Team Reciprocite competes
by Allison Haver
"All of these students have given up their spring breaks to work on this, which is rare," Bill Pfleger, Team Reciprocite's project manager, said.
"Most of the team has pulled about 100 hours a week, last week; I worked 95 hours," Pfleger said.
All of those long hours will pay off when Appalachian State University, one of only two teams representing the United States, will compete in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, an international competition inspired by the U.S. Solar Decathlon that challenges student teams to design and build an energy-independent solar house.
Twenty projects were selected for the competition out of a total of 44 candidates from 23 countries.
Appalachian is partnering with the University of Angers in Angers, France. The collaboration, will present their energy-plus house design, Maison Reciprocity, in Versailles from June through July.
Maison Reciprocity was designed to be an innovative reimagining of a traditional urban row house. The low-rise multi-family housing structures will have low environmental impact and be constructed of entirely green and sustainable building materials, according to the team's website.
Construction for Team Reciprocite's house design began in early September at the Solar Decathlon Headquarters in Boone, and the team began to assemble their solar structure design for testing on March 5.
The structure will be tested, disassembled, packaged and shipped to Europe, where a team of 30 will rebuild the entire structure in 10 days, according to Mark Bridges, the team's communication manager.
With limited time, manpower and resources, the team will put its structure back together in order to be judged and critiqued during the competition.
The projected ship date for the structure is May 1.
Team Reciprocite is also one of the only teams, which is not government subsidized, competing in the Solar Decathlon.
All of the funds for the project are raised by the team, or donated by sponsors and community members, Bridges said.
"It is important for us to stage the interior of the house in order to appeal to the general public and juries," Bridges said. "No one wants to see an empty house."
Numerous registries have been started and feature carefully selected items that will fit into the house.
Registries include Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Target and CB2. The team is also accepting gift cards to Ikea and West Elm.
Team Reciprocite will be accepting donations until March 31.
Those who would like to donate to or learn more about Team Reciprocite can visit http://www.reciprocity2014.com or Facebook page Reciprocite 2014.
Maison Reciprocity will offer society an answer to the lack of affordable, healthy, high-quality, durable, sustainable and adaptable housing, according to the team.