OUR VISION: Improving peoples lives through better solutions.

The Experts

Darren’s Story

Innovation House

Darren comes from a building family with his father, Reg, completing his apprenticeship in Brisbane in the early 1950’s. He was bitten by the innovation bug witnessing creative methodology on-site.

Darren worked in the timber engineering industry and then progressed to run the construction division for the largest new home project builder in North Queensland for close to 10 years.

It was in the early 2000’s that Darren became a registered builder and launched his own construction company. This building company went on to build close to 50 Award Winning homes.  These awards included Home of the Year four times.  On multiple occasions he was also awarded the Sustainable House of the Year.

It was then that he realised, for the market to have better housing, there needed to be an example of what that looks like.  This was the start of Innovation House. In 2011 he started construction on the first pilot version of the Innovation House 1.0, being the first 10 Star Rated Display home.  This 10 star home was also a ‘living experiment’ with the residents experimenting with high performance after the initial display home period. This was the genesis of the Innovation House Australia journey.

Rowan’s Story

Innovation House

Rowan grew up in small rural communities and was encouraged to question the status quo.  In a rural setting he developed very practical skills and a yearning for better practices.

Rowan moved into North Queensland in the early 1990’s and in his professional life was highly involved in the community first responses to cyclones Larry and then Yasi. In this time he developed the awareness of some of the impractical and remote systems that in effect rule our lives. Just his story around the humble banana is a clear illustration of what could be better.

While representing manufacturers and suppliers across the North Queensland region Rowan started to seek out like minded professionals.  The goal was to set about demonstrating and making changes for better housing outcomes. In this role Rowan was introduced to Darren and his forward thinking future housing to formulate the Innovation House framework. And the journey began…

Colby’s Story

Renovation Insider

Colby is a young professional just starting out in the industry.  While studying part time in the science of geology he is also turning his hand to almost anything in support of the local construction industry.

Colby works for Renovation Insider as a videographer and also manages some of the companies social media content.

Hunter’s Story

Renovation Insider

Hunter has been quick to jump in and offer his support for both Innovation House and Renovation Insider.  He is currently studying a bachelor of commerce at James Cook University and grew up with an interest in architecture.  He has a sharp mind and an ability to quickly pick up new technology, which is a huge asset for our modelling team.  If you have viewed your proposed home in 3D then it is highly likely that Hunter has been involved in your future plans

These experts are seeking best practice housing

Micheal’s Story

PowerTech Energy

Micheal brings to the table an impressive track record spanning over 25 years in electro-technologies integration, automation, energy efficiency solutions, and project management, with a strong foothold in the Security & Portable energy sectors

His professional journey has taken him across the breadth of Australia, from the northern reaches of Darwin to the southern landscapes of Tasmania. Along the way, he has meticulously nurtured a network of seasoned professionals and service providers, ensuring a comprehensive approach to addressing diverse technological needs.

Education forms the cornerstone of Micheal’s drive, propelling his continuous pursuit of knowledge and innovation. However, his true enchantment lies in his innate ability to simplify complexities, rendering intricate technological concepts into easily understandable solutions. This unique skill of simplification is his transformative superpower, a quality that underpins his commitment to effective problem-solving and exceptional service delivery.

Claire’s Story

Claire Lawson Bathrooms

Give Claire a problem to solve, and her face lights up. She loves digging deep into the root cause of problems, “as this is where you find the solution”. Her inquisitive nature and engineering training has provided her with the skills to pull apart these problems (challenges) to understand the fundamental break.  She can then rebuild a better solution.

After a successful heavy industry career 2016 it was time for a big change, what better time for a change, than building their new home!

The process of a new home build was exciting for sure but also a sense of frustration with some answers like, “we have always done it this way”.  Never in her wildest dreams did she think her new home build experience would lead her into becoming a bathroom specialist!  Experiencing frustrations with aspects of her new bathroom, and, saddened to hear similar stories from many others.  Claire recognises that modern bathrooms built today are actually creating more stress in our lives!

Claire can match both the practical with the beautiful for her clients. As an engineer, Claire looks at the practical side of how we use our bathrooms, discussing the ‘pros and cons’ of different bathroom layouts.  She also has an eye for stylish design solutions to many of the common bathroom problems.

Having lived with the experiences of dissatisfaction with renovations and new builds Claire can relate to the client experience. Claire has a drive to think practically and not to get seduced by the latest bathroom trends! In particular she shines the light on how to prevent any frustrations creeping into YOUR new bathroom.

If you want advice for all things in the bathroom then Claire is an expert that we work with closely.  Visit her site here

Morris D Fedeli

Thrive Project

A pracademic and doctoral researcher at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.  Morris has a professional career spanning three decades in helping organisations achieve success through the effective application of new emerging innovative business models and technologies. He has a unique Australasian perspective, with experience across three continents and degrees in science, business, and project management.  Morris’s research passion lies in sustainable business innovation strategies for a prosperous society.

Morris is the project lead at THRIVE, a for-impact social enterprise whose mission is to ensure the long-term well-being and ‘thrivability’ of all humanity. THRIVE’s vision is a world beyond sustainability, where all life forms live in harmony and solidarity. THRIVE adopts a holistic approach to sustainability, providing research, education, and advocacy in all areas of sustainable practices, including sustainable housing.

Some of its research include evaluating Smart CommunitiesSustainable construction materials, and Urban green spacesTo learn more about THRIVE, visit www.ThrivabilityMatters.Earth, follow our podcast series, or participate in the free Thrivability Matters Webinar, and follow us on social media #ThrivabilityMatters.

Jason’s Story

Atlas Soils

Jason is an experienced Sustainability Practitioner that has focused much of his working career on integrated Energy, Water and Waste management with a focus on Dry Tropical solutions that are inspired by nature. He has over 10 years of experience in a broad range of environmental fields. These include Aquaculture, Environmental Management, Ecology, Sustainable Education, Behaviour Change Campaigns, Water Quality Management, Erosion and Sediment Control, Water Conservation and ecological regeneration.

Jason and the team at Atlas Soils are the quiet achievers just getting change to happen.   In the space of soil and environmental health there would be few more passionate leaders in the field.  Visit their site here

Brad’s Story

Jazz Design

As Sandgate’s most experienced building design company, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and meticulous approach to planning, enabling us to make your dream a reality. Our team is dedicated to creating a home to suit your lifestyle. All of our building designers and architects are certified, so you know your project is in safe hands. We are proud of our long history creating homes our clients love. If you’re searching for a team you can count on to create your dream home, place your trust in our multiple decades of experience designing, orchestrating and delivering across multiple states.

As a practicioner we have had a successful working relationship with Jazz Design for 15 + Years.  Visit their site here

Dr Djason Hilder’s Story

CoCreating Community

Dr Djason Hilder has published a thesis in the study of collaborative living arrangements such as cohousing and ecovillages from some of the best examples of communities in Australia and Europe.

As part of this research he also published a paper in the Australian Planner discussing the state of communal living in Australia and discovered that ⅕ of Australia’s population lives in one form of communal living arrangement or another and this trend is increasing each census despite the housing stock only catering for single family households.

This shows that we need other housing models to cater for this demand.

With this experience Dr Hilder has been quite influential in framing the mindset for our ‘People Purpose Place work’ as well as providing a greater understanding of where we as humans are falling short in our efforts to cohabitate in our current housing solutions.

Professor Anne Steinemann

Professor Anne Steinemann, an internationally recognised scientist, brings over 30 years of experience in creating healthier homes and environments.

Among her projects, she has designed and analysed more than two hundred homes and buildings internationally to improve indoor air quality and promote occupant health.

Recently, together with the team at Innovation House, she developed and launched Australia’s first Tiny Tropical Healthy House, acclaimed as “Australia’s Most Sustainable House.” Her research on product emissions, health effects, and indoor air quality have been the most downloaded and highly cited articles in their journals, and received extensive media coverage spanning six continents.

She was Professor of Engineering, and Chair of Sustainable Infrastructure, at James Cook University, with a dual appointment as Professor of Civil Engineering, and Chair of Sustainable Cities, at the University of Melbourne. She currently serves as an Honorary Professor at both universities. Professor Steinemann received her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, California.

For her research website

For her media coverage

For her publications (all free of charge)

For her profiles for The University of Melbourne and James Cook University



We have a wealth of specialists that we call on and our work is always a collaboration.  These are just a few examples of the high quality professionals that are working to evolve our industry to improve the outcome for all of our community.  Better understanding and best practice housing as our goal!