Two years of hard work and innovation has paid off big time for Team UOW Australia-Dubai, who finished second in the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 international design and construction competition.
The team comprising more than 40 students from the University of Wollongong and TAFE NSW, designed and built the Desert Rose house that produces more energy than it uses.
The house was designed to support people living with dementia and other age-related conditions.
UOW Australia-Dubai was one of 15 teams from 11 countries competing in the event dubbed the “energy Olympics”.
Teams were required to design and build sustainable homes that compete across 10 contests, from architecture to sustainability, with the added challenge of coming up with a design that is functional and suited to the desert heat.
The Desert Rose house, which takes its name from the flower that flourishes in challenging environments, bloomed in the Dubai heat.
The team did well in all 10 competition categories, particularly in innovation and interior design, finishing first in both.
Project manager and UOW PhD student Clayton McDowell said that while the result was amazing and the team was euphoric, he was proud of the legacy Team UOW and the house will leave.
“The only trophy that matters is the house itself. I’m proud of the house and I’m proud of the team. I don’t need a trophy to tell us that we’ve done a good job. We’ve already toured thousands of public members through and they’ve all been our judge,” he said.
The only trophy that matters is the house itself. I’m proud of the house and I’m proud of the team.Project manager and UOW PhD student Clayton McDowell
“We’ve created innovative solutions that we hope will revolutionise the way we design and build homes that celebrate life, support wellbeing for people as they age, and provide practical solutions for one of society’s great challenges of an ageing population.”
For the record, a team from Virginia Tech took out first place with FutureHAUS Dubai while the University of Bordeaux-led Baity Kool placed third.
More than 600 team members from more than 28 education institutions around the world, representing 54 nationalities, entered the competition, created by the US Department of Energy.
UOW vice-chancellor Paul Wellings and TAFE NSW regional general manager Kerry Penton praised the teachers and students involved in the project.
The team, who spent two weeks building the house at the Mohammed Bin Rashid (MBR) Solar Park in Dubai, will soon start disassembling Desert Rose.
The plan is to find a permanent position at UOW’s Innovation Campus where Desert Rose will be used to further the university’s efforts to support innovation in health and wellbeing.