Wow! Where did summer go? I’ve had so much fun and worked so much this summer that I can’t believe classes start in one week! My summer has been spent working with the Purdue Solar Decathlon team. What is the solar decathlon you ask? It’s an international competition between universities to build a solar powered home that is “net zero”. Net zero means that over a course of a year your home will average zero utility bills. The Department of Energy hosts the Solar Decathlon every two years. The competition is held on the national mall in Washington, D.C. and will take place in mid-September this year. Team Purdue has spent all summer building the house and just this past week we practiced taking it apart. Next week we will reassemble the house and time how long it takes because we only have seven days to put it back together in D.C..
I first got involved with the team this past spring when one of my professors came to me and asked if I would like to be on the construction crew. I knew right away that this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Not only was it a chance for me to do something with the College of Technology but it also gave me the chance to learn about every aspect of the building process. This summer I took the classroom to the field and applied what I learned from my professors. In classes we only learn a part of the process like estimating, scheduling, site safety, construction costs, and etc. This summer I was able to put all those pieces together and build our solar powered house.
I’ve had so much fun being a part of the team this summer and can’t wait to ship our house to D.C. in September for the competition. If you’d like to learn more about our house click here. If you’d like to learn more about the Solar Decathlon click here. We’ve also got a live construction camera that takes a picture about every 10 minutes that you can access by clicking here.