Every two years, the U.S Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition illuminates the National Mall in Washington DC with a working display of energy innovation in action. For the first time in history a team from Victoria University of Wellington has been selected to compete in 2011.
The Contest - A solar housing competition of worldwide proportion.
The Challenge - Design, build and operate a cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar-powered house.
The Players - 20 university teams comprising the brightest student minds from around the world.
The Result - Increased public awareness of the many cost-saving opportunities presented by clean-energy products.
"... New Zealanders have a deep relationship with the natural environment, it is central to how we live and relate to each other. Our land is the first to see the light. It shapes who we are - a people who are welcoming, friendly and relaxed. The land gives us a fresh perspective, an innovative spirit that compels us to create housing that nurtures our way of life and the environment we live in.
First Light connects you to New Zealand living through design that places interactions between people and the outdoors at its heart. Houses that embody the spirit of being a New Zealander, and reflects our belief that technology and sustainability should not only be affordable, they should also meld around how we live..."
- FirstLight website (link below)
The competition rules required all teams submit a 1:24 scale model of their design and ship it to Florida for display alongside each other in the same way the completed houses will be arranged along the National Mall in September 2011. The photographs below show the finished model of the First Light House before it was shipped to the U.S.
Ethan Hunter: house, exterior cladding, decking, skylight
Francois Breedt: canopy, doors, solar panels
Daniel Starkey: interior details
Peter Boyd: landscape
The house is now competed and on its way to Washington DC! To view photographs of the finished house on Frank Kitts Park, Wellington follow the links below.