At EHDO we create environmentally responsive buildings that are designed to maximise quality of life for our clients and merge beautifully into their community and surroundings. We are dedicated to innovation and economical building practice. We use the distinctive features of each site as opportunities for creative architecture that express the unique character and ideals of our clients whilst being an authentic environmental and social commitment.
EHDO was founded in the 1970s as EarthBuilders, a pioneering rammed earth construction company, by artist and building industry innovator Giles Hohnen.
By the early 1990s the business had evolved into a design focused company called earthhouse. Giles is celebrated for his groundbreaking approach to ethical building and design; a tradition new directors Dimitri Kapetas and Dave Delahunty proudly develop and uphold.
We are particularly interested in the critical move towards a design led increase of density in our cities. EHDO has a deep passion for the arts and supports the local art community by hosting quarterly exhibitions in our office to highlight the importance of art in the workplace and the inexorable link between good art and good design.
Going forward we will be working alongside like-minded businesses to make a meaningful and positive contribution to building a better architectural and development industry in Australia, one that places equal value on environmental, social and economic outcomes.
Putting Renewable Energy to Work in Buildings
Buildings account for about one-third of the energy consumed in Australia. Heating and cooling systems use 60 percent of this energy, while lights and appliances use another 40 percent. By carefully applying passive design principles to capture natural breezes, the sun's energy and light, and integrating efficient energy technologies, energy use in buildings can be reduced dramatically. These renewable energy practices save money, result in more attractive buildings, and improve the environment. Extract taken from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Our founder Giles Hohnen, being never quite ready to fully retire, promotes PV energy integration in building design via his website called Neat.
The Natural Beauty and Function of Stabilised Rammed Earth
We love rammed earth. Over many years, EHDO has lead the way in developing and perfecting the design and construction of this unique material.
Being made from a wide range of materials such as limestone, crushed concrete and recycled bricks, it provides any building with a sense of natural beauty, exquisite texture and the advantages of high performance acoustic and passive energy properties.
For us, rammed earth is the perfect combination of a practical, environmentally-friendly and artistic material.
Dave Delahunty is committed to creating sustainable, affordable and innovative architecture. Dave grew up on a wheat & sheep farm on the flat, dry mallee plain of central NSW. The importance of the seasons and the incredibly strong connection to nature that life in the bush entails has deeply informed his architectural philosophy to this day. Now having lived in Fremantle for many years, he seeks to design buildings that adapt to local circumstances, both climatically and socially, as well as maximising affordability through the use of simple materials and modest scale.
Dave has a Bachelor of Architecture (honours) from UWA and is a registered architect. After graduation he worked on a wide range of international commercial and residential projects before joining the pioneering sustainable design practice earthhouse founded by Giles Hohnen in 1993.
Dave is also a musician, song writer and short story writer. He is a strong supporter of contemporary local art, an animal rights advocate and a fervent supporter of the South Fremantle Bulldogs for whom he is the mascot.
Dimitri Kapetas is dedicated to making architecture that moves beyond current notions of sustainability, to seamlessly weave together the experience of the human built environment and the natural world. Growing up in multicultural, monsoonal Darwin, Dimitri has a deep interest in the challenges of environmentally sustainable architecture in extreme climates, and adapting innovations form global building cultures, especially in Asia.
He graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in 2005, before joining up with Giles Hohnen at earthhouse. In 2008 he became a co-director of EHDO (Earth House Design Office) with Dave Delahunty. In 2016 Dimitri successfully applied for a Nightingale Housing license to produce an ethically focused mixed use development in Fremantle which will be the first Nightingale project in WA (see nightingalehousing.org).
Dimitri is also an accomplished musician, composer and producer of electronic soundscapes. In 2015 he developed the Art at Work concept with Giles Hohnen & Eveline Kotai, which became the EHDO sponsored Quarters exhibition series showcasing Fremantle artists with the aim of highlighting the importance of good art in the workplace.