TAFE NSW and University of Wollongong

Solar Decathlon

TAFE NSW teamed up with the University of Wollongong under the auspices of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre to form ‘Team UOW’ in the Solar Decathlon China 2013.

Hosted by the United States Department of Energy, the Chinese National Energy Administration, and Peking University, Solar Decathlon China 2013 challenged 24 teams from 14 countries to design, build, and operate a solar-powered home that is energy efficient, cost effective to build, and appealing.

'Team UOW' were the first team from Australia to gain entry into a Solar Decathlon, and took a unique approach to the competition by being the first team in the history of the competition to demonstrate how to retrofit an existing home.

Based on a typical Aussie fibro home, the design of the Illawarra Flame makes the most of Australia’s natural environment by emphasising water efficiency, solar energy harvesting, passive design and advanced ventilation systems.

In August 2013 Team UOW was awarded first place overall in the Solar Decathlon China 2013 competition, ahead of 19 other teams from around the globe. They scored 957.6 of a possible 1000 points, achieving the highest ever overall score in any Solar Decathlon competition.

The Solar Decathlon is made up of 10 sub-competitions ranging from achievement of a net-zero energy balance to effective communications and home entertainment. Half of the contests are measured, such as fridge and house temperature, with the remaining contests being judged by panels of experts.

Image: The award-winning 'Illawarra Flame' house, designed and built by the joint TAFE NSW and University of Wollongong team.

The Transformational Technical Training Building (TTT) at TAFE NSW Yallah

TTT Building at Yallah Campus

The Transformational Technical Training Building (TTT) at TAFE NSW Yallah was built as part of a joint Commonwealth funding project between TAFE NSW and the University of Wollongong (UOW) known as the Retrofitting for Resilient Sustainable Buildings Project.

Built with sustainability at the core of all its functionality, the TTT facility at TAFE NSW Yallah aims to be one of the first projects in Australia to be certified under the Living Building Challenge (LBC) with net zero energy and water targets. The building will be used by TAFE NSW, surrounding communities and business partners for educational, training and demonstration purposes.

  • Creation of design and simulation capabilities using state-of-the-art theory and software tools for teaching, enabling students to experience, test and evaluate novel sustainable construction and retrofit technologies
  • Combining education and research expertise at UOW and training at TAFE NSW
  • Combining education and research expertise at UOW and technical training programs at TAFE NSW while integrating local and national building industry to deliver true outcomes within the community
  • Providing world-class teaching, research and demonstration facilities that will be open to the public and available to collaborative researchers
  • Improvement of UOW’s and TAFE NSW’s environmental performance through distributed and sustainable retrofitting
  • Work in conjunction with the Sustainable Building Research Centre (SBRC) and its industry partners
  • Deliver skills training in sustainability
  • Focus on the application and installation of leading edge sustainable technologies to new and existing buildings
  • Achieve certification under the Living Building Challenge (net zero energy and water)
  • Achieve five green stars (and target six green stars) from the Green Building Council of Australia Green Star scheme