Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Building at the Speed of Light: Prefabrication, Transport, and Assembly

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posted on 2021-11-12, 15:19 authored by Nuttall, Eli

This thesis will examine the logistical strategies and construction techniques used in the making of the First Light house. First Light was the 2011 team entered by Victoria University of Wellington to compete in the US Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon. The team is largely comprised of students and staff in Architecture and the Building Sciences, but also spans to include students from; Design, Landscape Architecture, Marketing and Communications, Tourism Management, and Commerce. The competition took place in September of 2011 and marked the culmination of a two year period of development within the University.  The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy efficient, and attractive. (U.S. Department of Energy, 2012)  The Solar Decathlon has established a very focused and complex brief that, due to its competitive nature, demands an extremely high level of logistical and technical innovation. It captures many of the core issues that architects and engineers are facing today. These issues are centred on energy efficiency, energy production, affordability, and the making of a more liveable and sustainable built environment.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Vale, Robert; Vale, Brenda