Fred was born in the Midwest and moved to California in the 1970s. He has been involved with building construction and design work for most of his life. He has been greatly influenced by the example of his builder grandfather George W. Stoenner, who showed him how to use a crowbar to pull nails from recycled 2×4’s at the tender age of five. Early experiences as his grandpa’s “gopher” taught him the importance of preserving natural resources, reusing and recycling building materials, and respecting the natural world.
As a young man, Fred worked in a variety of construction trades, including carpentry, concrete work, and cabinet-making, before obtaining his Contractor’s License and starting his own construction firm in 1981. Eventually, he decided to focus more on the design aspect of the business and received his architectural training at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, CA. His design professors stressed the importance of energy-efficiency and encouraged the use of natural materials such as straw bales for walls and recycled lumber for framing and cabinet work.
Architectural intern experience included the design of several schools and public buildings as an employee of BFGC, Inc. in San Luis Obispo. Additional work as an associate of renowned solar architect David Wright helped Fred expand his design tool kit and further reinforced the importance of solar design principles and the concept of “designing with nature.”
Since obtaining his Architect’s license in 1991, Fred has focused exclusively on the design of sustainable buildings and habitats. In addition to straw bale walls, his designs incorporate insulated concrete forms, structural insulated panels, photovoltaic power systems, reclaimed/recycled lumber, and other green building techniques.