Households contribute significantly to global energy and carbon emissions, with these figures varying from nation to nation. The UN estimates that 29% of total global energy can be attributed to households, contributing to 21% of total CO2 emissions (United Nations 2019a). There are many initiatives that seek to address this including the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. In this competition collegiate teams of students from various universities are tasked with the design, construction and operation of state-of-the-art net-zero energy homes. The Solar Decathlon seeks to drive innovation in all elements of the residential building industry from high performance building design, energy production and management, to water efficiency, construction methods and more recently the management of electric vehicles.
The Desert Rose house is a state-of-the art, net-zero energy ecofriendly house designed, built and operated by students from the University of Wollongong and TAFE NSW as part of the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 competition. This house not only seeks to drive innovation in the sustainable construction field but also demonstrate smart solutions in dementia friendly design.
This paper explores the Desert Rose house as a case study of state-of-the-art sustainable ageing in place design. It details the technical advancements in energy management, and water efficiency. Specifically, it details the use of: model predictive control to maximise energy performance in production, storage, consumption and load offsetting; energy efficient electronic thermostatic water fixtures; and the use of a phase chase thermal energy storage system for load offsetting of cooling needs.