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Photo looking down the walkway between the solar houses. The U.S. Capitol building looms in the background, while chairs are set up in the foreground. Photo of two men in University of Texas t-shirts holding hangers containing hats and shirts.

Russell Krepart and Alex Miller of the University of Texas at Austin team accept the coveted "First House Completed" award, which, this year, is an array of 2002 Solar Decathlon memorabilia.

Solar Decathlon 2007

Daily Journal - October 11, 2007

Day Nine: A Day of Transition

We have come to our day of transition in the competition. The teams need to change from construction workers to tour guides and ambassadors of solar power. They'll have to change out of those hard hats and week-old jeans into neat and clean team uniforms. Because starting this afternoon, the houses are open for media tours. Tomorrow morning is the official Opening Ceremony—the chairs are already set up!

As one important sign of this transition, the University of Texas at Austin team is the first to have completed their solar house. They passed all of their inspections with flying colors and their accomplishment was recognized at this morning's team meeting. This team was one of the first to have their solar power working and their air conditioning on. They've had their eyes set on the "first to be completed" prize since day one and have been successful.

In this day of getting ready for inspections and the public, many of the teams are fine-tuning the entryways to their houses: their ramps, stairs, and decks. Not only will these features be some of the first things the public will see upon entering the house, but these features must meet very specific safety and accessibility requirements before they can pass inspection. Everyone here is very excited about entering the more public and competitive phase of the 2007 Solar Decathlon.