WOW! The Miners’ Nest Home has edged into the lead. Runner-up Stevens Institute of Technology’s score is 99.999% of S&T’s number (really!), so it’s a virtual dead heat. While we’re all excited, the objective scores amount to reading computer data; so long as each home’s power systems keep functioning don’t expect a breakthrough until the subjective scores start coming in.
Many of the homes focus on applying technology to solve location-specific problems. Stevens’ magnificent entry is for the hurricane-vulnerable east coast, a lesson learned during Superstorm Sandy; Crowder/Drury’s is for Tornado Alley. What truly separates the Nest Home is that it’s designed for a life CYCLE, not just a life style.
Meanwhile, the “people’s choice” voting is going on. Place your daily vote at http://energy.gov/solar-decathlon/nest-home. The Miners take pride in voting honestly. In the past there has been some suspected electronic/election-box stuffing, so despite all the computing power at our fingertips, we stay ethical. This is not big-time college sports.
Many of the DOE staff (not the judges. Yet) have quietly said the Nest Home is their favorite design.
Public interest in the Solar Decathlon has been high. Weekend crowds were steady and strong, but sometimes the public reactions to a house tells us far more about a specific family than they might choose to reveal. One couple approached the Nest Home and the wife went crazy over the house and wanted to tour it. Husband said “I like it except for the American flag” and walked away.” His loss. Hers, too. She’s married to him. She can dump him but we are not taking down the flag. We even made sure the flag was lit up at night, the only house to do so.