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A Local Business Championing Sustainable Construction Wins The Melbourne Design Week Award 2022

Small Business

In a bid to make salvaged building materials and sustainable building methods more accessible to everyone, Revival Projects presents one of the world’s first free repurposing hubs. 

This sustainably-minded business fills a vital gap in Melbourne’s design and building industry, by facilitating the storage and reuse of salvaged building materials that would otherwise become landfill. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! They’re also builders, structural engineers, consultants and furniture makers, and can provide complete sustainable construction solutions, from start to finish. 

Just last week, Revival Projects took out the 2022 Melbourne Design Week award with their exhibition; Zero Footprint Repurposing.  So well deserved! We recently visited the team to learn more about their inspiring business model.

21st March, 2022

The Revival Projects team with managing director Rob Neville (right). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Revival Projects focuses on not only function and aesthetic, but primarily, environmental change. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The current Revival Projects repurposing hub is setup in a 100 year-old warehouse primed for demolition in 2024. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Stephy and Robbie Neville. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Robbie holds pieces of timber to be repurposed. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The Revival Projects workshop is filled with a range of materials waiting to be repurposed for the 2024 development of the current site. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

No new, or toxic, materials are allowed to enter the doors of Revival Projects’ workshop. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Revival Projects’ Zero Footprint Repurposing took out the 2022 Melbourne Design Week award, presented by Mercedes-Benz. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Revival Projects has completed work for R.M Williams stores across the country. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Revival Projects’ furniture design and construction proves recycling material doesn’t have to be ‘rustic’, but can instead be modern and refined. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Revival Projects takes what’s old and makes it new again. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Images of the old building line the walls. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Bea Taylor
Monday 21st March 2022

‘Our city is full of the most amazing materials, but unfortunately it has become industry-standard to let them go to landfill, or let them be destroyed throughout demolition’ – Robbie Neville.

Six years ago Robbie Neville began salvaging materials from buildings that had been demolished in his local neighbourhoods of Collingwood and Fitzroy.

‘I was becoming increasingly frustrated at how difficult it seemed to be to incorporate recycled materials as a fundamental element of new design and construction,’ he explains. Since then, he has made it his mission to establish a purpose-driven business that champions sustainable design and construction. This is Revival Projects.

From its founding in 2016, the business has salvaged hundreds of tonnes in construction and demolition waste across Melbourne, transforming it into furniture, interior and architectural projects. 

It’s this work that contributed to Revival Projects achieving B-Corp certification, globally recognising them as a business who can prove they prioritise people and the planet over profit.

‘It’s almost unheard of for a construction company,’ explains Robbie. ‘That’s not an easy title to hold in our industry.’

Of course, everything they do uses reclaimed or recycled materials – ‘No new or toxic materials are allowed through the door’, he says. 

‘We sell pieces and take on furniture commissions. But we make the biggest impact when we are engaged as a multidisciplinary partner; structural engineer, builder, furniture maker and materiality advisor across the entire project.’ 

Revival Projects’ most recent project was the Industry Beans flagship in Fitzroy. As the principal contractor, structural engineer and furniture maker for the job, Robbie and his team were able to execute a sustainably-focussed build. This included recycling every demolished brick back into the design, building the entire project using solar energy, leasing a fleet of e-bikes for site labourers to use, and instigating their work experience program to provide exposure for women emerging in the industry. AMAZING!

After working so hard for the past six years to build their new business model from the ground up, Revival Projects are finally starting to receive the accolades they deserve!  Just last week, they took out the 2022 Melbourne Design Week award with their exhibition; Zero Footprint Repurposing.

‘Our city is full of the most amazing materials, but unfortunately it has become industry-standard to let them go to landfill, or let them be destroyed throughout demolition,’ explains Robbie. 

Their exhibition aims to bring about change by inspiring and enabling designers to adopt simple re-use and recycle policies. Robbie is also hoping to influence legislative change to introduce a legal framework that obliges developers and designers to handle existing materials responsibly. 

You can visit the Revival Projects hub in Collingwood during Melbourne Design Week, for a free tour between 1pm and 5pm this Friday 25th March. True to their cause, this hub – a 100 year-old, 1500sqm warehouse – is a temporary workshop for the team. It will be demolished in 2024 to make way for a future development, and Revival Projects are repurposing the existing materials to be used in the new build. 

Revival Projects
111 Islington St
Collingwood

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net