Ga. Tech Solar Decathlon House Leaves for D.C.

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Georgia Tech's Solar Decathlon Team is celebrating another milestone as their solar powered house heads to D.C. Students, faculty and staff from every college on campus have been working on the house for more than a year and the competition is finally around the corner.

"Right now, I think we're all feeling a little bit of stress and a little panic, but mostly we're really excited about getting to D.C.," said Amelia Mendez, a senior in the College of Architecture. "I can't wait to see all of the components of the house assembled and working together."

The Solar Decathlon is a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and it has 20 universities from around the world competing to build the most energy efficient house. This is the third Solar Decathlon and the first time Georgia Tech has entered the competition. As the team sets their eyes on the nation's capital, the students aren't the only ones excited about getting to the National Mall.

"It has been a long process, but I'm just incredibly happy and proud of the way this project has come together and the incredible effort that students have put into it," said project manager and College of Architecture professor Franca Trubiano. "The sponsors have also been tremendous and we're still receiving materials from them. Many of the sponsors have even offered their support in D.C. if we need it. Without their support, this project would not have been possible."
"The key to this project has been the students," said Ruchi Choudhary, Solar Decathlon project manager and College of Architecture professor. "The students are so dedicated. They have worked around the clock and without much sleep. They truly have been remarkable."

The plan is for the house to arrive on the Mall in D.C. on Wednesday, October 3, and that is when students will begin the final construction phase. According to Mendez, the focus of the team will be shifting when they get to the Mall.

"Right now, we've been working on putting the big pieces put together, but when we get to Washington, we'll be focusing on the detail work," said Mendez.

Many of the participants say this has been the experience of a lifetime and they can't wait to see what other teams have done with their houses.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what other schools have done," said Jonathon Schwartz, a senior in the College of Architecture. "I've seen so much of what we've done and I've been very impressed with my teammates work. I can't wait to see all the houses set up on the Mall and becoming a solar neighborhood."

"I'm really excited to see the other teams," said Mendez. "I know they put just as much time into this project and I want to see what comes out of the minds of other schools."

The Solar Decathlon opening ceremonies are October 12 and the competition will end with the closing ceremonies on October 19. The houses on the Mall will be open for public tours October 12-20.



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