DSC_4410High-five, chest bump, fist in the air, whatever, the Miners are an ecstatic bunch!

Decathlon rules required each team to pass three critical inspections by noon yesterday: site cleanup, public exhibit and public safety.
The first one is obvious; clean your “yard” of everything including lumber, tools, nails, vehicles, and even sawdust. Public exhibit is showing off your signage and your plans to educate the public on what a great house S&T has hauled to California. Public safety is full ADA compliance, no sharp edges, tripping hazards or anything else that could put the public at risk, important because we expect thousands of visitors to revel in the brilliance of the Nest Home’s design, execution, and performance.
Surprisingly, of the fourteen solar houses on site, only THREE (count ‘em) three houses met the deadline. The Miners, our next door neighbors from Stevens Institute of Technology, and Cal Poly, just across the street. A number of teams are behind schedule. Some have large piles of lumber, unassembled deck sections, and even heavy equipment still in their “lots” and that’s gonna start costing them points. Good for us, rough on the remaining eleven entries.

What’s more, the S&T/Cal Poly/Stevens enclave not only occupies the physical high ground of the solar ‘town,’ we three now lay claim to the psychological/emotional peak of the solar population at the Orange County Great Park.
With a noon deadline, and three inspectors rotating among the each of the “finished” homes there was a friendly wager going as to who would be cleared first. It’s hard to prove who actually had the bragging rights, but Mary Puleo’s crew makes a pretty good argument for the Miners being #1. And since we write this blog we feel there’s no question but that Missouri S&T is #1.

The Nest Home has been drawing a lot of enthusiastic visitors. Not the public, as that starts next week but event officials, nearly all of whom are veterans of several Solar Decathlons dating back as far as 2002. That’s a good sign.

So is hosting the Secretary of Energy.
So are the beautifully written signs that the Miners set up to guide and inform the visitors that will descend on the Solar Decathlon in just a few days.

ALL good signs for Missouri S&T.