2020 MESA Day FAQs

Last Updated: January 19, 2020

This document is intended to clarify any information pertaining to the upcoming MESA Day/Region Design events.  This document also acts as an addendum to the MESA Day Handbook and will be followed at each competition. Some questions have been kept in the FAQ document from previous years to continue to clarify any questions.


Q: If I don’t pass inspection, can I still qualify and come and just do the on site events?
A: No, due to limited time of your Regional Coordinator, if you do not pass inspection at the time scheduled, they are not able to do a 2nd inspection.  A team is not allowed to come unless they participate in all of the designated track events.  (1/19/20)

Q: Can students apply for leadership council and compete?
A: No, events will be happening simultaneously.  Leadership council students will mainly be assigned to event assistance. (1/19/20)


Q: Will a green house count as part of the square footage for the home?
A: Yes, If it is livable space or a room of part of the home.  No if it is not. (1/19/20)

Q: In the handbook it states that we cannot have loose parts, but our roof comes off to show the inside of the home, is this allowed?
A: Roofs can come off for the purpose of showing the inside structure of the home. By “loose parts” we mean, no other materials or accessories used on the model should be loose and come off making a mess.

Example #1: A team decides to use fake grass or sand to demonstrate landscaping. NONE of those materials should come off.

Example #2: A team decides to include to scale beds, and kitchenettes, etc. ALL of these accessories should be secured in the model.

Q: How thorough should we label everything? 
A: Very thorough, even things that are obvious like the roof, walls, but especially accessories like, wood stove, toilet, chimney, etc. If it is not Labeled it is not counted.

Q: Can you attach your blueprint to your board?
A: All parts must be stand-alone including model, brochure, blueprint, etc. 

Q: Do home systems (plumbing, wastewater, power systems, water catching tanks, etc.) need to be labeled and identifiable? Also, do home systems need to have a fixture to identify if it is inside the home or external? 
A: If the home systems are inside or outside the home they must be labeled appropriately and or should demonstrate that it is present.  For example, by showing and labeling a fixture.  

Q: Does the scale need to be labeled only on the blueprint?
A: The scale needs to be on both model and blueprint.

Q: Do we need to have measurements on the model for walls to show that the model is to scale?
A: Yes, everything should be labeled appropriately on the model.

Q: How will you measure the model to make sure it is to scale?  
A: Due to material considerations and judging time constraints; judges will be measuring the perimeter of the model instead of each individual room. Measurements need to be included or labeled on the perimeter of the model.

Q: What needs to be measured and shown to scale?
A: Outside of the home things do not have to be to scale but indicate when things are not to scale and include distances. Example: Include the distance between a water well from a wall of the home, etc. 

Q: Does the legend on the model have to be on the model or can we have a separate piece of paper with the legend on it?
A: The legend CAN be separate as long as it is present by the model for judges.

Q: Can the Board can be reshaped as long as it fits within the test rectangle?
A: Yes the Board can be reshaped as long as it does not exceed the maximum allowable rectangle, per the measurements in the handbook.

Q: Do we need to label or architecture symbols?
A: In this case yes, as we have found that some accessories and or drawings could be too ambiguous for judges. Architecture symbols on the model need to be labeled.

Q:  The handbook, in describing the scenario for the Prepared Design project says, “…They have purchased a huge piece of flat land and would like to be able to live comfortably, but not be dependent on any city or town utilities.” Does this specifically mean that the land is completely flat and there are no hills or other features that can be used to benefit the structure, or can it be assumed that “flat” simply means it is a piece of land that can support a structure?

A: The description of the “flat” surface is to simply indicate that it is a flat land that can support a structure.

Q: The handbook doesn’t mention any budget requirements. Is there any reason to address the cost and/or budget when designing the house and presentation? Will a $4 million house receive the same score as a house that uses all recycled and reused materials and is built cheaply?
A: There is no budget requirement but it is a great point as it is a component that you may incorporate in your presentation as a way to help your team’s pitch. 

Q: If the house has a loft, is that counted as square footage/living space?
A: A loft will not be counted as square footage. 

Q: Does the blueprint also need to be 1/2″ to 1′ scale or can it be scaled down? Example, 1/8″ to 1′. If not, they’ll have a very large blueprint to bring to the event.
A: The blueprint can be any scale as long as there is an intentional (and labeled) scale.