Yesterday the team hit the ground running. Up at 5:30 a.m., they were ready to go when the gates to The Great Park opened at 7 allowing the Solar Decathletes in to begin installing their solar-powered homes. But, really, their preparations for this moment began in earnest last week here on campus as Professor Hight led the team through a step-by-step rundown of the installation process. Every detail was considered--what would need to be done in what order, what tools would be needed, how those tools would be organized, who was working on each aspect of the installation...and the list went on.
This is where experience really pays off, and SCU's past forays into the competition (3rd Place finishes in both 2007 and 2009—we took 2011 off to concentrate on our School of Engineering Centennial) gave the Radiant House team, led by veteran faculty advisors Tim Hight and Fr. Jim Reites, the kind of insider know-how other teams could only dream of. Plus, this team of undergraduate students has been working on every inch of their house from the very beginning. They are not coming into this cold--this is their project, their home, their honor at stake, and they are off to a great start.
Fr. Reites reports: "We have been the envy of Decathlete Way! First day, we had the modules together by 4 p.m. We have almost totally offloaded the deck trailer and the deck will begin to go in today. The inter-module data connections are done; the hydronic connections, done; the domestic water, done; the appliances' installation, done! It was a good 'done' day!"