To give Maryland's 2005 Solar Decathlon home strength, team members must install walls below the glulam beams, connecting the posts together. These shear walls protect the mechanical space under the house and ensure that the home can withstand 90 mph winds, a competition requirement.
Using two by fours and plywood, team members Mitchell Mendis, Dan Vlacich, and Mike Boteler created six walls to install at the base of the home. They also had the opportunity to use the team's new DeWalt power tools, including a circular saw and air nailer, and their new hand tools from Trippe Supply.
The next step is to build more shear walls for other parts of the house and install them. "It was nice to work indoors on a hot day, so I'm not really looking forward to installing those walls outside on the house," Vlacich laughed.
Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Website