The Solar Homestead is Appalachian State University's entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. Inspired by the pioneer spirit of the early settlers in the mountain region of North Carolina, we have designed a self-sustaining zero energy home.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Decathlete of the Week - Part 1

Our huge collection of EIGHT deliverables last week wouldn't have been possible without the stand-out performances of all of our Decathletes. We had so many amazing students who stepped up to the challenge and sacrificed their sleep for our team's success, that we have now chosen to feature the three students whose hard work made these deliverables happen. Congratulations to each of you!

Meredith Smith: Revit Master extraordinaire
First is Meredith Smith

Job Title: Interior Designer

Area of Study: Interior Design

How did you get involved?
"The Solar Homestead had my interior design class do a brief interior design project, and the parameters were intriguing enough that I wanted to continue on the project after I was approached by Chelsea and Jose."

Merdith showing off one of our rough models on a tour.
How do you blow off steam from the Solar Homestead?
"I like to go on 10 mile runs."

What is the coolest thing you have ever done?
 "I would have to say scuba diving in Boneaire. My dad was a big dive guy in the 70's. He'd skip his classes in med-school and head  down in the Keys. He was known as the Phantom of med-school. He'd come into exams an hour late, still salty and tan and blonde. He'd take off his aviators and have to beg his teachers to let him even try the exam. He'd pass them though. I know it's not the seventies, and I know I can't drive a motorcycle through Mexico by myself, or strap my sleeping bag to the top of a train to hitchhike to Canada, but I want stories like that. The best versions I can."

Why do you like designing?
"I love beauty. I love man's pursuit of some beyond just function. that could have taken me into a lot of fields though. I choose design because I like problem solving, analysis, and order."

If you could write any Syfi novel what would be the general plot?

"OK. Plot. Main setting: a dessert town in the west, current day. Half the land is owned by ranchers and half by a military air base. One of the ranches bordering the government land is owned by a broken man, now an alcoholic. His daughter, 25, runs the ranch, her mother died in childbirth, her sister unborn. The male lead is a twenty-something Mexican-American. His family works the surrounding ranches. He left to join the air-force though. He's is assigned to come back to the local air-base to test a new plane. On one of the test flights, his fighter-jet crashes, and he's stranded on the middle of the girl's 500 acre ranch. Communications are down. He starts walking. Dehydration sets in and he passes out. He wakes up in a cave. There are dragons there. Yep, dragons. No they don't talk. Common misconception."

The Solar Homestead would like to thank Meredith for all of her hard work on the design and structural drawings of the Solar Homestead. Your critical thinking and out-of-the-box solutions helped the Solar Homestead to turn our last deliverable in complete and on time. Let us all thank and congratulate Meredith on her dedication. Way to go!!

Stay tuned in to our other decathlete of the week blogs featuring Jill Yerden and Sammy Cortino...

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