• We hold Open House Tours of several finished houses in the Adelaide area to invited guests interested in learning more first-hand before they engage us as their designers.

  • The owners of the houses are happy to open their homes to us and answer questions about their experiences.

  • We limit to tours to a maximum of five couples to respect owner privacy and kindness.

Our Approach to Australian earth sheltered house design

The Team - ShelterSpace - Australian earth sheltered house design

  • We  believe in an individual experience - each design tailored to meet the needs of the client, their site, budget and climate.

  • ​Each new project incorporates lessons learnt over many years - we've done the research.

  •  ​​We have been designing Earth Sheltered Houses for over 35 years - all over the country.

  • ​Each project is tailored to it's climatic region and the Australian Building Codes.

  • Our houses meet the highest levels of bushfire resistance and thermal stability​.

  • We personally visit each client's site and develop the design with them.

  • Our homes are built by local builders or owner-builders - they use standard building practices.

  • We take the project from initial concept design to council planning and building approvals.

  • Our drawings sets are comprehensive, covering all aspects of the build.

  • We give back-up advice and support to builders & owner-builders if required​. 

  • ​We give advice on pre-purchase site selection. 

Experience & Services​

Open House Tours - Australian earth sheltered homes - Adelaide Hills 

Paul Mitchell

Paul's interest in earth sheltered homes goes back to the 1970s. He was awarded a cadetship in Architectural Draughting with the Commonwealth Dept of Housing and Construction in Canberra in 1966 and graduated from the Canberra Technical College in 1970.

He served his national service with the Royal Australian Engineers and was posted as an architectural draughtsman to Duntroon Royal Military College ACT. 

Paul's obtained a building licence in 1978 and started a design & construction business to build earth sheltered houses for his clients in South Australia.

In the late 1990s he stopped building to concentrate on designing this form of home for clients.

In 2003 he launched ShelterSpace web-site and since then the business has grown to cover the whole of Australia.

In 2016 the two Dales joined him and will continue Paul's extensive work in this field when he retires...in a year of two....!​

Dale A Wright    M.Arch

In his youth Dale was ‘on the tools’ in the building industry working across a wide range of trade skills, gaining practical firsthand experience in all aspects of residential building and construction methods. He completed a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of South Australia in 2010, while at the same time running his own design practice, providing design and drafting services for private clients, and building companies.

His interest in pursuing greater knowledge in sustainable and site responsive building practices led him to meeting Paul Mitchell, with Paul acting as an experienced consultant for a project in a remote and environmentally sensitive area. Their collaboration and working partnership gradually formed from there.

Dale has had a lifelong passion for Drawing, creative practice and philosophical introspection and for over thirty years has practiced the art of meditative contemplation and yoga. In addition to his dedication to design practice, Dale is also a devoted parent of two young kids with his lovely (Artist) wife Billie. He still loves to spend time on building sites when the opportunity arises and he very occasionally finds time for a bit of solitude in a small mud cottage on Kangaroo Island which he built by hand.  

Dale Lloyd

Dale met Paul serendipitously on an earth sheltered home building site and has been enjoying working with him ever since.

Dale is a practicing building designer / draftsperson with over 10 years experience.

After graduating from the Gordon Institute of TAFE in Victoria he worked for 5 years with a prominent Surfcoast building company establishing a strong foundation in bespoke design, construction, practicality and sustainable building practices.

His next role was within a local architectural office furthering his skills in project management & sustainable design through a wide range of unique residential & commercial projects.

Dale has also been self-employed, completing private work for builders and architects in both Victoria and South Australia, and has experience working on site with earth sheltered homes, straw-bale builds and traditional residential housing.

He is currently enjoying working and living in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.​​