A Week in Review: Working with the Solar Decathlon Team on the Building the prototype house

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We started pre-assembly on Thursday morning. We arrived early in the morning at the warehouse located on the Clemson University’s campus. Before we could start building, we had unpack, sort, and preassemble the simply pieces which are used to construct the solar D house. The large warehouse was full with pieces, each numbered and puzzle like. First we started by sorting the pieces according to their numbers, each wall piece, was laid out according to its location on the house. The pieces were arranged by north, south, east, and west location and their corresponding number. We started by putting together the roof pieces. With our group of 8 people, and the preassembly leader, we were able to quickly lift the parts, arrange them according to the plans, hammer them in and screw them together. This process was quicker than we expected because of our system of 4 groups of two, with each having a different task sequentially. During that same day, we also helped cut metal ties, and attended a safety meeting with the whole group of people involved the build. After the meeting, we went back to the warehouse and preassembled the rest of the pieces. The next morning, we started early at 7am. While some people went to the site to start building the foundation, some of us went back to the warehouse to help pack the preassembled parts. We grouped the parts according to their location and numbers, and wrapped them using plastic wrap, attaching a naming sheet with each of the group of parts. In the afternoon, we went on site to help with the foundation, this included helping tie the foundation pieces, and filling foundation blocks with concrete. That day foundation was complete, despite the cold weather and rain. During day two, we were able to put together the floor structure, using zipply, simply floor joists, and zip ties. With each day, we were more and more organized making the process faster and easier to coordinate. During day 3 of the build, we were able to assemble and put up 3 of the 4 walls. The pieces for each wall were laid out according to the elevations of the walls on the ground next to their location. This allowed us to hand the parts directly to the group assembling the walls. The whole team helped put up the first wall. For the east and west walls, we split our group into two teams and had a little competition to see who could put up the wall first. With each team working fast and organized, the two walls were put up in 45 minutes.

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