ICON Solar House Wish You Were Here, Construction Crew

ICON Solar House Advisor Jonee Kulman Brigham summarizes the tour team's sentiment from opening ceremonies.

Jonee head shotAs the opening ceremonies were beginning today and the team finally had a minute to breathe, I was talking to Craig Hohensee, Student Construction Manager for the team and told him what a great job he and the construction crew did. He said he thought they had done an over the top effort and wished all those who worked so hard were here to see it opening up. His heartfelt appreciation made me want to capture his and others' sentiments on the team and post to the blog, just as a reminder to those that are back home that they are with us in spirit. One might say the effort was heroic.
ICON Solar House construction crew hoists mechanical shed above foundation.

I talked to one student who is still here (and still standing,) TJ Hinz. At one point he'd been up for 41 hours straight with a 22 hour work shift included. And he was just one of about 15 or so in the same boat. And people are noticing. Craig was talking with a DOE promoter who said that the Minnesota Team's effort to catch up after initial schedule delays was "legendary."

Architecture Team advisor, Jim Lutz also commented on the quality of the team, saying that he was inspired and impressed by the commitment and hard work all the students have made on this project  and that he can't think of a better group of people to work with. And all this effort is paying off. Shengyin Xu, Student Project manager noted, "We'd all been working so hard many of us didn't even realize how it was coming together until it was finished and we received so much positive feedback on the quality of our entry." This was reinforced by the visitors I spoke with who gave us high praises saying they'd love to live there or wishing they could have many of the elements in their own homes.

Finally, I asked Ann Johnson, Overall Project Manager for her reflections on the effort. She started to speak, but then choked up and wrote this down: "There's no way we'd be competing without the construction team - both here and in Washington. For the last month they have worked tirelessly to get the house built at the high level of quality and finish that it is. Once our house arrived here on the Mall. They worked around the clock to get us done, without complaining or protest. They were so valuable and critical to our whole team. I wish there were still here..."  To the many, incredible, tired crew members - in DC and Minnesota, congratulations, thank you, and may you get some sleep very soon...

Opening ceremonies Icon solar team poses with banner