1st June 2013

Aussie Icon Reborn: The Illawarra Flame House

CSR is proudly supporting Team UOW who are taking on the Solar Decathlon China 2013 with their project ‘Illawarra Flame House’. The Solar Decathalon will take place 6-15 August 2013 in Datong, China where the team of 40 University of Wollongong students will be the first and only Australian team to have made the finals. Screen shot 2013-05-30 at 1.59.09 PM The Illawarra Flame will be judged on a range of criteria – including design, architecture, market appeal, engineering, communications, solar application, thermal comfort, hot water, appliances, home entertainment and overall energy balance. Together Team UOW have taken an “Aussie icon” – a typical 1950’s style house – and redesigned it as an energy-neutral house based on the original concept. The retrofit is designed to virtually eliminate power bills for thousands of older homes, which currently account for approximately 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas caused by heating and cooling according to the UOW team. ''Part of our design has been to keep the architecture quite simple; it's not a spaceship that is leagues away from what people can afford or want. It's a novel idea but it shouldn't be. I'd love to see these houses out there in 10 years, getting retrofitted all over the place," explained project manager Lloyd Niccol. Over the past 18 months, the team from University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra brought their dreams to life with this eco-friendly home that produces as much energy as it uses with the redesign showcasing a range of sustainability and energy-saving advantages to be found with retrofitting solar-power sources, natural ventilation and energy-efficient insulation and glass. Screen shot 2013-05-30 at 3.58.26 PM “The building is airtight and crushed roof tiles and glass bottles create a thermal wall. Windows have been enlarged to improve natural light and reduce energy consumption. Retrofitting, rather than demolishing and rebuilding, is the best way to create a quick, positive environmental impact.” Team UOW had to wave good bye (just for a little while) to their brain-child which shipped out on 22 May. Having built the home from the ground up, then having to dismantle it only to reassemble it (to make sure their plans and measurements added up correctly), they then had to dismantle is again so it could be packed into shipping containers. “We had to use our years of Tetris experience to fit it into a few measly containers. Such joy was experienced when we finally locked up that last no-longer-hollow hunk of steel. Our baby, the Illawarra Flame House, is sailing the high seas to China. And like a mother saying goodbye to a child finally come of age, there's some mixed emotions among Team UOW.”  Team UOW Illawarra Flame House Complete - 13 The Solar Decathlon is a great way for university students to share their knowledge, passion and innovative ideas on a global scale to promote positive change. If you would like to join us in supporting Team UOW, you can visit their website to find out more, visit the Team's Facebook page, or make a donation to help the whole team travel to China to compete by clicking here. “Without our amazing sponsors and supporters this would have all been a pipe dream! This mammoth project has seen a huge array of industries come together behind a vision of renewal and sustainability." If you are looking for more inspiration for your own home, you may also be interested in the CSR House project, or visit www.viridianglass.com.au for more inspiration on how you can reach your own energy efficiency goals with the correct glass solution.