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Nathan Edwards (CDB Design and Build)

Nathan Edwards won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in February 2018 for his business, CDB Design & Build.

Business Description

Container Design & Build (CDB), a start up from Cardiff, converts shipping containers into quality office space, retail units and homes. The shipping containers are re-constructed and designed for purpose off-site, before being delivered by crane to their location.
The use of novel building methods, such as shipping containers, has three significant sustainability and low-carbon benefits. Firstly, traditional brick and mortar buildings are all conducted on-site, requiring huge amounts of materials to be transported to and from the site, which causes significant carbon emissions over time. Nathan Edwards, founder of CDB believes their business creates 15% less waste than traditional on-site building. Secondly, because the units are portable, they can be transported to small pockets of land in city centres, rather than spreading out and building on green field sites. CDB contributes to a much more efficient use of land. And lastly, their business upcycles shipping containers, stopping steel containers going to waste around the world.
Whilst there are others who also re-purpose shipping containers, CDB plan to differentiate themselves through their planned R&D programme with a local university. This programme would develop a series of components – used to connect multiple modules – and building methodologies, which can then be exported and licensed, respectively, around the world. As the re-purposed containers can’t be easily exported around the world, this is how they plan to move into the global market.
As a small, family run business, the start-up has so far been entirely privately funded. In February 2018, the company was awarded a further £5,000 as the winner of a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award.
Nathan believes that perseverance is a key attribute that entrepreneurs must have in order to succeed: “When starting a business you will be challenged on a daily basis and it is very easy to become demotivated or disillusioned. You must be persistent and believe in your business in order to succeed.”
You can follow CDB Design & Build on Twitter @ContainerCDB and Facebook.

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