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View of the Texas A&M House

Saturday, Oct.13, 2007

Patience they say is a virtue, and the Aggies were definitely virtuous today.

Saturday was a day of huge crowds at the Solar Decathlon. Throngs of people waited in long lines to see the houses on display. The Aggie house was unique with its wind turbines staring down at the crowds below that were eager to see what was inside, but were blocked from entering the house because the handicap ramp did not meet the strict ADA compliance. Only the Solar Decathlon architecture jury was allowed to view the Aggie house on Saturday.

They say when you have an abundance of lemons, make lemonade. So the Aggies made concrete with the abundant gravel on Saturday morning and afternoon that was rejected by the ADA Safety Officer as a tripping hazard and painstakingly replaced the gravel troughs with concrete-filled troughs. Then the incline on the ramp was adjusted (several times) until it was satisfactory (once more please). Next, all the railing was replaced with ADA-compliant railing, which required a dash to the store, measuring, cutting and welding on-site using the electricity stored in the 6,000 lbs of batteries the house contains, to the amazement of onlookers. Then, over 800 lbs of water were purchased, driven to the site, carried by hand and poured into water supply tank to replace the water lost through the pinhole leaks last week. Finally, more new parts were purchased for installation Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, including a new pressurization control for the main pump, a new, high temperature pump for the solar array, and a new thermostat for the heat pump.

All are hoping Sunday is a better day when the solar village reopens so the eager crowds will be given their chance to see the Aggie’s fantastic, reconfigurable, ADA-compliant house.

A view inside the Aggie groHome.

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