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Monday, 22 April 2019 12:02 pm

Third is a first for kiwi bach on world stage

Oct 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

FLYING FLAG: The First Light team celebrates, complete with All Black flag, during the announcement. Photo: Supplied.

THE results are in and Victoria University’s First Light house has placed third in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

The award ceremony took place yesterday in Washington’s West Potomac Park, with First Light also awarded first in engineering and second for architecture.

“The team was incredibly happy,” says Sophie Prebble, communications officer for First Light.

“These contests were ones the team were really hoping to do well in.”

The Solar Decathlon is an international competition that runs every two years, challenging teams to design, build and operate solar-powered and cost-effective houses.

Market appeal was the last of 10 contests yesterday that brought First Light up from fourth place.

The house also placed first equal for hot water and energy balance, achieving a net zero energy consumption (it produced more energy than it consumed) over the 10 days of the competition.

In the end, the kiwi bach finished 32 points behind winner University of Maryland, whose Watershed House scored 951 points out of 1000 to top the 19 teams.

Its design includes a composting station and a complete carbon cycle programme, with a focus on recyclable water.

“Maryland’s Watershed house is great,” Ms Prebble says of the design.

“They made a feature of water and how to reuse and conserve water.

“Water ran through the central section of their house and integrated their house into the watershed landscape seamlessly.”

All of the houses are open to the public for the last time today.

Teams will then have four days to pack up and First Light will be shipped back to Wellington before meeting new owner, Susan Wauchop, who paid $326,000 for the bach in the July auction this year.

“Land to put the house on has not yet been purchased so at this stage the house will return to Wellington before being taken to its final home,” Ms Prebble says, although she is not sure where that may be.

“I’m sure the end of the project will be bitter sweet for the student team, it will be the end of an era for them and a big weight off their shoulders once the house is back home.

“It’s been a huge project for so many and the team I’m sure will stay in touch with each other and the other teams they met.”

GO TEAM: Back at the house after the results are given. Photo: Supplied.

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