Virginia Tech’s Solar Decathlon team arrived on the Mall in Washington, D.C., shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday to more fanfare than anyone passing by the mall at that wee hour would have guessed.

Just before they arrived, the team, comprised of students from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering, powered up their solar house’s innovative polycarbonate panels, which, among other things, allow for the walls to illuminate in any color imaginable. Bystanders were struck with the novelty of a multicolored house pulling onto the Mall.

Virginia Tech was one of only a few entrants present on the Mall last night as the earliest possible time for the teams to arrive was midnight yesterday. The Virginia Tech team worked on assembling their house, which was transported using another innovation they designed and built-- a lowboy chassis that serves as the floor and foundation, but that also receives a detachable gooseneck and rear axels for transport--until about 4 a.m.

After a short nap, the students were back at work and will be tackling interior preparations this evening. “Our students are psyched and running on adrenaline,” said Robert Schubert, associate dean of research and outreach for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and one of a handful of faculty and staff accompanying the team. “To see the sun rise over the Capitol and the solar house was pretty impressive.”

Updates on the Solar Decathlon are available here.

PLEASE NOTE: After Oct. 5, the Department of Energy will be posting high-resolution photos with captions taken by a professional photographer. Photo will be available each day (late in the afternoon) and may be used by anyone. Please give proper photo credit when using pictures: (Stefano Paltera/Solar Decathlon). Images may be found at Updates (go to photos or gallery of homes, choose photo library link on top right). Other images will be posted at Updates

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