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Quick Facts

  • The second skin wall is made up of 25 light-weight concrete panels.
  • Team UOW students made 80 wheelbarrow trips full of concrete whilst constructing the second skin wall.
  • Across the Desert Rose’s second skin wall 705kg of industrial glass powder waste was used which is the same amount of glass as 3710 glass Coke bottles.
  • The student developed concrete is half the weight of standard concrete.
  • In total the second skin wall used 40% less concrete than the average foamed concrete.
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Team UOW Second Skin Wall Illustration
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The Desert Rose’s second skin wall was design and built by Team UOW students. The concrete wall is our second skin wall, it acts as a shading element to the regular cladding of the walls and absorbs the solar heat rather than the walls of the house. The wall has a series of holes in it and is open to the air both top and bottom to allow air to freely move around the wall and cool the concrete at night.

The second skin wall is made out of an innovative lightweight foamed concrete that uses recycled glass powder as a cement replacement – a mixture developed by Team UOW students. Across the Desert Rose’s second skin wall 705kg of industrial glass powder waste was used which is the same amount of glass as 3710 glass Coke bottles. This method also saves 350kgs of cement mixture whilst using an industrial by-product that would go into waste.

To account for the loss of strength in the concrete due to this lightweight mixture the wall utilises Denso’s carbon fibre grid reinforcement material. The grid reinforcement is an innovative engineering material as it provides a means of stress transfer during concrete shrinkage, it greatly enhances the ductility of the thin concrete elements making it especially suitable for the Desert Rose’s main architectural feature. This carbon fibre grid is extremely lightweight and corrosion resistant which is crucial to allow for the thin concrete wall without the grid rusting and damaging the concretes stability.

Approximately 292kg of CO2 was saved through the recycled glass in our second skin wall, this is a 10% CO2 reduction when compared to conventional foamed concrete. In addition to this by using carbon fibre we are able to reduce the thickness of the wall by 33% which in turn reduces the walls carbon footprint. Combining these together resulted in total of 40% reduction in cement vs a conventional foamed concrete wall.