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Santa Clara University Students Heading to Washington, D.C. for Solar Decathlon

The solar panels are up, the kitchen cabinets are in, and the doors are open to the ultimate energy-efficient, solar-powered house built by students from Santa Clara University and California College of the Arts. Now, they’re off to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., Oct. 8–16.

Cranes arrived on Sept. 14 to lift the 800-square-foot house off its temporary foundation. Crews then moved the house, broken into three modules, onto three flatbed trucks. The trucks are leaving campus Sept. 15 and will travel nearly 3,000 miles to the nation’s capital where the students will reassemble the house on the National Mall next to 19 other student-built homes.

The students unveiled the house to the public and conducted tours during a send-off celebration that was held on Sept. 1. Solar Decathlon Director Richard King, Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan, and Applied Materials President and CEO Mike Splinter were among the distinguished guests attending the event.

President Michael Engh, S.J., highlighted how Santa Clara students’ work is helping to achieving a more just and sustainable future.

“The team has worked to design a zero energy home that produces as much as energy as it needs from renewable resources, such as the sun, while designing an exterior landscape that uses and stores rain water and recycles the home’s own gray water,” said Engh.

Some of the other features in and around the house include:

  • Radiant heating and cooling
  • Krypton and Argon gas-filled, triple- and double-paned glass windows and doors
  • Bamboo paneling and cabinetry
  • Reclaimed wood siding, floors, and deck
  • iPhone-controlled monitoring system

Santa Clara University and California College of the Arts are the only schools from the Golden State and the entire West Coast involved in the Solar Decathlon. The students will be competing against college/university teams from the U.S., Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

Watch SCU students and their solar house on ABC.

Watch SCU students and their solar house live on CBS.

Watch SCU students and their solar house on NBC.

Watch a slide show of SCU students disassembling solar house and cranes moving it onto the flatbed trucks.

Watch a video profiling some of the SCU students who built the house.

Watch a time lapse video showing the entire construction of the house.

Watch a slide show of the send-off celebration that took place on Sept. 1.

Follow Refract House on Facebook.

Follow Refract House on Twitter.

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