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Monday, Oct. 15, 2007

Monday was a day of contests, as well as more visitors, including more panels of judges. Today the judges inspected the house's lighting/daylighting systems.

Today's tests included shower tests, dishwashers tests, water boiling tests, and a test to see how many miles one can put on the electric car. The shower tests included two tests where a specified amount of hot water must be delivered to the shower in a set period of time; one test in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the dishwasher test, a plate is placed in the dishwasher with a special piece of tape, and the dishwasher runs through its complete cycle. The tape on the plate records the proper operation by changing color. There was also a water boiling test where 5 lbs of water must be completely boiled away. Ongoing temperature measurements are also made of the refrigerator, freezer and temperature/humidity measurements are made of the heating and cooling systems. These will be studied later in the week to determine if temperatures and humidities are being kept within their required range.

The Aggies did well on all the tests except the first shower test in the morning, where a improperly set valve prevented the last few gallons of hot water from reaching the shower in a timely fashion. This was resolved for the afternoon shower test, which worked perfectly. We were told that other teams struggled with these tests, that over half of the teams had one problem or another and some had multiple problems.

On Monday, the winner of the architectural contest was announced -- the Darmstadt University of Technology, or "Technische Universitat of Darmstadt," from Darmstadt, Germany. The University of Maryland placed second, and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid placed third. Unfortunately, not having the ADA compliant ramps properly completed on time did not sit well with the judges who awarded the Aggies 16th place (Otherwise, we're sure we would have won!). The University of Texas at Austin placed ninth.

So, we've got our work cut out for us. Tuesday, more tests will performed on the house's systems, and more miles put on the electric car. Our team is looking good, feeling rested and ready to carry the day tomorrow. Our house is performing well, and should finish the week in good shape barring anymore unforeseen problems.

On Tuesday the winner of the Communications contest will be announced.

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