It is not so common that a university has the chance to participate in a Solar Decathlon competition twice in a row. DTU was selected in 2012 and 2014, and therefore we can benefit a lot from the experience gained in the last edition in Madrid with the project FOLD, even though most of the decathletes have changed. That is why we organized a little get-together between some members of the FOLD team and the ones currently working with EMBRACE.


Around some beers, a dozen of students from the last project shared their knowledge and experience, and we even had a Skype call with one of them from Austria who was willing to transmit his enthusiasm about Solar Decathlon. They could tell us things only people who already lived this experience can share. For example, they encountered issues during the mounting of the roof modules of FOLD, or faced the intransigent construction rules during the building phase, plus dozens of similar anecdotes. We also had some insights of the team spirit, how it is to live and work full time with our fellow students, and the great social interactions between all teams. It gave us more concrete thoughts about the competition; and now the idea that we will spend time in Versailles is taking shape and anchoring in our brains.


Our own communication coach Dalia Safir was present to organize some original presentation exercises to introduce each other. It helped a lot to identify the students who were in charge of the same tasks than us during the past edition, in order to ask them more targeted questions later on. We also did some exercises in order to emphasize the importance of teamwork, which is crucial for a project like the Solar Decathlon.


Noticing the difference between presenting alone and being supported by teammates…

It is not all to encourage us and make us drool over the wonderful experience that a Solar Decathlon competition can be, the FOLD decathletes also warned us with potential pitfalls. They did not paint it all as a bed of roses and did not hide the hard work and the problems that can happen due to stress, bad coordination or poor planning.


But despite the obstacles on the way, they made it, and so will we! That is actually the best advice they can give as our kind of “elder brothers”, and we thank them for that!

You can find more pictures of the event in our gallery.