More than a thousand people visited what is believed to be Australia’s first dementia-friendly, net-zero energy house over the weekend.
‘Desert Rose’ is a dementia-friendly, solar-powered home, created and built by Team UOW; students from the University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra.
The two-bedroom house, which is nearing completion, is their entry into the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 competition later this year.
The ‘Desert Rose Reveal – A Festival Celebrating Sustainability’ took place on Saturday at the Innovation Campus, where the public could be among the first visitors to the ‘Desert Rose’.
Clayton McDowell, project manager/student leader of Team UOW said more than a thousand people inspected the home over the weekend.
“Some of the people that have come have been through the Illawarra Flame House, and the houses that we designed are only 90sqm,” he said.
“So they’re not the biggest home, but a lot of people come in and say, ‘wow, this is a lot bigger than I thought it would be’.”
This celebration also featured food stalls, sustainability talks and kids’ activities.
The public were also able to tour the home on Sunday.
The official unveiling (by invite only) is on July 26.
In late August, it will be shipped to Dubai for the finals of the world energy competition later this year.
More than 200 volunteers have been designing, planning and building the house since 2016.
Mr McDowell said the house includes cutting-edge design features with an age-friendly twist, such as digital tapware, and smart technology that operates a predictive control system for the air-conditioning, windows, battery charging and other functions throughout the house.