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Team California Wins Third Place in the 2009 Solar Decathlon

Team California won second place in engineering and third place overall at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., last month. The students beat top universities such as Tufts, Rice, and Cornell, making their home one of the most energy-efficient, beautiful, and comfortable solar-powered homes in the world. The judges described Team California’s 800-square-foot house, called Refract House, as masterfully executed, exquisite, and well designed.

“We proved to the world today that you don’t have to compromise comfort, style, and convenience to live in a green home,” said Allison Kopf, Team California’s project manager and Santa Clara University student. “Our home is attractive, functional, and livable, and thousands of people who visited also agreed.”

Students from Santa Clara University and the California College of the Arts make Team California. They finished in the top three in seven of the ten contests:

  • Architecture – 1st place
  • Communications – 1st place
  • Engineering – 2nd place
  • Appliances – 2nd place
  • Home Entertainment – 2nd place
  • Hot Water – 3rd place
  • Market Viability – 3rd place
  • Lighting Design – 6th place
  • Net metering – 12th place
  • Comfort Zone – 14th place

The students spent two years designing, engineering, and building the house. They then disassembled it, trucked it to Washington, D.C., and reassembled it on the National Mall. Read more.

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to a reception to celebrate the team’s victory. It will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. outside Bannan Engineering's Multi-Purpose Room.

Watch slideshow from the competition in Washington, D.C.

Watch Team California’s reaction to 3rd place win at the Solar Decathlon.

Watch Team California’s reaction to 2nd place win in engineering.

Watch Team California’s 1st place win in communications, which caught the students completely by surprise.

Watch Team California’s reaction to 1st place win in architecture.

Watch Team California’s reaction to 3rd place win in market viability.

Watch Team California arriving in D.C. and reassembling their solar house.

Watch timelapse video of Team California building their solar house at Santa Clara University.

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