Meet The Team
Rich is a resource engineer and the driving force behind eTool’s innovative LCA software. Growing up on a farm in NSW, Rich spent a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors where he developed a strong respect for nature. His eTool journey started back in 2008 on the peak of a Canadian icecap where he saw firsthand the damaging effect of climate change on the glaciers. Right then Rich made a promise to change his life and use his full potential to protect the environment.
When he’s not looking after baby Hugo, you’ll find Rich out and about mountain biking, bush walking, paddling or surfing. Skiing and rock climbing have had to take a backseat since he moved to WA though as there aren’t many hilly or snowy places to practice!
Visualising his dream home is more about location rather then design for Rich. Ideally placed at the foot of a mountain, the house would be made out of local, sustainable materials. So if he was building in Canada it would be a log cabin and in Australia it would be made of rammed earth or weatherboard.
Alex is a renewable energy engineer and staunch promoter of low carbon living and building design. Being outdoors and immersed in nature has always been a big part of Alex’s life, from spending time up on the family farm just outside Perth to living in the Kimberley.
When he’s not up at the farm planting trees, camping out and sitting by the fire with some dark chocolate and a good port, Alex is playing rugby, kite surfing and mountain biking (usually trying to catch up with Rich). He is somewhat of a scavenger and can’t resist salvaging other people’s rubbish and turning it into something useful or arty like a recycled table or entire vegi garden.
Alex’s dream home would of course be zero carbon! The design would be rustic but stylish with plenty of raw finishes including local and recycled materials such as timber and rock. Comfort and enjoyment are high on the list; whether he’s throwing a massive dinner party or just having a quiet beer on the balcony. With a bit of clever design, Alex reckons he could come up with something everyone could learn from or maybe even copy if they wanted!
Sid is an eco effective architect and the creative spark in the eTool team.
After years of designing luxury homes and ludicrously expensive carports across WA, Sid decided he wanted to use his design powers and architectural nous for the greater good. After meeting Rich and Alex, Sid joined forces and makes up the design element of the sustainable dream team!
As well as speaking the sustainable design lingo, Sid dabbles in Russian and can still whip out his broadcaster voice from time to time, taking us all back to his glory days as the radio tech trend forecaster on early morning RTRfm. When he’s not keeping the engineers in check, you’ll usually find Sid running about the place; mostly after his very energetic kids Nusha and Sasha or hunting down the finishing touches for his architecture.collective clients.
When it comes to a dream sustainable home, Sid’s not so sure it’s a good idea for architects to design their own home, so he’s still thinking on it…
Jo is a marketing communications professional with green blood. Her Pop was a viticulturist and her Dad was the founder of Waldeck Nurseries, a West Australian gardening institution. Her first paid job (50c/hour) at six years of age was weeding and putting pots on the potting machine, which was all she was big enough to do.
After a childhood saturated in horticulture, it took a while for the gardening bug to come full circle and bite her. But the life-changing discovery of permaculture in her early 30s, combined with motherhood and an eventual move to a 1-acre property in the Perth Hills sealed the deal.
Jo likes nothing better than to be outside in her extensive vegetable garden teaching her two curious and rambunctious young sons all about nature, in particular, growing delicious organic food to cook and eat together. Talk about low food miles!
Jo and her architect/planner husband are currently designing and building a new passive solar home on their property, which they aim to make as efficient as possible (using eTool LCA of course) and including a blackwater treatment system, rainwater tanks, solar panels and a permaculture-designed garden.
Henrique is an electrical engineer and makes up the international flavour of the eTool team. Originally from Brazil, Henrique moved to Perth in search of an adventure, great surf and a more sustainable lifestyle. Growing up by the ocean, Henrique has always felt very connected to nature which is where he finds the inspiration to work towards sustainable development.
When he’s not surfing, cycling or playing soccer, Henrique is making movies. Mostly related to surfing or sustainability, his short documentary style films explore how we live and interact with our environment. Featuring real people, Henrique shows what is truly possible when you put a bit of passion into your everyday.
Working with eTool has given Henrique a whole different perspective on his dream sustainable home, so he’s got a lot to think about! Living by the ocean is a must and being able to generate his own energy and food would be pretty cool too. Like Alex, Henrique is a pretty popular guy, so there would need to be enough space for friends, watching movies and making some seriously delicious food.
Pat is an ESD engineer who specialises in energy efficient construction, renewable technologies and environmental assessment with extensive experience from his three years working for Aecom UK. Since arriving in Perth, Pat has garnered expertise in carbon auditing and offsetting whilst working for non-profit organisation Carbon Neutral.
Pat is dedicated to sustainability and his strong aversion to flying in particular led him to spend ten months on an overland adventure travelling from London to Perth via Russia, China and Mongolia. Pat’s other main passion in life is windsurfing which coupled with the Fremantle Doctor is one of the main reasons he moved to Perth, the windiest costal city in the southern hemisphere!
A straw bale and bamboo frame house on a family farm in Brighton are already in the works as Pat’s dream home, although he’s a litle undecided on the green roof. Growing the bamboo in the farmhouse garden will take around 5-10 years and there is plenty of straw to use, so the design is local, natural and extremely low on cost. The bales would be thick enough not to require any heating or cooling but Pat would still like to build a big, circular, open fire bang in the middle for everyone to sit around. After the major logistics, homely features such as a sound system in the garden, natural swimming pond and sauna, chicks and big veggie patch are a must!
Fei is a product designer with a passion for sustainable building design and extensive experience in building performance assessment in Australia. After teaching a Sustainable Design unit for a Product Design course in Shanghai, Fei realised she wanted to do more than just teach, so changed careers and is currently studying for a Masters in Sustainability Studies at CUSP in Perth.
One of Fei’s hobbies has already come in very handy at the eTool office…dumpster diving! When she’s not routing out artisan bread or organic fruit and veg for the team toasties, Fei is hitting the beach with friends, kite surfing in Freo, or having afternoon reading/napping sessions in the great outdoors.
With an Earthship building course already under her belt, Fei has tons of innovative ideas for her dream sustainable home. Combining alternative building methods such as rammed earth tyres, strawbale, can walls or whatever is locally abundant is just the starting point of her low impact, solar passive home. Location is also important, with a beach close by and a lake or stream running through it to support her permaculture food forest and sustain her rabbit and four chickens.
Portia is a food lover and coffee extraordinaire with a passion for sustainable communities. Her love for nature started as a kid, playing with grasshoppers in her backyard in Texas. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science & Policy and growing up, she was always appalled by the lack of sustainable design principles and the prolificacy of poorly designed buildings.
Her hobbies include dabbling in graphic design, perusing Perth for the best specialty coffees and making an effort to buy everything she needs locally and if possible, organically. Running a farmers’ market in Perth ignited a compassion for the farmers who grow our food, which in turn allowed her to see the importance of drastically reducing our impact on the land through LCA in developments.
Portia is still learning about sustainable design but her dream home would probably be a geodesic dome and near a water source, with plenty of natural lighting and light colors. She’d design the garden with permaculture principles, raise chickens, build a basement and of course incorporate LCA into the design process!