Construction has started on a student-designed sustainable house which will create a supportive, welcoming environment for people living with dementia and other age-related disabilities.
Team UOW Australia-Dubai will also enter the Desert Rose house into the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018, an international design and construction competition that focuses on sustainability.
The team includes UOW students in the Wollongong and Dubai campuses as well as TAFE NSW students.
On Monday the two-year project to build a sustainable and dementia-friendly house at the TAFE NSW Illawarra campus, officially started.
It’ll reduce the stress placed on health services by including state-of-the-art design that supports independent living for occupants living with age-related disabilities and diseases including dementia.Clayton McDowell
The house’s building plans are underpinned by a set of design principles developed by UOW’s Professor Richard Fleming, based on his work with the elderly for more than 30 years, as well as innovations developed at UOW’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC).
Project manager Clayton McDowell said the Desert Rose will celebrate life by helping the elderly to live a life of enjoyment in the comfort of their own home for as long as they choose.
‘’The design aims to change the way the world views homes for the elderly with a house that is architecturally inspiring, celebrates life and demonstrates a house that is adaptable to an ageing person’s needs,’’ he said.
‘’It’ll reduce the stress placed on health services by including state-of-the-art design that supports independent living for occupants living with age-related disabilities and diseases including dementia.’’
Innovative heating, ventilation and an air-conditioning system that uses solar cooling technology and takes advantage of passive design will enable the home to be comfortable and sustainable, even in the heat of the Middle East.
Following the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 competition the house will be shipped back to Australia, rebuilt, and put on display at UOW’s Innovation Campus.
Team UOW hope to make it two in a row after winning the Solar Decathlon China 2013 with the multi-award-winning Illawarra Flame House.
TAFE NSW Solar Decathlon project manager Tony Schaefer said the project was a priceless opportunity for students and marked the only entry in the history of Solar Decathlon where a university and vocational college teamed up.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of the 200-plus students and staff involved in the project.
The total cost of the Desert Rose project (both in cash and in-kind) is expected to be about $2.5 million, of which $500,000 is being sought from government.