Vote Team New York NOW!

There are a number of reasons it is appropriate for us to garner the broadest possible public support (and votes) for TeamNY and the Solar Roof Pod.

1. UNDERGRADUATE TEAM: The core of TeamNY is composed exclusively of B.Arch students – said to be the only all-undergraduate team amongst the 20 entries.

2. BROAD SUPPORT: The breadth, depth and diversity of tangible and very active support is extraordinary. We at City College have become accustomed to alumni, industry, professional, faculty, university and college support. We have been told that amongst the teams, TeamNY is particularly fortunate in this regard.

3. ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY: The Solar Roof pod is an architecturally compelling design and an extremely well-executed and beautifully finished building – inside and out.

4. URBAN CONCEPT: The Roof Pod is a uniquely urban solution in a field of
suburban designs. This gives the Roof Pod maximum potential for making a
significant positive impact.

5. STUDENT INVOLVEMENT There are credible reports that City College students have been, and continue to be the most involved and responsible – particularly striking for undergraduates. With skillful and dedicated faculty guidance, the continual and intense 18-month involvement of our students – from conceptualization and design, through construction, assembly, and operation in Washington – is truly special.

6.TEAM DIVERSITY: The students themselves reported in an early post from
Washington that TeamNY is the most diverse team in the 2011 Decathlon. Others who have visited the 2011 sites confirm this.

I hope these reasons help you to motivate members of the public to vote for TeamNY in the 2011 PEOPLE’S CHOICE balloting.

Go to: to vote and read great TeamNY reporting and
posts by students

Go to: and click on first item in NEWS window to see SSA

Gordon A. Gebert
Professor & Deputy Chair
Spitzer School of Architecture

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Day 13- Washington DC

Today we had over 2,000 visitors to the Solar Roofpod! Visitors continue to provide compliments on the project. They state we have the best designed t-shirt for the competition, and also the most organized house tours! Wait lines were not bad, as we filtered traffic through the house without any problems.

In other news, the time lapse of our Solar Roofpod construction at the rooftop terrace at The City College of New York is now posted for your viewing pleasure!

A four month recap in four minutes..

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Day 12- Washington DC

It has been a long day of public exhibits and interviews! We had a TON of visitors enter the pod today! Lets go Team New York!

In other news, Team New York is rising slowly but surely in the polls..! Our ranking is rising..!

Every day is long here, and we accept the challenges as we go. Mornings begin with carpooling to the site, and coming back to our hotel exhausted, yet still feeling competitive.

It is wonderful to see the public engaging with the Solar Roofpod, appreciating its craftsmanship and urban concept. The sight of the visitors utilizing the livingroom, the largest in the competition, was extraordinary. Three young children climbed up on a long armchair in the living space, with wide smiles on their faces.
“This seat is the best feature here in the competition!” exclaimed one visitor, as he sat down on a seat.

In exciting news, we have been getting great PR coverage, including a video and article by USA Today. An Italian television show also shot extensive video of our pod, doing a great walkthrough of the interior design of the pod, and conducted a lengthy interview with our Faculty Advisor Christian Volkmann today.

Yesterday evening, the lighting competition took place, to judge the lighting design at night.

Solar Roofpod shining brightly at night

Today, Team New York is down to position number 2 in the People’s Choice Award, after having had been number one. Please take the time to vote!

For more updates, check out: for a blog progress of our team!

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Team NY #1 in People’s Choice Award on first day

Team New York is number one in the People’s Choice Award within 24 hours! However, lets keep the momentum going.

Kind words from CCNY President:

TEAM NEW YORK – and City College – need your vote!

I’m sure that you’ve heard by now that TEAM NEW YORK is the group of City College engineering and architecture students who are now in DC, competing to win the prestigious Solar Decathlon with the Solar Roof Pod – Metro called it “a penthouse with a purpose, ” a practical solution for energy-efficient living in the city. We are now in the final phase of this two-year, once-in-a-lifetime educational experience. City’s remarkable students not only designed the Pod and the sustainable technology it contains, they helped raise more than $1.4 million, and logged hundreds and hundreds of hours building the working prototype on the roof of Marshak, and then dismantling and rebuilding it in our nation’s capitol. And of course they couldn’t have done it without the dedication and support of our faculty and the extraordinary generosity of our alumni.

Now, it’s “crunch time.” TEAM NEW YORK’s Solar Roof Pod is open to 400,000 expected visitors in DC, and over the course of the next ten days competes for first prize. As the only entry to tackle urban sustainability, I believe we have a good chance to win the competition.

We want more than first place in the official competition, however – and this is where you come in! Vote for TEAM NEW YORK’s Solar Roofpod To WIN the US Department of Energy: Solar Decathlon People’s Choice Award. Go to TEAM NEW YORK’s website or download this Quick Response (QR) image and scan it with your smart phone.

Voting lasts until September 30 – but don’t wait. Vote now – and let’s send the entire nation a message about City College and TEAM NEW YORK!


Lisa S. Coico
President- City College of New York

Solar Decathlon People's Choice Award


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Day 10-11 Washington DC

On Days 10 and 11, we are officially competing! Some of the contests we have competed in, include Hot Water, Lighting, Comfort Zone, Marketability, Architecture, and Engineering. The team remains confident, and morale remains high! The contests operate in such a manner that jurors visit the Solar Roofpod at a given time. A maximum of six decathletes from our team can participate in each contest.

Marketability was one of the contests that has an interesting story. We completely wowed the judges today because we were able to prove that our house is the only one in the competition with a permanent foundation. We have a structural dunnage system that allows our pod to be placed on a roof. We also showed the judges that we have a NYC building permit for the Solar Roofpod! Our house CAN ACTUALLY BE BUILT. What other team can say that? Exactly.

For the Communications contest, we were judged mainly on our public exhibit signage and website. Jurors asked us about our outreach plan, and were pleased to see the documentation of publications of Team New York.

We also officially began public tours of the pod. Many visitors are impressed by the fact that we are the only urban entry in the HISTORY of this competition and we have gained much popularity on site with this fact. There are so many unique features of the pod, and sometimes it grows difficult to express all of them, especially when we have to usher long lines into our pod. However, we believe the details of the craftsmanship and design speak for themselves.

We are overwhelmed by the fact that Team New York is currently NUMBER ONE in the People’s Choice Award! Keep the love and support coming. We received an endearing letter from Daniel Lemons, a great supporter of our team. He wrote to us, “First of all, congratulations on today’s accomplishments: passing the solar envelope compliance, not being over height and having no penalties on the assembly and inspection phase! Seeing the other houses struggling with assembly yesterday we know this is no small deal.”

We are keeping our heads up due to such a supportive network for the team! We are sticking with the “We can do anything!” mentality that our construction manager, Frank Sciame, has so lovingly instilled in us!

Team NY at the National Building Museum with Empower Sponsor

Team New York members at a Solar Decathlon reception at the National Building Museum

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Day 9 – Washington DC

With assembly complete yesterday, we were able to begin the day with a media tour. Dozens of reporters crowded in front of the Solar Roofpod as it was presented to the media, from the outside. Media strolled through the Solar Roofpod throughout the day, and received special tours throughout the house. Buildipedia, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and USA Today were amongst some of the media that have come in to tour the pod. All day long, visitors boasted of the attractive facade, and it gave us team members much encouragement.

CCNY President Lisa Coico, Provost Daniel Lemons, Dean George Ranalli, our Construction Manager Frank Sciame, and faculty advisor Hillary Brown, were amongst some of the supporting members of Team New York who were present at site! Their presence and support made the evening one to remember!

Later in the day, some team members were able to attend a reception at the National Building Museum. Solar Decathlon sponsors were present, and teams were available to answer questions. Team New York found several of its own sponsors at the reception, and was able to network with industry professionals.

Later, we attended a special dinner at The Capital Grille, hosted by our Construction Manager, Frank Sciame. FJ Sciame, and Andrew Sciame, were also present and have been big supporters of the team. Frank Sciame truly brought up our spirits, and we all raised a toast to him, to our Faculty Advisor Christian Volkmann, to our Provost Daniel Lemons, and a few other supporting team members. The team was finally able to relax, and enjoyed the family spirit.

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Photography of Fully Assembled Solar Roofpod

Albert Vecerka, an Alumnus of the City College of New York School of Architecture, has been on site with Team New York, photographing the Solar Roofpod during construction phases, and at its completion! Included below are several of many, many amazing photographs. To learn more about Albert’s work, please visit:

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Washington DC – Day 8

Today, a series of events happened one after the other. The entire day, we had to finish up the interior and engineering systems of the pod, and clean up the site. Our trucks had to be loaded and sent off West Potomac Park.

We COMPLETED assembly!! At the same time, we also ended a series of inspections– nearly THIRTY inspection tests that we passed! Such inspections included public safety, mechanical, electrical, etc. tests that, when completed, deemed our site a home. No longer do we need to wear hardhats on our property! Other teams did not pass certain inspections, or did not seem to complete construction. We were very grateful and appreciative.

Our evening was nice as it was the first time we could really enjoy the finished pod. We sat inside our livingroom for a team meeting, discussing competition and strategy. Dinner (out on our deck and garden space) and a movie pursued. The movie was a pleasant surprise- it was a timelapse from the web camera installed on the NAC, a tall building on our school campus. We saw our entire summer FLASH before our eyes- it was truly amazing and heartwarming to see the construction of the pod happen so quickly. Funny- 4 minutes to build the pod (the length of the timelapse) and 4 days to take it down (length of disassembly at City College of New York)

The interior of the pod contains great interior design, with carefully selected furniture and great decor pieces. Such pieces include a telescope (to be able to view the skyline and surrounding rooftop views through your window!), books about New York City, and a photo collage of students during pod construction. Just take a peek and you will see all the details inside the place we have made our home.

Now, we can state we have two homes in Washington DC: Our hotel in Georgetown, and the Solar Roofpod!

We will spend the next 2 days conducting VIP Tours, and Media interviews. Then, we begin the ten contests and compete to WIN the Solar Decathlon 2011!

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Out of 19 teams, Team New York soared to NUMBER ONE as the best Solar Decathlon team, as voted by the public! We are proud and know that this is a testament to our hard efforts as a team.

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Washington DC Days 5-7

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday have been a complete blur. It has been a true race to get our house completed, and after a long shift, we feel confident.

On Saturday, we received our City College clothing, courtesy of the Architecture Alumni Group! It kept us warm for the cooler weather in Washington DC.

Our landscaping and ramping went in over the weekend. We also worked on many of our engineering systems in and around the house, with professionals on board to guide us and keep us on track. Today, Monday, we tested our successful irrigation system, placed in plants into the planter bins of our deck, and passed a series of inspections! We are also moving in the furniture, and gave the landscaping and handrails some finishing staining. We hope you will enjoy our beautiful outdoors space as much as you enjoy the largest living room in the competition! Tomorrow, we have a few hours remaining to finish the house completely, and then on Wednesday and Thursday, we allow the media and VIPs to tour our house and ask us questions.

What keeps us going is the shouts of “TEAM NEW YORK!” which has become a frequent chant during our daily team meetings. Daily challenges of being able to complete tasks on time, coordination, group meals, etc. have become a part of daily life, and the Solar Village has become our home. It is an amazing experience to see 18 other homes being built at great speeds around us. It’s almost hard to believe that we once stood on an empty plot of land with nothing but cranes dotting the sky.. Now we stand before a beautifully completed urban solar powered home. A 2 year journey is almost ending.. Wish us luck and some visit us in Washington DC from September 23-Oct 2!

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