Santa Clara University

SCU School of Engineering Solar Decathlon Blog

Your comments and entries are welcome. To submit a blog entry, please email Heidi Williams, School of Engineering Communications Coordinator:

March 27, 2009:

Construction begins!Students began construction on the 2009 Refract House this week! On Tuesday, steel and wood were delivered and the team instantly got to work surveying, placing, and leveling seismic piers; placing angles and moment frames, and cutting and placing the rim and floor joists for the modules.

The house is already beginning to take shape. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the progress as they gather at SCU on April 3 to celebrate the kick-off of construction. Joining the SCU-CCA team will be San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, and Mike Splinter, Chairman and CEO of Applied Materials.

Commenting on the efforts of the team, Mayor Reed said, "Silicon Valley is on its way to becoming the world center of clean tech innovation, and solar is at the core of this effort. Young innovators like the Solar Decathlon team from Santa Clara University and California College of the Arts showcase the talent and creativity that this region fosters. The 2007 team showed the world how solar homes can be practical, livable, and attractive. I'm looking forward to another successful effort in 2009."

RSVP here for the April 3 Kick-Off Celebration.

March 7, 2008:

Architectural Design Review

SCU students, faculty and staff members attended an architectural design review at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. SCU and CCA have teamed up for the 2009 competition and this was the first chance to see our partners' 16 preliminary designs. 

In working on their designs, CCA students considered issues of flexibility of space, prefabrication, shipping, sustainability, and adaptability of the design to networks of units.

Over the next three weeks, these 16 designs will be developed further and another review will be held. Eventually, architectural teams will continue working on four designs from which a Design Review Board will select the project that will be built for the competition.

In the 2007 competition, SCU (the only participant without an architecture school) scored beautifully in 9 of the 10 Decathlon contests-but placed 18th out of 20 in the architecture component. Amazingly enough, SCU would have won first place outright if we had only scored well enough in architecture to place us in the number 10 spot! So you can see why we are so excited to be paired with CCA this time around.

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