Press release #5 – Ready, get set, build!

Summer holidays? Pff. Lazy autumn start of the semester? Nope. That is what did not happen to team FIRSTLIFE . We have given the project a lot during the last months. But what progress we have made? Yes, from the beginning, we were ready to build the house. But thanks to our team’s hard work, we are nearly set to start building.

FIRSTLIFE project, based in Prague, is right now on the crucial point of its journey to Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22 finals in Wuppertal, Germany. We have less than 200 days to show other teams from Europe and mostly to ourselves that our design of Dormitory extension is not just a vision. To show that vision in reality. And we are on the verge of building it.

The drawings of our house demonstration unit are not just ideas and propositions anymore. With every new calculation and engineering decision, our design is more precise and, let’s say it, doable. We are using the skills of electrical engineers, civil engineers, building services engineers etc. But we’ve also grown in numbers in soft skills departments. We have stable PR and Fundraising groups. Our team, nearly 60 headed strong, is now divided into 14 workgroups, each with a specialized field of expertise. “It is incredible how students, who have never seen each other before, can work out the problem and find the hidden connection for each unique and clever solution”, says Eliška Kopačkova, a master’s degree student and member of our architecture group.

Other big news is that we are close to sealing the deal with major Czech companies to fulfil the budget planned for the project as demanding as FIRSTLIFE is. Our fundraisers have nearly daily meetings with potential partners.

We are also already in contact with the outside world. We had several chances to speak to the students at our home university. And We’ve shown our house demonstration design in virtual reality at ForArch 2021, the largest annual civil engineering expo in Czechia. We also represented our idea of upcycling at the Prague exhibition Pokoje (Rooms) 2021, with our exhibit called “World Wade out of Waste”. Thru this action of our architectural team, we’ve been mentioned in one of the biggest internet news media, Aktuálně.cz. It’s hopefully only the first mention, and more will come in future months. And since we are talking about media, we’ve got some articles in specialized ones, such as Odpadové Fórum (Waste Management Forum) and TZB-info.

But the biggest challenge is ahead. We are just a few weeks from starting the construction of our house. As our faculty advisor professor Jan Tywoniak says: “It’s crucial to hold the team together thru the hardest period of the competition, which is building the prototype. Every non-optimal decision, made during the design period, must be quickly solved on the site.” Yes, during the building phase, there will be more than one crisis to solve. Not counting the Covid one. But we will manage. You will see.