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Santa Clara University Students to Show How Living Green Isn't a Compromise at Earth Day Festival in San Francisco

Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – April 13, 2010 – Santa Clara University students who built an award-winning 800-square-foot, solar-powered house are headed to San Francisco for Earth Day to show homeowners how to make their homes energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, and livable. They will be at the Earth Day Festival on Thursday, April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Visitors will see and learn about:

•    Various green building materials and technologies for homes;
•    Easy, affordable steps families can take towards sustainability and climate neutrality;
•    The solar house that students built for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 office is sponsoring this event and invited SCU to help Bay Area residents understand that living green isn’t a compromise.

“We learned so much about sustainability and green technology during the two years we spent on designing, engineering, and building our house for the Solar Decathlon,” said SCU engineering junior Mikell Warms. “So, we want to share what we learned with the others to help them live comfortably and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time without sacrificing their needs.”

Some of the hi-tech features that SCU students used in their solar-powered home include:
•    Radiant heating/cooling – supplies heat/cold directly to the floor and ceiling thereby heating/cooling the space more efficiently.
•    Greywater system – created by students to filter water used in the washer, dishwasher, and sinks to irrigate the garden/landscaping.
•    Monitoring system – tracks energy, water, and thermal consumption and production in real-time to help homeowners establish better habits; it also keeps an eye on the weather.
•    iPhone control application – also created by students to turn on and off lights and appliances.

The Solar Decathlon is a competition that determines which university or college can build the most energy-efficient, beautiful home, which is 100 percent powered by the sun. SCU students won third place last fall, beating Penn State, Rice, and Virginia Tech.

Media Contact:
Connie Kim Coutain | | 408-554-5126 office | 408-829-4836 cell

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 8,600 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

Tags: Earth Day, festival, Refract House, Solar Decathlon

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