Summer construction is advancing as Team New York feels the heat- that of the high temperatures and of the Fall deadline to complete construction of a solar powered home! Every morning at 8 am, the dedicated student workers begin their shift. A quick change into hardhats and steel toed boots, the students begin the tasks necessary for each day. The construction site is located on Marshak Terrace at The City College of New York on the upper West side of Manhattan.
Construction began with the structure- the placement of shims, adjustable jacks, and the steel beams. These elements are necessary to support the house. Next, a ‘steel cage’ is placed, allowing the house to be easily transported for when it is partially disassembled and brought over to Washington D.C. The steel members of this cage were welded and bolted. Next, necessary layers of the home were added, such as insulation of the floor and roof. Currently, the students are building upon these ‘layers’ adding radiant floor heating, working on the parapet, and other structural essentials for the pod. Students are involved with many different construction phases of the home. One interesting aspect is that of working on the roof of the roof pod. Students must gear up with a safety harness to work at such heights above ground. Both on the roof, and on the ground of the construction site, students are commonly seen with saws, drills, nails, hammers, and other such tools in their hand.
What the students truly acquire from the experience is teamwork, and the coordination that must be strictly carried out. One mistake could ruin the accuracy of other layers of construction that proceed. Says team member Joileen Richards, 22, of the process, “Construction is hard work, really hard work, but worth it when you know it will result in an actual finished house. When someone asks what I’m doing for the summer, I get to say I’m helping to build a house. How many people can truly say that?”