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    Rockhampton timber house designed by university students withstands Cyclone Marcia

    Geraldine Chua

    An award-winning temporary house for disaster victims, designed by three Innovative Central Queensland University students, has withstood Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

    Taking home the top prize at the 2014 The Big Idea competition, Angus Hughes, Jessica Kahl and Mattison Rose designed The Shelter Project, a social enterprise that uses industrial pallets to create homes that can be erected in a disaster zone area in minimal time.

    These homes would be constructed with the assistance of less fortunate people, with the enterprise providing training, confidence and skills to assist in their transition to further employment.

    Angus Hughes, one of the designers and a CQUniversity Civil Engineering student, has been living in one of these homes for the past 12 months. Located in the outskirts of Rockhampton, the multi-level timber Pallet House is made almost entirely from cast-off timber, and has survived three cyclones, including the recent one in Queensland.

    Source: Morning Bulletin

    The size of the pallets dictated the size of the house which is three pallets high, three pallets wide and five pallets long,” Hughes told CQUniversity's Be magazine.

    “The exterior and interior walls are made from pallets, while the floor has been created from packing timber which was donated by a local glazing business.”

    Completed with discarded roofing iron and iron pipe stumps, the house has no running water, but is connected to the property’s electricity supply.

    Photography by Peter Lawrence

    “I saw a documentary about the use of pallets for housing refugees in Haiti and that gave me the idea. I got advice from engineers and used the CAD design software at Uni,” Hughes said.

    “We started in June 2013 and have worked on the house on and off since then. We left the pallets on display on the exterior on purpose rather than doing exterior cladding.”

    The Big Idea is a national competition for university students run by The Big Issue, Australia’s largest standing social enterprise. 

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