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Appalachian State’s Solar Decathlon Team ‘Maison Reciprocite’ Begins Construction; Photos Included

by Madison V. Fisler

Sept. 12, 2013. After many months of planning and just a few days of delay, Appalachian State University’s Solar Decathlon: Europe team “Maison Reciprocite” began construction this week. 

“Things are moving really quickly,” said Mark Bridges, communications manager of Team Reciprocite.

Since construction began on Tuesday, Sept. 10, the construction team has already made great strides toward the completion of the flooring and foundation pieces of the project. 

Graduate assistants and volunteers affiliated with the project work in shifts to help complete the unit on time. 

Constructed here in Boone, the structure will be built, tested, disassembled, packaged and shipped all the way to Europe, where a team of 30 will rebuild the entire structure in just ten days. With limited time, manpower and resources, the team will put their structure back together in order to be judged and critiqued during the competition.

The idea for the “Maison Reciprocite” is a multiple story structure, where one story would house commercial property, one would hold habitable spaces, and flex and greenspace would be included at the top.

Though the structure itself is extremely important, the idea is to create a “24-hour community,” where the structure would be used in different ways at different parts of the day.

“The U.S. competition focuses on stand alone homes,” said Mark Bridges, a graduate assistant and communications manager working with the team.

“Solar Decathlon: Europe focuses on technology and how the structure would work in a dense urban environment.”

Though construction is well underway, the project still has quite a journey to completion. Even though construction started a few days late, the team is confident that they are completely on track to completing the project on time. 

Check out some photos from the beginning of construction: 


Team members hard at work
Team members hard at work


Working on the floor part of the unit
Working on the floor part of the unit


Hard at work
Hard at work


Members of "Team Reciprocite"
Members of “Team Reciprocite”