Why Does Critical Solar House Work Always Happen In Lousy Weather?

Outgoing team leader Emily Vandivert summed it up nicely today when she said “when the SIP walls were delivered it was raining.  When we poured the interior concrete floor it rained again.  Today we load the house onto three big trailers and what do we get?  Rain, interspersed with dense fog!”

The Chameleon House, S&T’s 2013 Solar Decathlon entry, hit the road today for the five-day haul to Orange County, CA (AKA, south of LA). It took barely five hours to lift and rotate each of three house sections while each massive low-boy trucks/trailer backed into what had been the structure’s center.    CraneMeister Gene Gabriel lowered the c. 25,000-lb sections to touch the trailer like a down pillow, while solar house team members and campus physical facilities’ crews pushed, grunted, pulled and struggled against each other to get each section OversizedSUN_3702centered precisely on the deck before Gene loosed the steel lift cables.    Repeat two times while trucks pull forward to tie down the loads and prepare to hit I-44 (née Route 66).

No time to celebrate.  Tomorrow calls for a massive construction site clean up as eight months of rotating work crews can leave quite a mss.  Thursday the (somewhat) smaller S&T-owned trucks/trailers pull out with the deck and solarium on one, and all of the tools, lifting systems, ladders, and safety gear in the other.  This advanced guard will stage at the Orange County Great Park, flag down the house caravan, and wait for the student rebuild crew to fly in.

And the process will repeat itself. In reverse.