ECOSHELTA has long been part of the sustainable building revolution and makes high quality architect designed, environmentally minimal impact, prefabricated, modular buildings, using latest technologies. Our state of the art building system has been used for cabins, houses, studios, eco-tourism accommodation and villages. We make beautiful spaces, the applications are endless, the potential exciting.

FAQs



General questions
The Ecoshelta pod construction system is an architect designed, highly robust, easily assembled, demountable modular building, suitable on its own for remote area shelter, cabins, dwellings, eco-tourism accommodation, writer’s and artist’s studios. They are based on a super strong alloy structural frame, and a range of modular infill panels for floors walls and roof elements. Each pod is modular and can be attached to any number of other pods to create a wide range of buildings in many forms and layouts.

We are very careful to select the most environmentally appropriate materials and systems for our buildings, using the EcoCost system. Ecoshelta e.pods and t.pods are high tech, sustainable, architect designed, prefabricated, modular dwelling systems. They are extendable, relocatable, robust and long-lived. Made from space-age alloy, e.pods and t.pods can be erected anywhere, in a matter of days, for an oceanfront retreat, ecotourism accommodation venture, commercial winery, remote area village or backyard studio, or any number can be adjoined in limitless designs to make delightful, luxurious culturally responsive homes. Cutting edge details, materials, finishes and fabrication systems are carefully selected for minimal environmental impact.
No, in fact there are no two projects that have been the same. We have a range of roof forms and materials, cladding options, flooring and lining options. Ecoshelta pods can be customized in many ways to achieve an appropriate response to most sites and the owner’s individual expression. Any number of pods can be adjoined in a variety of ways to create a wide range of forms and functions.
Our e.pods are designed for residential and ecotourism accommodation ventures, they are large rooms and can be rapidly deployed and meet all Australian building code requirements.

Our tough.pods (t.pods) are smaller and stronger and cable of being deployed in the most extreme locations, cliff faces, coastal zones, cyclone and earthquake areas.
EcoPly is plywood made from certified plantation grown timber with low emission glues and no harmful chemical additives or toxic preservatives. No Formaldhydes or CCA treatments are used.
Ever wondered how we work out the most environ­mentally appropriate materials and systems? Well if mathematics is something you are in to, you can read more about it in our Ecocost page. The algorithm has been formulated by Stephen Sainsbury Architect

Design FAQs
We have options available for fully fitted ensuite bathroom extensions, bathhouse fitouts, kitchens and laundries to your spec­ifications. As well, we can supply to ‘Lock Up’, ready for your fitout if you prefer. These facilities need to be connected to electricity on site supply or mains supply service lines, hot and cold water supply, sewer mains systems or on site handling systems on your site by licensed plumbers and electricians to the relevant local and national codes.
We have three standard roof forms:
1. The simple curved roof:
2. The monpitched highlight roof; and
3. The upward vaulted highlight roof.


The different roof types can be seen in the sketches in the design section.
The tough.pod (t.pod) is based on a 3.6m x 3.6m grid. Each t.pod is about 12.5m square metres internally and with a 1.1m wide deck all around covering about 6m x6m, 36 square metres coverage. The roof has 1.1m eaves all around and is 6m x 6m, about 36 square metres.

The larger e.pod is based on a 4.8m x 4.8m grid and has 24 square metres internally per pod, it also has the 1.1m wide decking all around and matching roof size of 50 square metres.

By combining a number of pods, the layout possibil­ities are extensive. As an integrated group of two or more Ecoshelta pods, an entire self contained dwelling can be erected and with sufficient pods a luxurious home can be created in the most difficult to access locations, with minimal environ­mental impact.
As a pricing guideline:

single e.pod base units - $37,450;
two adjoined e.pod base units - $65,537;
three adjoined e.pod bas units - $93,625;
four adjoined e.pod base units - $121,712.50;
six adjoined e.pod base units - $177,887.50; and
side extension 1.2m x 4.8m - $3,450.

Our smaller t.pods are designed for rough, difficult to construct sites and a base unit costs $32,130.

The base unit includes the frame, sub floor panels, wall panels and one single opening per e.pod, and from this basic package you can then choose to fit out and detail the pod to level of detail required. As a guide, our projects are usually between $2,500 and $3,500 per sqm including fit out options.
Yes, but, the instructions can be complex for some clients, some building experience is useful. What usually works best is for us to send out a supervisor with the parts shipment to show your site team what to do, or we can send out our own assembly crew at an additional cost. It is possible for a suitably experienced handy person to put up the e.pod or t.pod themselves with a few willing helpers. Though the system is relatively straight­forward and can be put together with a single power tool, there are a large number of elements and options which increase the complexity. It takes at least four people to safely assemble the frames and about a day to assemble each basic pod. Any access and glazing options and fitout options or bathroom and kitchen fit outs will take additional time to assemble.
The main structural frame elements are fabricated from factory welded marine grade structural aluminium. We believe due to its very high strength, low weight and resilience that this provides the most effective solution in terms of minimal environ­mental impact. All timber is sourced from recycled, stock or Forest Steward Council certified supplies or certified EcoSelect Australian plantation grown sources. All timber is finished in nontoxic low irritant naturals oils and finishes such as OrganOil and Bees Wax. We use EcoPly for all panels. We use non-toxic, non-allergenic polywool insulation throughout walls, floors and ceiling panels. We use Australian manufactured SIPS panel systems for floors walls and roof elements. We use recycled products such as MODWOOD made from post consumer PET. We carefully monitor and assess all our fabrication processes to ensure minimal wastage and the avoidance of any harmful or polluting processes. We base ourselves near main ports and rail hubs to minimise the use of road transport for our supplies and products. We encourage the use of public transport, walking and cycling for our staff, and are committed to reducing our businesses environ­mental footprint in many ways.
We use marine grade structural aluminium alloy which is five times as strong as steel and half the weight. This results in the use of only about a quarter the amount of material as it would take with steel and about a tenth as much as with timber. The alloy we use is made from at least 15% recycled material. The mining and extraction process is heavily monitored in Australia and complete land rehab­ilitation is required. We prefer to use alloy smelted by low impact energy sources (hydro or geothermal). We use low energy cutting and welding systems. The material doesn’t need priming, painting or protection from the elements. It has a very long life even in extreme exposure locations. It can be readily recycled. It is termite proof. It is lightweight and strong and has a dramatically reduced transport­ation impact over any other material. The EcoCost system has determined that this results in a considerably lower overall environ­mental impact than any other available materials.
Only a few of the possible options have been listed to give you an indication of what might be possible:

- Double glazed timber framed glass doors and windows;
- Glass louvred panels;
- Sliding mechanism per side;
- Decking on corners and sides;
- Ceiling insulation (R3.5) and wall linings; - Bushfire screen systems;
- Highlight glazing;
- Timber floor overlay panels;
- Rainwater catchment;
- Internal wall division;
- Internal doors and sliders;
- Fully fitted ensuite bathroom(s);
- Kitchen fit out (no appliances);
- Concrete footings (if applicable); and
- Ecoshelta assembly and supervision on site.

*Local labour, plumbing and wiring would need to be arrange separately being site dependent."

Standards and Ratings
The standard frames are very strong and fully integrated structurally from roof to footing and can be cyclone rated if required by the addition of a few extra features without changing the basic system. The principal requirement is for reinforced concrete footings designed and certified by a suitably licensed engineer for the region.
The t.pods and e.pods are alloy framed and the base model is roofed and clad in corrugated zincalume sheet. They can be made to order to meet any Bushfire rating up to and including BAL Flame Zone. Bushfire resistance options for various ratings are available and include:
- Fire Rated glazed highlights and doors;
- Stainless Steel Screened Fire Shutters;
- Fire Rated cladding;
- Fire Rated Decking systems;
- Fire rated handrails and balustrading;
- Automated and manual Fire Protection Sprinkler; and
- Roof Irrigation systems.
Council requirements vary signi­ficantly around the country. Most urban councils in Australia require a Development Application for even the simplest of works and you would need to contact your Council. Many, though not all, Rural Councils will allow small buildings on large allotments without an approval process. Some states have Complying Development legislation to allow simple developments like dwelling houses to be put up without all the rigmarole of a Council Approval process. You would need to check the regulations carefully to see what is (and isn’t) permitted. It is probable however, that a Development Application will be required so please also check this with your local Council. We can supply all the necessary document­ation, including architect’s plans and engineering certi­fication for Council Development Applications either as a separate cost arrangement or as part of the package. The cost of providing the required plans and docu­mentation for the council approval processes may vary considerably according to Council requirements and size of the particular proposal. Therefore, it is usually best to consult with us for a general outline of the guidelines and then check with your council about their specific procedures.
Yes. We use a range of insulation strategies for different elements of the pods. The roof panels are foam core composite sheets with R ratings up to R7 available. The walls panels can be either alloy framed and insulated with polyester wool batts with up to 30% sheep’s wool, or composite foam core panels with EcoPly and magnesium oxide board skins. Both with an overall R2.5 to R3.5 rating. The floor panels are the same structure as the walls panels.

Orders and Transportation
We carry limited numbers in stock which allow us to deliver a base unit at short notice. Most base units are “optioned up” with special panels and other pieces. Glazed doors, and windows, timber floor panels and the l ike are all available as options. These are fabricated to order in our workshops and lead times are in the order of four to six weeks depending on the options chosen and nominated prioriti­sation. We can usually deliver a four pod cabin in twelve weeks, which is usually about as long as it takes to get the necessary council approvals in place.
Please call or email via our contact page. If you can provide us with your preferred site location for the Ecoshelta, as well as your desired acco­mmodation requirements this will assist us in giving you more informed responses. We will be in touch with recommend­ations on the most suitable model and best approach for approval and building of your Ecoshelta. An architect is available for site visits by negotiation and can recommend the best system, layout, aspect and location for your Ecoshelta. Click here to contact us, and we’ll be talking about YOUR Ecoshelta within 1 to 2 business days.
A single Ecoshelta pod base unit which includes the frame, roof, wall and floor elements weighs about 950kg and can be carried on a 4WD flat tray utility. A second package with the required optional fit-out items, doors, deck units, specialised service wall panels and fit-out items can be shipped in the same way. The Ecoshelta system is specifically designed for packaging in standard shipping containers. Up to three base t.pods or two fully fitted out e.pod units can be packed in a single 20’ container. Larger buildings may require a 40’ container and up to four fitted out e.pods can be fitted into a single 40’ shipping container.