Day Four On The National Mall And The Weather is PERFECT!

A cloudless sky, light breeze, temps around 70, so it couldn’t be better for the twenty separate construction sites that are still buzzing with activity. Pretty soon all the heavy equipment will be banished from the village; no more cranes, forklifts or bucket trucks as the national* solar village begins to get more visitor-friendly.
Each team is scrambling to finish their structure’s outer skin, before they’ll turn all their attention to drywall repairs, touch-up painting, assembling furniture and the critical last-minute tidying that makes a house a home. Advisor Mike Goldschmidt says “our exterior work is almost done. We still have some deck railing to install and assemble the roof-mounted evaporated tube system for hot water, and all that should be done by tomorrow morning. After that it is interior cleaning, paint touch up, and installing light fixtures.”
Throughout all this process inspectors wander in unannounced to verify each house is fully compliant with the latestDSC_0230_2.jpg electrical codes. The Miners’ home fell a little short on labeling and grounding requirements so Dominic Clucas (foreground) and Ben Brannon spent a good part of their Sunday morning resolving that issue.
Safety is paramount on the decathlon site, because it is really a huge group of young and relatively inexperienced construction workers, and anything supported by the federal government involves OSHA oversight. Inspectors prowl the area night and day DSC_0241_2.jpgto make sure people have hard hats, safety glasses, long pants, and steel-toed boots, and when work is going on above six feet from the floor fall protection measures kick in.
Our Missourians have studied the mountains of OSHA rules to ensure they are safe and don’t draw unnecessary inspector attention, but as far as they can tell when you are reinforcing the deck there is no rule against keeping a mouthful of decking screws on hand.
* If the Missouri house joins the Miners’ three previous solar houses in Missouri’s solar village, then S&T’s facility will be 20% as large as the national event. Who knows, if we keep this up for another few decades, will Rolla’s village rival this huge operation?