Wednesday, February 4, 2009

BeauSoleil: Dream to Reality

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. And check out a short film about the project.

A report from the field:

Our warehouse will soon be filling up fast with construction now taking place on the exterior deck structure and materials arriving daily as the SIP shell and completed floor deck are slated to arrive within two weeks. Our Cypress cladding is being selected from a local lumber yard this week and going to be milled to a profile designed by the TEAM that incorporates a regionally historical milling process. This profile of wood, according to a Cypress expert of 60 years has been lost for some time but we plan on changing that as it works perfectly with our passive cladding system. The Cypress should be in the warehouse within the next two weeks along with a breathable membrane system being applied to the SIP panels of the home. The operable windows should be making their debut here in the next 3 weeks. The exterior decking which will highlight the dogtrot and Nana wall door system has just been secured as of today and we look forward to its arrival since we are going to use the drop material from the milling process as an integral part of the interior cabinetry and countertops. The dogtrot roof assembly for the solar water heating system is well on its way to completion as the final details are being hashed out with a local sheet metal manufacturing expert.

It is amazing to see the project transform from lines on paper to an actual home with over a years worth of hard work and research. There is truly no greater way to learn and teach sustainability than to experience a project like this from a student standpoint. The new wave of student TEAM members pouring themselves into the project only cements this fact. It is not often that a project like this comes along in a student career that allows you to learn by doing and has the ability to impact public awareness. The buzz is picking up as the fruits of our labor are being constructed, so check back next week for the latest.

Christopher R. Leger

TEAM BeauSoleil

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