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SCU Students Unveil Solar Powered House on August 16

Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007




Join students on the Santa Clara University Solar Decathlon team, SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J., interim dean of the School of Engineering, James Koch, and Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter, for an open house that celebrates SCU’s entry to the international Solar Decathlon. The Solar Decathlon is an intercollegiate competition to design, build, and operate a home powered completely by solar energy and to promote sustainable living.

Santa Clara University is among 20 institutions from around the world (and the only campus west of the Rockies) chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy to participate in the 2007 Solar Decathlon. The challenge is to design, construct, and display a fully functional, 650-square-foot solar powered home. The competition culminates Oct. 12 - 20, when teams assemble their solar homes and create a solar village on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.






  • Paul Locatelli, S.J., President, SCU
  • Mike Splinter, President and CEO, Applied Materials Inc.
  • Jim Purcell, Vice President of University Relations, SCU
  • Jim Koch, interim Dean of the School of Engineering, SCU
  • James Bickford, student
  • Megan Mooney, student
  • Ken Yeager, Supervisor, Santa Clara County






Aug. 16; 10.30 a.m.






Construction site just outside Buck Shaw Stadium

Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara 95053Available for interviews: Student and faculty team members; sponsors


Parking: A guard at the SCU entrance will direct you to visitors parking and to the solar home construction site at Buck Shaw Stadium.




Background on the Solar Decathlon and Santa Clara’s Solar House




A team of more than 80 students from SCU’s School of Engineering has been working on the solar home for the past year. Some of the features of the SCU house are a solar-thermal-driven air conditioner, bamboo I-beams, and self-tinting windows. The solar home will be judged in 10 categories: Architecture, Engineering, Graphics and Communication, the Comfort Zone, Hot Water, Appliances, Energy Balance, Lighting, Marketing, and Getting Around. The house will have to power a car as well as a complete set of appliances used in modern American homes.

“The building of this house is truly a collaborative effort between students, faculty, and the community, and demonstrates the power and promise of alternative energy,” said James Bickford, project manager of SCU’s Solar Decathlon team.

In October, the solar home will be transported cross country to Washington, D.C., where it will become part of a solar village composed of homes designed and built by the Solar Decathlon teams. Among the teams SCU will be competing against are: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cornell University; Texas A&M University; University of Colorado, Denver and Boulder; Pennsylvania State University; and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,377 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see



Tags: solar-house

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