Sustainability Street

Desert Rose: A House for Life


Our Mission

Through practical collaboration between students and industry, Team UOW in the Solar Decathlon 2018 endeavour to change the way the world views sustainable housing by building a home that is architecturally inspiring, affordable and adaptive to a person’s needs as they continue to age, creating “A House For Life”.

We Are Team UOW

After being declared winners in the Solar Decathlon China 2013, Team UOW is excited to once again engage in a sustainable design that celebrates human life in all its diversity. The Solar Decathlon is an international competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, construct and operate solar powered houses that are sustainable, stylish and cost effective. Due to many parts of the world experiencing an increase in life expectancy and a decreased fertility rate there is a heightened emphasis on the ageing population and their changing needs, which Team UOW aim to address with our house, the Desert Rose.

A House For Life

The Desert Rose will promote well-being and adapt to the occupants’ needs as they age.
The home will cater for those with the most active lifestyle to those with age-related disabilities.
It 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.

Visit the Desert Rose Website

Illawarra Flame

 Illawarra Flame House

Image Credit: Dee Kramer

The Aim

Team UOW Australia took up the challenge of choosing to demonstrate how to retrofit a 'fibro' home, to transform it into a sustainable 21st century net-zero energy home. The aim was to upgrade an existing building to inspire Australian homeowners and the local and national building industry, and to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced building energy technology in new and existing homes.
Through the application of innovative technology and clever design, the Illawarra Flame showcases a radical, yet affordable and achievable blueprint – a benchmark for retrofitting a typical Australian ‘fibro’ house. Our philosophy was to transform existing houses into stylish, affordable and sustainable homes for the future.

The fibro home is a distinctive expression of Australian domestic architecture. These houses were built in great numbers during the post-war period to a standard design, using a minimum of materials. They are ubiquitous to the suburban streets of Australia's capitals and regional centres.

We believe that this retrofitting approach has the greatest practical potential to achieve significant economic and environmental gains across the Australian domestic built environment. When compared to a new-build project, the Illawarra Flame presents a challenge that is intensified by the physical form of the existing building and by the social and cultural values, and expectations, that come with the history and context of the existing building.

Team UOW - The Illawarra Flame - Walkthrough from Relativity on Vimeo.

Visit the Illawarra Flame Website

Last reviewed: 9 October, 2017