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Photo taken at night of several large trucks standing in line, with a cargo of house modules on board each. The truck drivers are awaiting a signal that the time has come to drive onto the Solar Decathlon site on the National Mall. The well-lit Capitol is prominent in the background. Photo of partially built house mounted on a tractor trailer, lit brightly by several surrounding lights. Trees in the background are also lit up against a dimly lit night sky. The rear end of the house features large glass windows, through which the interior of the house can be seen. Photo of a house consisting of several modules with sloping roofs and clerestory windows. The house siding consists of multi-color stripes. A partially emptied truck is parked next to the house, and three young men are walking towards the truck. In the foreground is piles of wood, tape marked caution, scaffolding, a ladder, and other construction clutter.

Amidst the clutter of construction, the University of Cincinnati's house quickly took shape on Wednesday morning.

Solar Decathlon 2007

Daily Journal - October 3, 2007

Solar Decathlon Daily Journal - Day One

The 2007 Solar Decathlon officially began at midnight on Tuesday, October 2nd. Seventy oversized trucks carrying huge sections of houses rumbled onto the National Mall in the early morning hours, marking the start of an amazing 21-day saga. Finally, after two years of planning, it's showtime!

All the student teams were present and accounted for, but not necessarily all the houses. For instance, Santa Clara University's house was still in Nebraska somewhere. The transport truck had a broken axle and was at the side of the road, waiting for a welder to repair it. That's tough luck for a team that had already traveled farther than most other teams, yet was still only halfway across the country! The team members were anxious last night, but by mid-day their spirits were lifted when word came that the axle was fixed and the house was moving through Ohio. We are all praying for a safe arrival tomorrow. Altogether, four houses did not arrive by midnight, although all were en route to the Decathlon.

The first day of assembly was an amazing spectacle of trucks and cranes and equipment, all converging on a narrow strip of land in front of the nation's capital. It's a race of time to get ready—to build not just one house, but an entire village of 20 houses in a week's time. The teams are well organized and went about their tasks with purpose and directness. No one was just standing around. And by the end of the day, an amazing amount of work had been accomplished. Everyone was tired, but elated.

As the setting sun shone on the Capitol, its dome served as an awesome background for the birth of a new solar community. We all felt today was very successful, and we hope it will be the start of something special.