First Day of Construction: Complete!
Frigid January temperatures in Weybridge, Vermont didn’t stop the Solar Decathlon construction team from meeting their goal to start the building process for InSite this past Friday. Though faced with a number of obstacles, the Middlebury Solar Decathlon team completed a successful first day of construction after over a year of designing and formulating the plans.
“Our goal today is to set up our workspace and build a large 30×10 foot table upon which we can build the thirty-two panels we need to construct the house,” student coordinator of Construction, Kate Eiseman (’15), explained on Friday. “The principal objective of the day is simply to get out to the construction site and start working with the materials,” another student commented.
By setting a specific date for the first day of construction, the Solar Decathlon team set a tangible goal in sight and was consequently motivated to push forward to finalize their design plans and the general logistics of construction including creating accurately and structurally sound drawings, figuring out transportation logistics, obtaining a location to build site and finalizing the procurement of materials.
We spent some more time talking with Kate who gave us the background story on the site in Weybridge that the solar decathlon team is using to build their home. Team Middlebury’s mission statement states “that interdependent and sociable communities are inherently resilient and sustainable.” In keeping with this core belief, Team Midd made it their goal to engage with the local community and use local contractors to build Insite. After interviewing a number of candidates, the team selected local contractor Lance Waterman. Lance, who played a key role in the development and construction of Team Middlebury’s 2011 Solar Decathlon House, Self-Reliance, has offered up his property in Weybridge as the construction site for Team Middlebury’s 2013 entry. Since temperatures in Jan
uary in Vermont are below freezing and often venture into the low teens, Lance offered to clear out the large barn on his property and convert the space into a workshop so that the team can be sheltered from the winter elements while carrying out the plans for the house.
Despite freezing temperatures and a delayed delivery of materials, the first day of construction was ultimately a huge success! Team Middlebury reported that they stayed on site until 6 PM, finished the construction of two tables and had a great time in the process.
Be sure to look out for future developments as Team Middlebury continues to prepare for the 2013 Solar Decathlon Competition! And if you haven’t already don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page to support Team Midd!