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3rd in Affordability and 2nd in Engineering

Every afternoon this week, there will be announcements of results of one of the juried contests. We've had some big successes with 3rd place in affordability and 2nd place in engineering, and we're leaping up the overall scoreboard as a result - 4th place as of this afternoon. Awesome!

New Photos

With construction a few days behind us, we've had some time to collect our thoughts, and our photos. We've got a bunch of new blog posts and photos, so go check 'em out. And on the photos, don't forget about our Flickr page.

Grid Tie & End of Assembly

This evening, we passed enough of our major inspections to be able to connect CHIP to the Solar Decathlon village grid. We'll be working hard on assembly through the end of tomorrow, which is our last chance to get everything done before the competition starts and we get to start showing it off to all of you! Come visit us 9/23-10/2 between 10 and 2 on weekdays or 10 and 5:30 on weekends.

Exterior Finished

All major exterior elements of CHIP (including solar panels, insulation, vinyl skin/tufting, windows/doors, some ramps/decks, etc) will be finished before sunrise tomorrow. We will have gone from a barren housewrap exterior to final exterior finish in only 24 hours!

Construction Begins!

Construction at West Potomac Park begins tonight at 11pm, and we will be working around the clock in 13-hour shifts for the next 7 days to make our house complete. This first day will see the laying of foundations and craning of all 4 house modules.

Arriving in DC

Around 20% of the team has already arrived in DC to scope out the area, prepare our staging area for the arrival of our trucks, and set up apartments and rental SUVs. In two more days, the entire team will be here, and in another day after that, we will begin assembly in West Potomac Park!

CHIP Ships Out!

CHIP left the SCI-Arc parking lot this morning and is on its maiden voyage from here to Washington, D.C. After several days of almost non-stop packing on our construction site, we are finally ready to say goodbye to LA and hello to DC! Team members are taking a much-needed rest the next few days before the chaos of the competition.

Practice Disassembly/Reassembly

The team has spent the last few days working around the clock to install our elaborate steel bracing throughout all four modules of the house. This bracing finally came in hand as we craned our modules apart and back together. Thanks to all the hard work and planning, craning our house is a lot easier than we expected.

Caltech Y Presentation

We spent most of today welcoming several dozen guests from the Caltech Y and Alumni Association to CHIP. In the morning, team members spent a couple of hours presenting all aspects of the house, and the day ended with a catered lunch from Philippe's.

CHIP Groundbreaking Event

Sat 04.02.11 2pm-4pm @ SCI-Arc
Today we had our groundbreaking event on the building site as well as an open house, design showcase, tour of the mock-up, and words of wisdom from SCI-Arc's Eric Owen Moss, Chairman of the SCI-Arc Board of Trustees Jerry Neuman and Caltech's Dr. Harry Atwater. The event was a huge success has helped propel the team into the summer build. A special thanks to our sponsors and all for visiting!

LASRCC Educational Outreach

Picture of students from LASRCC in front of the CHIP mockup.  The right-hand portion of the photograph is covered by a picture of some of the Thank-yous we received from the students.

Sat 03.26.11 10am-1pm @ SCI-Arc
Students from Los Angeles Sarang Community Church have the opportunity to learn about the Sustainability, The Solar Decathlon, and CHIP! These future designers will be participating in different drawing, coloring and model making activities with the CHIP design at SCI-Arc.

Solar Decathlon T-Shirt Contest!

Image of the T-Shirt contest poster.

SCI-Arc and Caltech are having our very own Solar Decathlon T-Shirt Contest. Join the fun and submit your own design and it may be chosen to be printed for all to enjoy. First, Second and Third place will win IPODs and IPADs. See Rules for details.

Photograph of CHIP house sitting on the National Mall in Washington DC.
Large logo for CHIP(Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype) 2011

CHIP is a prefab, net-zero solar-powered house designed and built by a student-run team from two Southern California schools: Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The house is the team's entry for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 competition.

CHIP (which stands for "Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype") is designed to challenge every architectural and engineering preconception regarding the net-zero-energy home. CHIP is the result of a 2-year research, design, and construction collaboration between both schools and various consultants. CHIP announces a new generation of energy-efficient, affordable housing.

Rendering of the interior of CHIP.  White cabinets sit between finished wood walls, floors, and ceilings, and yellow-green foam furniture fills in some empty space.
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Southern California Institute of Architecture Southern California Institute of Architecture California Institute of Technology California Institute of Technology Solar Decathlon U.S. Department of Energy NREL