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 Walking on Sunshine

The 2013 Solar Decathlon team gets ready for results

After two years of blood, sweat, and tears, it all comes down to this weekend for the 2013 Santa Clara University Solar Decathlon team. Team Santa Clara unveiled Radiant House to the public and judges on Oct. 3 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine and the contest ends on Sunday.

“We’ve had overwhelming support from the SCU community and are not surprised to find visitors really love Radiant House,” says team member Brittnie Swartchik ’14, one of the many team members cramming in schoolwork between giving tours and presentations.

The home is loaded with Santa Clara and Bay Area touches: White roses are a fragrant nod to the mission gardens; a wine barrel from Testarossa Winery (located on the historic Novitiate Winery still owned by Jesuits) holds a phase change material that keeps water hot even at night; a copy of Santa Clara Magazine graces the bamboo furniture, which was donated by Santa Cruz designer Maria Yee; a wall full of pictures shows the construction process on the SCU campus; and the excellent engineering involved in the bamboo floor joists and dryer heat exchanger are student senior design projects.

“Everyone will feel comfortable in our home, but we really wanted to reflect the pride we feel as Broncos and students from the Jesuit University in Silicon Valley,” says Interiors Team Lead Beth Avon ’14.

This is the third time Santa Clara has entered the contest. The 2007 home is now used as an office and program headquarters for Forge Garden. The 2009 home, just outside the main parking structure, is used by the School of Engineering for outreach and is a highlight for campus tours. The team and University are still deciding the fate of the 2013 home.

The students will find out if all of their attention to detail pays off during the final ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 12. The event will be live streamed on the Solar Decathlon website.

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