Wednesday, November 19, 2008

BeauSoleil: Making the Cut

PVS/Inverters installed on test roof

Solar Decathlon Update: Every two years 20 university teams are chosen, based on proposals, to design an all-solar home and assemble it on the National Mall in Washington DC for public viewing and judging. Check back each Wednesday as the NAV Blog reports on the process of the design and construction of BeauSoleil, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's entry. For more info about the project, visit their website at And check out short film about the project here:


The time is growing near to begin fabrication of the shell of the BeauSoleil Louisiana Solar Home. The team is currently finalizing details in preparation of beginning programming of the CNC machine at LASBH (Louisiana System Built Homes). The cutting of panels is set to begin around the first of December. This is a serious matter because once the panels are cut there is no going back. The pressure is on but Team BeauSoleil is up to the challenge!!!

The process of SIPS construction begins with laying out the walls and the roof of the house in elevation looking from the inside. These elevations are cut into sections in a way that they will be most efficient. Expansion is taken into account the pieces are numbered and laid out in the proper orientation as per the loading of the panels onto 8’ x 24’ pieces. These sections are laid out on the 8’ x 24’ panels like a puzzle to minimize waste. These panels are plotted using CAD software. Once they are plotted they are ready to be converted into a format that can be recognized by the CNC machine. This software allows us to program the depth of the cuts as well as the order of the cuts. When this is complete the program is entered into the machine and the cutting can begin.

The cutting of the panels should only take a few days; meanwhile the floor structure and subfloor will be being assembled. Upon completion of this step the walls will begin being erected onto the base of the house this assembly should only take a couple of weeks and the shell should be at the BeauSoleil World Headquarters around the first of the year. Finally!!

The hard work of the Team is paying off and the fruits of our labor will soon be visible. Stay tuned for more details

Jeremy Credeur

Construction Manager

Team BeauSoleil

No comments: