Client: Cubbies

CTP Scope:

Pro Bono work including design and coordination of the integration of solar panels into an innovative playground


Design and support: May 2016 to June 2017

Project Goal:

Participate to the innovative project, creating an amazing local playground for disadvantaged children in Fitzroy

Project Challenges:
  • Resolving numerous design/installation obstacles associated with mounting the modules PV modules high above a custom playground and returning the power to the on-site hut

  • Obtaining council approvals, network approval and electrical safety sign-offs for a highly non-conventional PV installation

Project Context Results:

Fitzroy Adventure Playground, locally called Cubbies, was the first adventure playground built in Australia, and has catered to the needs of Melbourne inner city kids since 1974. The playground is operated by Save the Children Australia with part funding from the Yarra City Council and contributions from local businesses and community organisations. Many of the children who use the playground come from newly arrived communities living around. The Adventure Playground provides a safe space for children who do not have access to a large back yard to play freely and creatively, to pursue personal development and growth, and test their own resilience.

The playground has now a new playscape installation called Coal Flowers, which houses 25 solar panels, generating and harnessing renewable electricity for the on-site hut building.

The Coal Flowers are five poles on top of which are pods made of steel and recycled rubber, sourced from coal mine conveyor belts. A total of 25 Suntech photo-voltaic panels each with an Enphase microinverter have been installed on the top of the Coal Flowers, one for each petal. The panels will not only provide electricity for Cubbies’ use and feed into the power grid, but the petals are also designed to provide shade for children using the playground.

Enjoy Kids!