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Stephen Sainsbury


CertHort., B.A.EnvDes.(Dist), B.Arch.(hons),  M.Arch

AACA Registration  6643



The practice specialises in design of low environmental impact buildings, with a broad and adaptive palette of materials, structural systems and forms.  The practice also consults extensively on environmentally sound design and construction techniques for architects, builders and owner builders.  The practice is experienced in such construction forms as traditional joined timber frames (no nails, screws, bolts or other fixings), straw bale building, rammed earth works, large section marine grade structural aluminium alloy frames, recycled material and buildings together with advanced electronic and state of the art technology service systems.

The principal is a qualified building supervisor with extensive investigative experience in residential construction inspections and reporting for private clients and Government authorities.  The principal has appeared for clients and  given professional evidence in court for a number of appellants before the Planning anAppeals Tribunal and the Land and Environment Court

The principal is also a principal of the licensed building company Wonders Building Company Pty. Ltd.   WBC has constructed numerous buildings in this role and is experienced in carpentry, alloy fabrication and building together with construction management roles on larger programs and for owner builder clients.

Practising Chartered Architect
Registered with the N.S.W. Board of Architects Registration No 6643 
Qualified Building Supervisor NSW
Registered with the Dept of Fair Trading NSW  Licence Number 33386S
Principal of Wonders Building Company Pty. Ltd.
Licenced Building Contractor with the Dept of Fair Trading NSW Licence Number 131614C
Accredited Building Practitioner – Architect and Builder in Tasmania
Licenced with the Dept of Justice tas – Accreditation No. CC4039 G

Trade Certificate Horticulture, Hobart Technical College, 1986
C.A.D.  Certificate, Hobart Technical College, 1988
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design (with distinction), 1989
Bachelor of Architecture (First Class Honours), 1992
Australian Research Council Post-Graduate Award Scholarship, 1992

Masters of Architecture by Research ,  1994
Topic :-   ‘EcoCost’    An ecological evaluation system for building materials

NSW Architects Board Registration, 2001

JerraBomberra Better Cities Design Competition Special Commendation 1995
Timber Design Awards Special Commendation 2002  for the TeaHouse
Timber Design Awards Highly Commended 2003  for the Balmain Terrace
HIA Greensmart Award for Resource Efficiency  2004 for the Australia Street Renovation
HIA Greensmart Award for Energy Efficiency  2004 for the Australia Street Renovation


Formed Wonders Building Company Pty. Ltd.  April 1991, 

See attached list of projects.

Research into environmentally sound architectural design and construction techniques for development of EcoCost environmental impact evaluation system.

Draft for “A Book for Living Sustainably” currently under final edit.

Practicing as Stephen Sainsbury architect in the state of NSW. 2001 – 2013

List of  Current Projects attached below

 Formed EcoShelta Pty. Ltd. in 2005

to construct prefabricated alloy framed demountable buildings. Projects on Flinders Island, Tasmania, Newtown NSW, Hong Kong, Tumut NSW, Nannup, Western Australia,  The Kimberley, Johanna Beach Victoria, Wombarra NSW. 


Terrace House Renovations Inner West Sydney – Design, Approvals and Construction Contract management for a series of inner city alterations and additions.

Phelps St Surry hills;  Australia Street, Newtown (x 6); Pleasant Avenue, Erskineville; Angel Street, Newtown;  Denison street, Newtown.

Moongulla -  An extensive stand alone rammed earth, straw bale, stone and zinc residence in eastern Tasmmania based around three vaulted curved roof wings

Heritage Manor House renovations – A series of alterations and additions to a heritage listed manor house in the inner eastern suburbs of Sydney

Piermont Estate – the development of the estate into a series of small mediteranean inspired villages dotted along the extraordinary coastal property.

Forrestville House  – An innovative bushland facing concrete and aluminium alloy frame dwelling flowing down to the garrigal cliffs and opening 8m high to the bushlands.

Bawley Point House – A replacement state of the art environmentally responsible Beachfrontage dwelling on the NSW South Coast


Projects completed recently include:

Johanna Beach Walking Lodge  Design, Fabrication and Erection of an extensive walking lodge for an established tour operator on the south coast of Victoria, consisting of four large pavilions and six accommodation cabins using the Ecoshelta bigpod system. 

Kimberley Research Station  Prefabricated EcoShelta building for an environmental research station on vast station in the Kimberley.

Grays Point House  Design and construction of a private dwelling as a series of interconnected single storey and double storey pavilions on a large bushland allotment – using the ecoshelta system.

Nubeena Hilltop House  Design and construction of a private masonry and timber frame dwelling on a mountainside above a small fishing village in Tasmania.

West End Beachfront Cabins  Design and construction of a commercial tourism operation on Flinders Island, Tasmania using EcoShelta Cabins.

Another Newtown House Design of a dwelling renovation for a suburban house in Newtown, NSW.

Nannup House  Design and construction of a private ecoshelta cabin system dwelling at Nannup, WA.

Stanhope House.  Design of a large rural homestead in the upper Hunter Valley NSW consisting of four large pavilions grouped around a central courtyard with pool.

West End Beach House, Flinders Island   A pre-fabricated Alloy framed, timber detailed Beach House in a wild and isolated part of the world. A series of pavilions joined by an enclosed curved timber walkway.

 Birchgrove House Renovations  Extensive rebuilding of an inner city freestanding dwelling including an entirely new upper floor to make a substantial contemporary residence.   

Another Birchgrove House Renovation  Extensive additions and renovations to an Inner City freestanding Dwelling to create a contemporary residence.

Birchgrove Cottages Design and Build project.  Substantial additions and renovations to a pair of inner city semi-detached cottages into two storey, high density urban dwellings.  Gipps Street, Balmain. 

Five Dock House.  Substantial renovations to a freestanding suburban house in Five Dock Sydney, Design and Construction Management. 

Borenore Artist’s Home and Studio Design and Build project.  A Joined Timber frame, Rammed earth, Straw Bale, passive solar environmentally low impact dwelling for an artist and his family in a rural setting. 

Old Newtown Morgue.  Completed rebuilding and additions to the old morgue, conversion to substantial dwelling and office space.

 The Yarrh Winery.  Design and Construction Management of a substantial new winery building in Murrumbateman NSW, including straw bale and alloy frame winery, earth sheltered cellar and timber framed cellar door commercial area.

 Duffy Bushfire Re-Build Canberra Design and Construction of an extensive new house in many parts around many garden courtyards to replace a bushfire destroyed dwelling. Alloy frame, Rammed earth internal walls, rendered Hebel block external walls, timber detailed.

 Lecturing, tutoring and instructing in Environmentally Sound Design and Construction with the University of Tasmania. 1989- 1994

 Building Projects with Architecture Students from the University of Tasmania with the Hobart City Council. 1995 -1997


Past Projects

Caldew Park, Kids Fast Train.   Feb ’95  -  Aug ’95

 John Dogget Park BBQ Pavilion.   Aug ’95  -  Dec ’95

WaterWorks Reserve BBQ Pavilion Design and Build project. Feb ‘96 – Feb ‘97

Ridgeway House Design and Build.  June ’88 -  May ’89

Ridgeway Manor B&B Design Aug 88 – Nov 88 

West Hobart Extensions Design and Build  Nov ’90 -  April ’91

Badger Box II Design and Build.   Nov ’90 -  Feb ‘92

PoolHouse Deck and Pergola Design and Build.  Oct ’92 – Dec ’92.

 The TeaHouse Design and Build.   July ’92  - June ‘93

 West Hobart Pergola Design and Build.  March ‘93 – July ‘93

 West Hobart Verandah.  Aug ’93 – Sept ‘93

 Hobart City Council Street Elevations recording project.   May ’93 – June ‘95

 The Boatshed Design project.   Aug ’94 – Oct ’94 …

 Complex Majority Loo Design and Build.  Jan ’94 – Nov ‘94

 Eastern shore Dwelling Design project.  Jan ’95  - April ’95

 West hobart Dwelling Renovation Design project.    May ’95 – July ‘95

 Badger Box II  Carport Design and Build.  July ’95 -  Aug ’95

 Underwood Hall House Design project.   Aug ‘95

 City House renovations Design and Build.  Jan ’92  -  July ‘96

 Kingston House Design and Build.   Jan ‘96- Nov ‘96

 West Hobart Deck Design and Build. Dec ’95 – Aug ‘96

 Kaoota house Design and Build.   Jan ’97 – Aug ‘97

 The Harbourings Exhibition - Museum of Sydney Construction. July ’97 – Sept’97

 Paddington Warehouse Conversion Construction.  Sept ‘96 -  Dec ‘98

 Imperial Avenue House Renovations Construction.  March 97 – Dec 97

 Private Library,  BlackHeath NSW Construction.  Sept 96 – Sept 98

 Convicts Exhibition, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Set Building Construction.   Apr 98 – June 98.

 Orange  Dwelling Construction.   Oct 97 – June 98.

 Tasmania house Design project. Dec 97 – Aug ’98