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March 2017

SCU Tiny House Wins 2016 Green Builder Award

rEvolve House Wins Best College Sustainability Project in the 2016 Green Builder Award

rEvolve House Wins Best College Sustainability Project Award from Green Builder Magazine

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 16, 2017— Santa Clara University’s rEvolve House wins the 2016 Green Builder® Green Home of the Year Awards in the Best College Sustainability Project category. Homes were evaluated in terms of overall sustainability, resilience, synergy with the environment and surrounding neighborhood, affordability, creativity and the depth of building science employed.

The rEvolve house was built by a team of Santa Clara University students from a broad range of majors with the support and guidance of SCU’s School of Engineering. Research, design, and construction on the tiny house took two years beginning in 2015 and the home was submitted for the inaugural SMUD Tiny House Competition where it took first place winning the competition against eight other California college teams.

“This was a tremendous team effort on the part of our students and faculty leaders Professor Tim Hight and the late Fr. Jim Reites, and is a shining example of the dedication our Broncos bring to advancing sustainability,” said Godfrey Mungal, Dean of the School of Engineering at Santa Clara University.  

SCU’s rEvolve House is a 238-square-foot tiny home that rotates. The house is set on a trailer connected to a COLOSSUN solar tracking ring that allows the entire house to revolve as the sun moves across the sky, improving the home's solar efficiency by 30 percent. The home also features a living room that converts to a bedroom with a Murphy bed that can be pulled down at night. A full-sized kitchen incorporates a seating area with a foldout table, and a 35-square-foot wet bathroom with a dry-flush toilet that eliminates the use of a black water system completes the package. The walls are constructed with structural insulated panels, making the home stronger and more energy efficient than a traditional stick-framed home.

The rEvolve House also features an accessible roof deck that provides an expanded seating area for six. In order to support an off-grid lifestyle, the house is powered entirely by eight 330-watt Sunmodule solar panels. The house stores its energy using saltwater batteries, the only batteries in the world to be Cradle to Cradle certified.

The house has been donated to Operation Freedom Paws, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching veterans and others with disabilities to train their own service dogs, and was designed with its final destination in mind.

The doorways, showers and appliances are all accessible from a wheelchair. The bed unfolds from the wall, providing plenty of living space and an open, airy atmosphere is designed for clients suffering from PTSD. Surfaces are tough enough to withstand the rigors of pet ownership while being easily cleaned. There is a vacuum built into the wall to collect dog hair and a drawer with dog bowls that emerges from the wall.

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 more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, 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

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