units around according to the actual demand and location.
After establishing a production line we expect to be able to produce 1 to 3 units per week in the first quarter, scaling to 5-6 units per week thereafter, when the production line is fully tuned in and the sourcing mix established and tested.
Key here is not the production line itself, rather the local sourcing of plastic and glass which eliminates potential bottle necks in supply, and also reduces the requirement for potential harmful long-distance transport of our raw/ building materials.
CAN NEW TECHNOLOGY HELP SPEED UP THE PRODUCTION OR SCALE THE SOLUTION?
As each production line are alike and the sourcing and production processes are relatively simple we see a potential for introducing robot technology ‘down the road’ in the production lines.
Key here is again a strong focus on verticals with their individual demands, so each ‘robot’ operator works in the same ‘familiar’ environment regardless of the location.
When our services start to scale and we enter phase 2 of the roll-out plan, with launch of the ‘homes as a service’ concept, we see a demand for a strong technology platform for both registering our sourcing and plastic/ glass mix per individual cube.
The registration should be both transparent, collaborative, open but still immutable and on the customer site programable as well through so-called smart contracts.
Blockchain could be the answer to these demands, in an either permission based (private) or open/ public ledger design.
Blockchain will also be the technology behind the introduction of the WHN stable coin/ crypto currency introduced in phase 3.
Thus it makes perfect sense to implement Blockchain technology for the supply chain in phase 2, so we have full integration to the assets in question which should back the WHN stable coin.
CO-CREATION WITH 4 DIFFERENT ORGANISATIONS
Very quickly we have established partnerships with 4 very different organisations, each covering specific areas of our development and areas of interest.
Engineering and materials science.
On materals science, that is Polymer & Silica physics, as well as production line design we work closely with SEKAcom/ Jørgen Nielsen who is a true capacity in his field.
Jørgen has worked for companies like General Electric, Danfoss, Grundfos, B&O on polymer and silica physics and design/ establishment of mobile production units.
Jørgen works today among other things as materials and startup mentor for the engineers at the Danish Technical University (DTU) and Skylab – also DTU.
Jørgen is in the WOHN organization located under founders, but he does not take any equity in the company or own voting shares. Instead as compensation for working ‘pro bono’ at this moment, he gets a royalty cut on the production volume.
Sourcing of rawmaterials in Denmark and access to international projects.
The Cleantech Cluster CLEAN is supporting us in our sourcing strategy by mapping potential waste/ rawmaterial suppliers of plastic and glass in Denmark.
On top CLEAN has recently connected us to the DTU/ Danida project Gecko in Kenya, which is about turning Kenya’s vast problems with industrial waste into resources. Plastic and glass are here two of the key waste streams.
A meeting for exploring common grounds is in the process of being arranged.
Design, construction, statics engineering
The Danish branch of the Swedish engineering company ÅF is very active in partnering with WOHN, and a Non Disclosure Agreement for exchange of knowledge will shortly be signed.
So far ÅF has helped us with the visualisations, and when the NDA is in place the cooperation will expand into static calculations on the building construction and technology transfer for smart homes and the likes.
ÅF has some very clever solutions in their organization and further down the road ÅF will assist us in process design of the full workflow from sourcing to sorting to production etc.
ÅF might be a financial partner in WOHN Homes with negotiations expected to take place in the months to come.
Financial models for students/ users of Wohn Homes
Sparekassen Sjælland/ Fyn – a large regional bank on Sealand and Fynen are supporting us in terms of working out financial models for future student tenants, whilst resident in a WOHN Home on campus.
As well Sparekassen Sjælland/ Fyn works on alternative financial models for the establishment of WOHN Homes campuses as such, in order to speed up the process of establishing the heavily needed student homes.
COMPETENCES IN DEMAND
Already now with the skill set obtained between the two founders and our parters we are developing well.
However additional resource and knowledge from the CCC would be highly appreciated
WHAT WE NEED FROM THE CCC PROGRAMME
In order to improve our skill set and move forward at a higher pace we would like to involve the CCC partners more deeply into the solution along the lines of following seven areas:
Establishment of a steering committee for the project structure.
Advice on legal matters and patents
Establishment of a test and test and product innovation lab.
Process help in roll out and roll out planning
Increased sourcing knowledge on top of CLEAN
Strategic help in establishing our circular business model with global potential.
Following documents are attached:
1: Project timeline from project start in Jan. 2018 to August 2019
2: Proces map from sourcing to delivery (simplified)
3: Visual of WOHN cubes - studio mode
4: Visual of 1 single cube in situ
5: Visual of 3 combined cubes in situ
6: CV Tomas Horne
7: CV Morten Bove
8: Full version of above solution in layout
Tomas Horne & Morten Bove