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Solar Decathalon Project Uses Industry Cooperation To Succeed

Representatives from four precast companies, two precast engineers, and several students from the Washington University St. Louis 2017 Solar Decathlon team came together to work on details of the  precast concrete house that will be entered in the competition in the Fall of 2017 during the end of the Fall 2016 semester. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition made up of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. The contest is scheduled for the fall of 2017.

"Our solar decathlon project went well this semester, and we have one design studio working on architectural design development documents, and one seminar course working on 3D printing technology with focus on furniture,” says Professor Hongxi Yin, who is heading the team. "Brian Bock of Dukane Precast led the industrial effort on behalf of PCI in this effort and we truly appreciate his championship. Currently, we have Dukane Precast, Gate Precast, St. Louis Prestressing, Enterprise Precast, and several other potential producers from Denver area working on the production of various components for our house. The effort cuts cross four regional PCI Chapters."

Brian Bock from Dukane Precast has a great success record putting together cooperative industry projects and has put those skills to work for the Solar Decathlon. "Speaking for our entire industry team, I would like to say that it has been a very rewarding experience working with the multitude of students, professors and numerous higher level faculty at Washington University in St. Louis on the Solar Decathlon project,” says Bock. "The number of students and faculty directly involved in this effort by the time it is completed will be over 150 in number, hailing from the schools of architecture, engineering, business, computer science, public health and construction management."

Washington University has group of four full-time faculty from Architecture and Engineering working on different aspects of the project. We have instructed close to 100 architectural and engineering undergraduate and graduate students through the solar decathlon projects. This solar decathlon project in Washington University truly demonstrated the collaboration of Academia and Industrial partnership,” says Yin. "Our faculty and students got tremendous benefits from it already. We hope to collaborate with PCI more closely to make the rest of the work successfully, specially the shipping issues."

"The wide-ranging participation amongst individual PCI Producers, our material suppliers and allies, and National & Regional PCI staff from multiple states, has been fantastic! We are enjoying the process and the camaraderie that has developed during this industry effort with academia. We look forward to great things in 2017 and beyond,” says Bock

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