October 2013

Santa Clara University Congratulates 2013 Solar Decathlon Team

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 12, 2013 - Santa Clara University is proud to congratulate Team Santa Clara for a strong finish in engineering in the 2013 Solar Decathlon. Santa Clara University placed 5th in engineering and 11th overall in the international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dozens of students have worked two years designing, engineering, building and promoting their 964-square foot entry, named Radiant House. The judges took note of SCU student innovations including the use of bamboo in the infrastructure, a radiant heating and cooling system, and a pioneering clothes-dryer heat exchange system. The students also excelled in outreach. They maintained a consistent, strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and Pinterest and even held monthly Google+ hangouts with elementary schoolers.

Competition was strong this year, the first time the Solar Decathlon has been held in California and scores were the closest they’ve ever been in the six Solar Decathlon competitions. The Vienna University of Technology took first place, The University of Nevada Las Vegas took second and The Czech Technical University took 3rd place.

“We are honored to be part of such a tough competition and thrilled that our message that you don’t have to sacrifice luxury for a sustainable lifestyle was heard by so many,” says team communications lead Brian Grau, ‘15. “For us, this is about more than building a solar powered house. We want to encourage more people to invest in solar energy and make a real difference in the future.”

The team was judged on 10 categories including a new category this year, affordability. Radiant House, which cost under $350,000 to build, did best in measured or data-driven categories such as comfort zone, hot water, appliances and energy balance.

Students built the house on campus. They then disassembled it, trucked it to Irvine, Calif., and reassembled it in the Orange County Great Park. The students started showing the home to the public and judges on Oct. 3. The judging took place over 10 days, Oct. 3rd to 13th.

The Solar Decathlon is held every two years, and features up to 20 college or university teams from around the world competing to build an energy-efficient home that is 100 percent powered by the sun. This is the third time Santa Clara University has competed in the Solar Decathlon, having won third place in 2007 and 2009.

Solar Decathlon