Derek Layfield, Managing Director

Derek Layfield

Derek Layfield is the Managing Director of Durra Panel, having spent his working life being immersed in the truly sustainable and Australian made product.

Derek joined Stramit Industries as a Junior Cadet in 1979, learning the ropes of sustainable manufacturing before purchasing the company’s manufacturing facility and technology rights to their product StramitBoard in 1991.

For more than 30 years, Derek has continually innovated and reengineered Durra Panel while continuing to manufacture Durra Panel in regional Victoria from waste wheat straw sourced locally from Australian farmers.

Its exciting times for this technology and it will be global.
- Derek Layfield

Derek is passionate about changing the way the world thinks about building. By speaking transparently about Durra Panel’s cradle to cradle life cycle, he hopes to educate about the natural carbon cycle, highlight greenwashing within the building industry and encourage people to choose truly sustainable building materials.

The innovation of Durra Panel is its simplicity in mimicking the natural carbon cycle, which Derek believes to make it quite unique as a building material. Without performance compromise, Durra Panel has excellent acoustic, thermal, fire resistant and durability benefits that are a by-product of the incredibly sustainable manufacturing process Derek has fostered. Sustainability is not an add on to Durra Panel, it is its greatest asset.

Derek’s enthusiasm for sustainability and responsible manufacturing has led to Durra Panel being installed in major projects such as airports, schools, stadiums, industrial facilities, data centres, offices and homes across Australia and the world.

Humans have been designed to connect with nature. So to be surrounded by a straw panel. It feels good. It feels strong. It feels comfortable.
- Derek Layfield

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