‘We try to trace our materials right back,’ he says. ‘We focus on quality but also try to keep the system cost-effective.’ However, there are challenges in maintaining environmental credibility, particularly in using overseas materials. ‘We know the temptations ourselves to buy offshore, but we have to be on the ball,’ Stephen says. ‘Our buildings are based on high-quality structural products, and there are no guarantees of this with overseas production. Australia has high standards that can be properly and reliably certiﬁed.’
IF STEPHEN IS IN DOUBT, HE’LL VISIT SUPPLIERS’ FACTORIES TO ENSURE THEIR PRODUCTS ARE LEGITIMATE
As a result, Ecoshelta has established a reputation for creating high-quality buildings, and for their building techniques in extremely difﬁcult sites. ‘Our clients come to us because they can see from our completed projects we know what we’re talking about,’ Stephen says. ‘We can build with very little damage to the site.’ Each Ecoshelta pod is constructed from an aluminium alloy framed building system, comprising marine grade structural alloy that’s ﬁve times as strong as steel and half the weight. It enables each building to sit clear of the
ground on slender columns, allowing water, vegetation and wildlife to remain beneath the system. The system features a highly resolved design that allows for fabrication in a controlled factory environment, assembled onsite in a tightly constrained cost and time managed process. What’s different is that over the years Stephen has continually evolved the Ecoshelta system to create greater product efﬁciency and strength for a better ﬁtting product. ‘All of our pods are ﬂat-packed to ﬁt into shipping container logistics,’ he explains. ‘Shipping containers are the most cost-effective manner of transportation, and we can swing them on and off small trucks and also ship to remote islands. Or we can unload them nearby and helicopter the parts to very severe sites.’ Stephen and his team have made about 78 pods now, and each design supports new ideas to make them lighter and stronger. Currently, an ‘L’ series is being worked on to launch next year, which will see a series of new customdesigned extrusions made to incorporate structural beams to columns to support the roof. ‘We are always working to minimise our environmental impact,’ he says. ‘Our customers come to us because they know we design buildings out of the ordinary to deal with their particular brief.’gs
COMPANY Ecoshelta t: 0468 560 595 www.ecoshelta.com THE BIGPOD N SERIES’ GREEN CREDENTIALS > Frame: Australian made, maximum recycled, marine grade structural alloys > Roof wall panels: Australian recycled foam cores and EcoPly plantation pine veneer > Sub-ﬂoor panels: composite polymer cement and recycled foam panel > Doors and windows: sustainably sourced Victorian Ash hardwood > Flooring: bamboo overlay > Ceilings: plantation pine VJ linings > Wall linings: lime-washed E0 EcoPly > Rainwater: Zincalume tanks, which offer minimal material for maximum coverage, and excellent weather resistance > Irrigation: grey water diversion system > Clivus Multrum composting, waterless vented toilet systems.