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Radiant House is Ready for its Close-up!

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013

Today is Media Day at the Solar Decathlon and the 20 teams vying for contention will face a barrage of reporters and cameras as they present their finished homes for the first time. Well...mostly finished.

Teams were to have completed all construction and site clean-up by noon yesterday. Reportedly, 6-8 of the teams had made the deadline while our Broncos were about 10 minutes behind (blame it on those pesky decking ramps and a proprietary "arc-fault" breaker that couldn't be tested using the contest officials' equipment). While this might cost us a few penalty points, at last report it appeared that construction on several homes was well behind schedule which could mean elimination from the competition. Let's hope that doesn't happen as it would be a very sad turn of events for those Decathletes after two years of hard work.

Our Broncos were on a full-out sprint to the finish line—working from early Monday morning until 2 a.m. Tuesday and then back onsite five hours later to get all their tasks done. Last-minute work included finalizing planter boxes, installing signage, arranging furniture, and (need we mention) completing the deck ramps.

The result: an absolutely radiant entry from Santa Clara University. SCU's Radiant House looks gorgeous and with its beautiful "Tahoe blue" exterior, it stands out among all the other entries (see if you don't agree—check out the photos on the Solar Decathlon website and notice how often you can spot us in the background).

A big shout-out to Steve Ashford and Bill Cline—volunteer deck designer/builders and construction mentors. "Without their help and guidance," said Dr. Hight, "we simply would not have made it. They really enjoy working with the students and seeing them become good problem solvers and engineers who appreciate the practicalities of getting a design to work well in the field." And isn't that what this experience is all about?

Props to the entire construction crew. Gotta love their drive, determination, and commitment. Next, it is on to the contest phase!

Tags: Santa Clara Engineering, Santa Clara University Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon News, U.S. Department of Energy

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