Students from Australia’s University of Wollongong (UOW) in collaboration with TAFE Illawarra Institute took top honors in the first Solar Decathlon China with their Illawarra Flame house on August 11.The international design competition, held in Datong China, promotes solar power and energy efficient design by challenging students to design and build an energy-efficient solar-energy house.

The winning design’s unique concept was to retrofit a standard 1950’s cottage to create a modern, naturally ventilated, well-insulated solar energy home. The house has an exhaustive list of energy-efficient, sustainable features combined with a highly functional and familiar design. The student team created the home over a two-year period and then sent it to China in 29 pieces where they reassembled it for judging and public tours.

Kepner-Tregoe is among the UOW supporters, providing Project Management and Problem Solving and Decision Making training and support. In addition to winning top honors the Illawarra Flame team won first place in Engineering, Architecture, and Solar Application and second place in Communications and Market Appeal. The house was also honored for its energy balance, hot water application, and appliances.