3rd Place Overall!
First Light Shine Bright

The Meridian First Light team have capped of an amazing run by placing third overall at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

After running mid pack for a while, the team came on strongly, taking out the engineering prize – and that was without any engineering students being on the team!

Congratulations from Designworks and all the other sponsors who have put so much into this great achievement.

Designworks staff donated their time to create the First Light brand story, expression and communications platform, as well as providing design mentoring leading up to the event.

Following is the final update from team member Sophie Prebble:

3rd place overall!!!

Before the final results of Market Appeal yesterday we were sitting in 4th place after climbing the ranks from our original ranking of 9th we made it to 3rd!

The award ceremony took place yesterday afternoon in the main tent on West Potomac Park. The teams, public and media all piled in to fill the tent and here the winners announced.

Market appeal was announced first and to our joy we placed third.  Market Appeal is one of the more subjective contests so we really had no idea how it would pan out. Maryland came in second for the contest and Middlebury first.

Before the market appeal contest the rankings sat with Maryland first, Purdue second and SCI-Arc/CalTech in third, we sat just a few points behind the leaders in 4th place.  Our high score for Market Appeal turned out to be enough to get us over the line and on the podium, with Purdue and Maryland keeping their spots at the top.

When third place overall was announced the team was ecstatic, it may not have been first place but it felt that way to us. Placing third out of 19 teams felt pretty darn good! People keep saying that this years houses are a step above the previous years. While we may not have been involved with previous Solar Decathlons we would have to agree about the high standard of houses in this competition.

Getting to know the teams and see inside their inventive and inviting houses has been incredible. Our team has had a fantastic time representing Victoria University and New Zealand in the competition and we’ve really enjoyed bringing a little bit of our Kiwi lifestyle to the competition.

With the competition over there is one more day for the public to come through and then straight afterward we are into deconstruction. While we had almost seven days to put the house up we have just four to take it down and get it off West Potomac Park. It’ll then be back to the crane yard to package up the house and send it back to New Zealand and to its new owner.

Thank you to everyone who has had a part in this along the way.  We have been overwhelmed by the support of people here in the US and tremendous support from back home.