Team UOW have done it again.

Desert Rose House won the National Australian Institute of Building Professional Excellence Awards for Residential Construction under $1 million.

But it wasn’t just the house acknowledged on the night, with Team Leader Clayton McDowell also winning the prestigious Building Professional of the Year award.

“This was a great shock to myself and the team,” he said.

“I was about to head to the bathroom when they called my name. I just didn’t expect to win.

“I spoke at length with some of the jury members, with one mentioning that he must have read our application at least 50 times because it was such a unique and wonderful project.”

Team UOW Desert Rose won two awards at the National Australian Institute of Building Professional Excellence Awards.

Desert Rose House is purpose built home that provides sustainable living for an ageing population. The house incorporates sustainable and architectural elements that will adapt to people as they age. In particular the layout supports those living with dementia to have more independence.

Team UOW are no strangers to accolades with the house winning second place at the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018.

Interior of award winning Desert Rose House

A human-centred design approach combined sustainable eco-friendly solutions with ageing-in-home and livability principles, ensuring Desert Rose is a “House for Life”:

  • The layout encourages visibility throughout the house assisting occupants with cognitive impairment to navigate their home, promoting independent living.
  • People living with dementia are up to eight times more likely to use the toilet if they can see it from their bed, therefore layout was critical to ensure lines of sight facilitated decision making.
  • To accommodate a person living with reduced mobility, all the doorways, hallways, and rooms are sized to accommodate the use of a wheelchair or walking frame.
  • The structural wall frames have been designed with additional framework placed at a height where handrails can be fixed when needed. This means occupants moving in to the home at retirement age can add handrails if or when needed later in life at minimal expense

Mr McDowell said it was a mammoth team effort to participate in the Solar Decathlon, with over 200 student volunteers from across the university and TAFE NSW participating in the design and construction.

“As always thank you to everyone for all the support you have given and continue to give for the Desert Rose,” he said.