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Photo of Richard King, who is wearing a hard hat and standing in front of a construction site. Multiple houses, cranes, trucks, and roll-offs, as well as the Washington Monument, can be seen in the background.

Solar Decathlon Director Richard King surveys the progress on the National Mall on the morning of Day One of construction.

Photo of a diesel truck driving through a finish line type at night. Bright lights, people in safety vests, and the U.S. Capitol can be seen in the background.

The Team Missouri truck is the first to break through the caution tape finish line at 11 p.m. Sept. 30.

Solar Decathlon 2009

Daily Journal - October 1, 2009

News Flash: The Solar Village Is Under Way!

The solar village assembly and move-in started at 11 p.m. last night with Team Missouri rumbling onto the National Mall first. More than 80 oversized trucks, cranes, and flatbeds waited behind them, ready to unload sections of houses, supplies, and equipment. The sky was clear and the night air crisp, but the energy was high. After two years of planning for this moment, the decathletes were more than ready to get the show started.

By 7 a.m. this morning, the transformation of the Mall from an empty expanse of green grass to the largest construction zone in our nation's capitol had begun in earnest. The progress is amazing. In just seven hours, most of the teams have unloaded their houses. To walk down the middle of 20 houses under construction on the National Mall is the most awesome of sights!

The decathletes from Team California were very happy to have their Refract House off-loaded by 7 a.m. the first day. In 2007, they were three days late—but not this year. The team members are exhilarated this morning and hopeful their good fortune and advance planning will pay off in the days to come.

Virginia Tech had the shortest distance to travel last night because their house has been displayed at the National Building Museum for the past three weeks. Today, this team is focused on plumbing, getting the house leveled, and installing deck pieces.

Dan Eberle—our on-site logistics manager, who has been at all four Solar Decathlons—says this year's move-in was the safest, most orderly, and successful yet. Congratulations to all the crews who worked through the night!