Wow, what a hectic few weeks we have had. Not only have we had to actually build the Illawarra Flame house at the innovation campus (second time now), but we had to have it all finished and polished for a media launch. Luckily we have an amazingly dedicated team who pulled out all the stops to get it finished on time. An amazing effort from everyone involved!
We had both national and international media coverage including The Illawarra Mercury, WIN TV, ABC Radio, ABC Online and China Peoples Daily. What a list eh! Everyone was super excited to see the house in person. The event included local and state politicians and even a special appearance from Prime Minister Julia Gillard. While it wasn’t quite in person, it was still pretty exciting.
Almost immediately after the media launch, we were forced to change gears and rev up for the sponsors evening. Out went the seating, and in went tables, a temporary bar, and kitchen.
The sponsors evening itself gave the team a well deserved opportunity to relax, and with the beers and food flowing, we could really enjoy the Wollongong Conservatorium Jazz Band and a special performance from none other than Team UOW’s spiritual leader, Professor Paul Cooper…
Once again, the sponsors were incredibly impressed with the progress that had been made – and in many cases how their technologies had been integrated into a cohesive energy efficient retro-fit!
The rest of the week saw us become tour guides as we proudly displayed the house to the public. It was fantastic to be able to show family, friends and locals the house’s innovative features. People were fascinated by our beautiful, well designed house that would significantly lower those pesky electricity bills. Seriously, I’d have some serious dosh if I was given a dollar every time someone said, “What are you doing with the house at the end of the competition..? I guess I could take it off your hands!” ha. Oh Wollongong-ians, you’re all such comedians.
The Flame Festival was truly the centrepiece of our open week. The Saturday family day had food stalls, workshops and even a petting zoo. A massive 1500 visitors took a tour the house and were exposed to the amazing technology, design and manpower that has seen the Team UOW’s entrant in the solar decathlon go from a vague idea to a tangible, incredibly exciting, energy efficient house.
As the sun set bands began to hit the stages, and we partied to the sounds of Tommy M and the Master Sounds, and Round the Corner.
It’s been a huge few weeks – thanks so much to everyone that has made it such a success. All in all we had more than 1500 visitors through the house and raised over $7000! An amazing result.