Fanshawe College and the University of Victoria in Wellington reached an agreement last fall (2010) that would allow Fanshawe students to assist with VUW's 2011 entry into the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon competition. In January this year, three students travelled to Wellington to work on the construction of a solar house. The house was originally constructed in a aircraft hanger near Wellington airport,and later moved to the waterfron in Wellington.
When the three students returned to Canada in April, a fourth student went to New Zealand to help with the reconstruction of the house on the waterfront, and later with the deconstruction of the house. The New Zealand team have said that he packed the house in containers by himself.
Now in containers, the six modules of the house were shipped to the US and housed at a facility in Washington. In September they will move from the docks to the build site on the West Potomac Park, just off the National Mall in Washington. There the house will compete with 18 others in ten areas:
- Architectural contest
- Market Appeal contest
- Engineering contest
- Communications contest
- Affordability contest
- Comfort Zone contest
- Hot Water contest
- Appliances contest
- Home Entertainment contest
- Energy Balance contest
We are hoping that the New Zealand team wins at least one of these competitions, or even better, the overall contest. We will be there to help with the build and the disassembly, and to cheer them on in their efforts.
With the assistance of Fanshawe New Zealand came third in the competition.
In 2013 a Solar Decathlon will be held in Beijing, China