This morning, the first 12 students to arrive from the team were all females! This was a point of amusement for the day. The Team New York women huddled inside the pod, seeking refuge from the cold, and shared a team breakfast.
Today we concentrated on the landscaping and engineering systems of the pod. The landscape modules, as well as wood and steel decking were unloaded from the truck and placed into the steel dunnage system, to form the rooftop garden of our site. The irrigation tubing was also placed into the planter bins. Speaking of planter bins, we have been watering our plants over the past few days to prevent them from getting fried out in the hot sun!
Our engineering teams arrived today to transport equipment into and outside of the house. Wiring and plumbing work is under way, and our professionals are on hand for advisement.
Team New York has passed inspections from team organizers as well. Additionally, both CUNYTV and a professional architectural photographer from CCNY, Albert Vecerka, are on hand documenting our entire process.
Team New York feels vibrant because we have many things going for us! First of all, we are a public university- we are a part of the City University of New York and become in a position to promote sustainability awareness to thousands of students! Secondly, we are THE youngest team. We are the only completely Undergraduate team, while the other teams are full of Graduate students. Thirdly, we can claim we are the most student engaged project. Students built the cabinets, they fabricated steel parts, they made material specifications, they designed and built their systems.. WE STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN EVERY PROJECT PHASE! Fourth, we are the most diverse team in the competition! We represent many ethnicities from around the world! Fifth, every part of the pod is customized FOR the pod. From the customized truck (whose parts were rebuilt), to the customized structural frame for the base of the house, and for the support of the photovoltaic panels, we can claim our pod is highly customizable, and therefore innovative.
We began the morning by placing shim plates and jacks onto the site. Afterwards, we had to wait until our truck arrived with the steel dunnage. The truck took a little longer than expected, but when it arrived, we were able to finish the dunnage system! The space frame was simultaneously set up. Later that evening, we watched as both halves of the pod arrived in Washington D.C.
The next morning the crane came, and we excitedly unwrapped each half. The crane lifted each half onto the steel dunnage. Afterwards, the crane lifted the space frame onto the pod. We all clapped and cheered because the three layers of our pod had now come together.
Other teams came up to us and told us how cool the pod looked, and how innovative and unique the steel structural system and the space frame were. It’s been exciting to see how the other homes are coming along. Massachusetts is next to us, and Caltech is across from us, and it has been an experience to see the two neighboring teams working at different paces, and in different methods.
Unfortunately, there was some interior damage in the pod- cracks in drywall and cabinetry- but it was nothing that could not be fixed. The team morale stayed high the entire day. Temperatures dropped and rain hit Washington DC but we kept on going. The engineering students connected all the junction boxes inside, and underneath the house, the fire pumps were installed. Earlier, the engineering students had also connected the micro-inverters to the space frame.
Landscape modules also arrived, and we began the process of placing them within the steel dunnage. It has been a hectic two days, but we know it will pay off. We know we are Team New York- the youngest, most diverse, and most vibrant team out there! Lets go Team New York!
It’s been a long day, but after a quick meetup at The City College of New York, where both halves of our pod proudly stand, protected, and loaded onto flatbed trucks, we left in the morning and arrived in Washington D.C. in the afternoon.
Richard King greeted all nineteen teams during the opening reception after we completed registration. The teams enjoyed a sponsored buffet as they listened to the organizers detailing the rules of the competition.
Today we also checked into our hotel, and discussed strategy quickly. Some of us are heading to the site tonight- assembly begins at 11 pm, so we need to get our jacks, shims, and space frame assembled!
Others on our team will stay on the hotel and work on communication tasks, to keep our fans updated, and to catch up on rest after a busy day of travel and the instructive reception!
UPDATE: A team photo was also posted on the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon blog!
On September 12 we watched as our beloved Solar Roofpod was craned off in two halves, the North Module, and the South Module. It was lifted. We held our breath at the majestic site against the perfect backdrop of the blue sky and shining sun. The crane then shifted the pod sideways and lowered it down safely and soundly onto a flatbed truck below. The process repeated once more for the other half of the pod. Finally, Marshak Terrace, our construction site for 4 months stood empty.In four days we had disassembled what had taken four months to assemble.
On September 8, 2011, Team New York hosted two events to celebrate its completion. The Media Tour (Press Event) and the Send-Off ceremony (Sponsor Event) were two largely successful celebrations of the beloved Solar Roofpod. Media swarmed the site, ready to interview students and receive house tours of the pod. Many remarks were made on the spacious interior spaces, the urban facade, and the interior innovations of the pod. The Sponsors Event was the team’s way of thanking the sponsors for their widespread efforts and support. They received house tours and were fascinated by the persistence and commitment of the team. They also recognized how much student involvement was a part of the project.
Voting has started on two major websites covering the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon: Planet Forward and Buildipedia. Help support us by ‘liking’ or casting a vote for Team New York!
Film Crew: Julian Jiménez Madideo, Octavio Warnock-Graham, and Milan Maric
From in class studio sessions and informative presentations, to on site construction and travels, the film crew that has been filming Team New York has witnessed so much of the amazing journey the students have taken. Octavio Warnock-Graham, Milan Maric, and Julian Jiménez Madideo have been able to get a true ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the vision Team New York is trying to achieve, as well as the obstacles conquered to approach this phase.
The film crew, a collaboration between The City College of New York’s MFA Film program, and CUNY TV, have creatively titled their documentary, “Solarscape: Chasing those that Chase the Sun.” It captures the essence of the students in their working modes! From the smiles frustration in all project phases (conception, design, construction, and operation), the documentary will allow viewers to see that students have adapted roles in many areas of expertise, including architecture, engineering, marketability, graphic design, and communications. What will perhaps be entertaining to see is the collaboration of architecture and engineering students: a constant struggle and compromise which represents the true reality of architects and engineers in the professional world!
The documentary is sure to be an informative and inspiring film, showcasing the Solar Roofpod as a realistic vision. Look out for the documentary when it airs during Earthday Week on Channel 75, CUNY TV.
Team New York is currently being featured on the homepage of Planet Forward, a feature on PBS, that showcases expertise on energy, climate, and sustainability. Chosen as ‘Editor’s Pick’ by Planet Forward, the Solar Roofpod continues to inspire experts who see great potential in its innovation.
Planet Forward’s Editor’s Pick: Bohemian Roof City: Team New York Builds for the Solar Decathlon.
Team New York has been featured again on Planet Forward on PBS. Check out these articles, including Team New York’s marketability and engineering video, plus find out how their concept will affect cities on a larger scale!
Planet Forward: The CCNY Roofpod: An Eco-Conscious Investment Opportunity.
Planet Forward: New York Solar-Thermal Technology Models Home Efficiency.
Planet Forward: Urban Infrastructure Suits Solar Architecture.
We made New York 1’s ‘Top Stories’ on August 11th! The video clip aired on TV last week, but is still available online for those that missed it.
Click image for link to the NY1 video clip for “City College Students To Enter Solar-Powered “Pod” In International Contest”.
NY1 Top Stories: City College Students To Enter Solar-Powered “Pod” In International Contest.
For those who haven’t noticed, we are the current team feature on the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon homepage!
Click image for link to the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon homepage.
Department of Energy Solar Decathlon homepage.