Business Profiles

Strong foundations – The efficient and eco-friendly building solution

A construction boom has been sweeping across Hawke’s Bay over the last few years and it’s not predicted to decline any time soon.

As hundreds of new houses are needed due to population growth, there’s greater pressure on builders to complete projects more efficiently as well as adopting greater sustainable building products and practices.

This all starts with the foundations, and experienced businessman Mike Teddy of MPT Concrete, and Cupolex Solutions has been using the proven foundation flooring solution, Cupolex, since he was first asked by a homeowner to source it 16 years ago.

Not only did Mike find the product, he became an exclusive reseller for the lower North Island and has since acquired the New Zealand license to manufacture and sell Cupolex nationwide. Cupolex is a cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to a polystyrene/raft foundation, using Italian designed structural domes to replace hard fill or polystyrene concrete formwork.

When Mike first started using Cupolex the domes were manufactured in Italy, then Australia, now here in NZ, but once he’d bought the license and dies, he went local and partnered with Napier plastics manufacturer NTD Plastics.

“It’s great that we can now manufacture 75% of the components in Napier; it was important to me that we looked to source local and it’s been great to partner with NTD Plastics,” he says.

Mike now sells Cupolex to like-minded and independent concrete contractors throughout New Zealand and to construction firms such as Gemco, as well as supplying to the likes of building supplies company ITM and Mitre 10.

Gemco general manager Chris Olsen says Cupolex has become their flooring system of choice.

“We first used it on a housing project and we immediately found the ease, cost efficiencies and programme advantages resulted in a quicker and better product for the client. We now endeavour to use it everywhere we can as it has proven to be a good addition in an always changing and challenging market for costs and programmes,” Chris says.

The dome designs aren’t new; they were invented in Italy over 20 years ago and have become a world-proven solution, predominantly for residential housing but now also starting to branch into commercial buildings.

Mike says the benefits of the dome system are many, including providing cost savings in concrete, steel, labour and freight as well as being a virtually zero waste solution. With a
global emphasis on the environment, all components are manufactured from 100 percent recycled/recyclable materials.

Since the Christchurch earthquakes, there has been greater focus on a building’s foundations, with geotechnical engineers designing the foundations and recommending the type of foundation system to use.

“Cupolex is a customised site-specific design and takes into consideration the unique ground dynamics, bearing in mind liquefaction and sheer twists, and Cupolex is pretty much a floating floor system.”

Mike says it’s not about supplying Cupolex and leaving the concreter or builder to it. “We’ve got a really good support service for the entire process and we put a lot of effort into training and showing how to use Cupolex.

“We’re not just selling a product. MPT Concrete use Cupolex on 99% of jobs so we have learned a lot and are only happy to pass on our experience to support our product.”

Cupolex is listed on and