Team UOW's Illawarra Flame House has taken first place at the 2013 Solar Decathlon in Datong, China.
The net-zero energy house, designed by students from the University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra, beat 19 other entries from around the world.
The solar-powered houses were judged over 10 days on criteria such as engineering, architecture, energy balance, house temperature, communications and market appeal.
Team UOW finished with a final score of 957.6 of a possible 1000 points, beating the second-placed team by just six points.
They placed first in the engineering, solar and architecture categories and second in communications and market appeal.
Media officer Jack Breen said all 51 Team UOW members jumped up out of their seats when the win was announced in China yesterday.
"It was a fantastic feeling winning, because it's like validation for all the time and hard work the students have put in over the past two years," he said.
Team UOW was the first from Australia to take part in the competition, which has been running since 2002.
Mr Breen said the team was not expecting to win at the outset of the competition, but credited the concept of revamping a typical 1960s fibro house for setting the Wollongong cohort apart from other high-performing teams from Sweden, China and Iran.