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, including Home of the Year four times and multiple years of 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 that was also a 'living experiment'. And thus, the Innovation House Australia journey began.

Rowan's Story

Innovation House

Rowan grew up in small rural communities and was encouraged to question the status quo in a farming setting. With 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 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...

Micheal's Story

Me Technology Group

Micheal has over 25 years' experience in electro-technologies integration, automation, energy efficiency solutions, project management and within the security industry.

Having worked all over Australia from Darwin to Tasmania, he has built and curated a network of professionals and service providers who can attend to every aspect of technology needs.

Having worked with all levels of government, private enterprise and big corporations in Australia, he is able to deliver projects with outstanding value for money and exceptional connectivity. His Passion as well as expertise is the ability to gather all the information and deliver a solution that not only meets all the clients requirements but keeps costs down. He understands that simply it just needs to work all the time every day. He has been a proud North Queenslander for 32 years and has 3 adult son’s who live and work locally.

Education is his key driver and keeping it simple is his magical power

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 to then rebuild a better solution.
After a successful heavy industry career, problem solving and managing change in mining and transport businesses. Her roles were both business owner and corporate employee across this period. In 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 of 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, rather than improving our daily bathroom routines!
With a unique blend of both the engineer problem solving and an eye for style 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, fixtures and fittings, along with providing simple and stylish design solutions to many of the common bathroom problems that unfortunately people are living with on a daily basis.
Having lived with the experiences of dissatisfaction with renovations and new builds Claire can relate to the client experience. Her blog about her own shower drain is but one example of her common sense approach. Claire has a drive to think practically and not to get seduced by the latest bathroom trends! Her blog is a great read, and in particular it shines the light on how to prevent any frustrations creeping into YOUR new bathroom.

Morris's Story

Thrive

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

Formerly the Vice-Chair and on the Board of the Australian Computer Society, Co-Chair Philippine Computer Society and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. A qualified computer systems network engineer and software developer, lay magistrate and expert witness, scientist and trainer, TV/radio host presenter and keynote speaker with degrees in business and science and an MBA in Technology Management.

A practitioner of systemic sciences, digital nomad, and polymath he has extensive commercial acumen from working with SME to large companies with over $1B turnover. As a well-traveled polyglot, he is often found in Germany, China, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore and nearby developing economies spearheading projects in Education, Information Technology, Renewable Energy, Broadcasting/Telecommunications, Tourism/Hospitality, and Sustainable Business.

Demonstrated track record includes 30-years as a serial entrepreneur with key experience in:
► Sustainable Business, Technology, and Business Model Innovation Consulting
► Project Management, Strategic Management, Business Development, Contract Negotiations
► Marketing/Sales, Client Relationship Management, Technology Research, and Strategy Development
► Education, Public Speaking, Writing, Presentation, Reporting, Research, and Legal Consulting
► Information Technology and Telecommunications, Software Development, Systems Administration
► Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain Technology, Space Science

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.

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.