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Solar powered Kiwi bach on display

Solar powered Kiwi bach on display

A solar powered Kiwi bach designed by Victoria University students for an international competition will be on public display on the Wellington waterfront next year.

A team from the School of Architecture at Victoria University, called First Light, is one of only 20 teams worldwide and the first entry ever from the Southern Hemisphere to compete in the prestigious US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

The highly energy efficient, solar powered house will be open to the public for up to three weeks at Frank Kitts Park in April 2011. After this the plan is to ship the house to the US for the competition on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Visitors to the waterfront will have a chance to see energy efficient innovation in action when they visit the house. The team hopes the public will come away with an understanding of solar energy and the importance of using energy efficient technologies in both building and operating their houses.

“New Zealand has an amazing solar resource; we just need to harness it,” says team member Nick Officer.

As well as showcasing solar technologies to the public, the assembly of the house on Frank Kitts Park will act as a practice run for the US competition, which begins in September 2011. The team wants to perfect the assembly sequence so they’re well prepared for the competition.

“We need to have every little detail planned, down to how many washers and screws we need to take,” says team member Anna Farrow.

Construction will begin in the New Year before the house is transported to Frank Kitts Park on 30 March to begin the seven day assembly process, the same timing as for the competition in Washington DC.

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