martes, 27 de octubre de 2009

The Office

TeamSPAIN is back in Madrid! We are very happy to be back in town, although some of us are still a little jet-lagged. We already miss working at The National Mall, bonding with the other teams, and experiencing the excitement of the competition.

First of all, we would like to congratulate Team Germany, the winner of the Solar Decathlon competition. Right from the start, even during assembly, we knew that these guys were a team to watch. They exhibited great discipline, focus, knowledge, and brilliant organization, and step by step, they conquered the Solar Village.

We also want to congratulate the rest of the teams for their great designs and wonderful spirit. It's a shame we didn't have the opportunity to get to know each other better, but the honor of being a Decathlete is something that we all shared, and we've brought that feeling of pride back home with us.

The DOE and the rest of the organizers did a fantastic job coordinating the competition and making all the events run like clockwork. We are very grateful to them for their effort and the passion that went into preparing and running this competition.

We've returned home happy with our results. The public loved the House and were amazed by our innovations. We had thousands of visitors pass through, and at one point peaked with 3,500 visits in one five-hour period! We had a lot of media outlets visit the site, and calling to request photos and interviews. The Times and The Washington Post featured articles with the houses competing in the Solar Decathlon, and with pictures of The Black&White House.

Our Facebook fan site has been updated with pictures from the competition. You can take a look at them here:

At the moment, we are in the process of wrapping everything up, thanking our sponsors, and discussing our next steps. We plan to show the House at fairs, and are working to make our technological patents and innovations available to consumers, so feel free to get in touch with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid if you are interested in getting involved with these endeavors.

We hope you had a great time following TeamSPAIN and The Black&White House as we prepared and competed in the Solar Decathlon 2009. We are very grateful for all your support!


miércoles, 14 de octubre de 2009

A house in the middle of the street

We have had an intense couple of days. The awards for Market Viability, Architecture, and Communication have been made public, and teams have been rewarded for their efforts, dedication, and ability to make their ideas a reality.

TeamSPAIN did not have the honor of being in the top three for these awards, but it has been immensely satisfying talking to the judges and demonstrating the effort we've made, and we've felt a great sense of completion after taking the time to explain the concepts behind The Black&White House.

We are also having fun during the house tours. Visitors have fallen in love with our project and our innovations. We've noticed a sense of awe from the majority of the public when we show them our rotating roof, the moving walls, and our transportation system. The response from the public has given us great satisfaction, and we hope to see a similar response from Decathletes from other teams during the team tours.


lunes, 12 de octubre de 2009

Media, media, media...

It is such a pleasure for us to be seen on Spanish TV.

But we are also receiving media attention from blogs, newspapers, foreign TV broadcasters and magazines, so it is difficult to keep track of it all. It is a great reward to see such a response from our communication efforts, and while our main focus is on the competition, it is very exciting to see that our work has had an impact outside of The National Mall.

Today we will be hosting a second dinner party, and we hope to delight our neighbors with some delicious Spanish food. A quick note to those who are suspicious about our local cuisine: Spanish food is not spicy, Mexican food is ;-)

Wishing you another great competition day...


domingo, 11 de octubre de 2009

Defining Moment - Jury Tours

Saturday was a great day for our team. For those unfamiliar with the competition, we get scored and those points go toward our final placement. Some of those points come from subjective contests in which a board of juries evaluates our efforts and ideas in architecture, communication, and the market viability of the project.

During Saturday morning, we were visited by three groups of judges who first listened to our presentation for twenty minutes, and then took another ten minutes to discuss their impressions amongst themselves. During the next few days we will be hearing what those impressions were and will be receiving a score from them. We cannot wait to see what they thought of of our concept and our House.

After the jury visits, we opened the House to the public and received 1403 visitors. We finished the day at 10pm, when we switched off the lights and left The National Mall for the evening. Today, Sunday, we will be receiving our neighbors for a movie night. It should be a lot of fun.


...check out the scores at

viernes, 9 de octubre de 2009

Dinner Party

Today, the luckiest of the Decathletes in Washington are going to enjoy a special dinner party with a menu prepared by Chef José Andrés (of the ThinkFoodGroup). Tomorrow, we'll get to read their reviews.

Competition Day 1 - Inauguration Day

Hello Everybody,

As some of our Professors like to say, it is one thing to build a Ferrari, and it is quite another to drive one. Up until this moment, we've been in building mode, but now it's racing time. What we need is to shift gears, and events like the inauguration ceremony and the visit from our main sponsor, the Spanish Minister of Housing, make that transition easier.

Our first day has been filled with some truly unforgettable moments. We opened The Black&White House to the public, and we have been visited by the DOE Solar Decathlon master and commander, Richard King. We also had a visit from our friend and sponsor Jose Andrés, head of ThinkFoodGroup, who will be preparing our dinner menu for the competition. Also, we were quite surprised to find UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon taking a walk through the interior living space.

On the first day we had 1116 visitors, and the feedback we received so far has been very positive. We are eager to see what happens on Day Two! Also, we are going to keep updating in real time from The Mall using Twitter, so look us up and follow our Tweets!


miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2009

Ready, steady, go!

Well, the big day has finally arrived!

Today is October 7th, and we are cleaning up and preparing to start the competition. It has been a tough week for us, and while we've loved working at The National Mall, our fun has been mixed with long hours, little sleep, and lots of sweat, but now the House is looking good and we are prepared to compete.

Today we will have a reception for our main sponsor, the Spanish Minister of Housing, Beatriz Corredor. Also our sculptor, Juan Bordes, has come for a visit to see how his work looks juxtaposed next to The B&W House. Faculty and staff from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and from their research departments have also come to wish us well, and we couldn't be more thrilled. The sense of anticipation fills the air not only at The National Mall, but everywhere we go. We're anxious to start competing, but we're ready!