Australian and Emirati students are building a sustainable and dementia-friendly home that adapts to occupants’ needs as they age.
Taking its name from a flower that flourishes in challenging environments, the Desert Rose house will be built with smart technology and design principles that cater to Australia’s ageing population, including people living with dementia.
The team behind the project, comprising students and staff from the University of Wollongong Australia-Dubai and TAFE NSW, based the building plans on UOW Professor Richard Fleming’s work with the elderly, as well as innovations developed at the university’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre.
Students have also been working closely with local aged care providers and Dementia Training Australia to help ensure designs meet the changing needs of occupants.
They have given thought to occupants’ sensory needs and worked on floor plans that support easy navigating, and will incorporate Internet of Things technologies to support active living.
Project manager Clayton McDowell said the home will reduce the stress placed on health services by including state-of-the-art design that supports independent living for occupants with age-related disabilities and diseases.
“The design aims to change the way the world views homes for the elderly with a house that is architecturally inspiring, celebrates life and demonstrates a house that is adaptable to an ageing person’s needs,” McDowell said.
Construction on the two-year project commenced today at the TAFE NSW Illawarra campus.
In November next year, the house will be disassembled and shipped to Dubai, put back together and entered in the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018, an international competition challenging teams to design, construct and operate a solar-powered house. After the competition, the house will be shipped back to Australia, rebuilt and put on display at UOW’s Innovation Campus.
UOW vice-chancellor Professor Paul Wellings said many of the students involved have been volunteering their time to work on the project in addition to their studies and other commitments.
“Their dedication is admirable, and in years to come they will be able to reflect on making a positive contribution to a major and growing social challenge.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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