Hi, my name is Sam Robertson and I am working in the Design and Construction team of the Desert Rose. I jumped on board the Solar Decathlon project when I heard about it in late 2016, as I loved the idea of being able to work in a multidisciplinary team who are bringing innovative ideas to life. Since then I have seen the many facets of the house evolve through countless discussions from early concepts through to construction.
My role in the team has mainly been focusing on aspects relating to the structural design of the house and its constructability, which goes hand in hand with the Civil Engineering degree I am currently studying. For example, I have worked on determining the design wind loadings on the house, which has influenced certain aspects of the structural design. Tasks such as these have not only allowed me to build upon what I have learned in my course, but to see tangible results with construction having recently commenced.
An interesting software I have gained exposure to through this project is ENDUROCADD, a BlueScope Steel package that we are using to model and manufacture the light gauge steel framing of the house. To help us better learn the software we attended a site visit with David Humphrey, one of the software’s pioneers. Not only was this visit valuable for learning the intricacies of the software, but to realise its current use in the housing industry as well.
While the construction of the Desert Rose is now underway, the challenges that come with this project are far from over. I am greatly excited to see how this hard-working team moves forward in the coming months, to get this house over the ocean to Dubai.