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Santa Clara University's 2009 Solar Decathlon House to Open for Tours

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011
SANTA CLARA, Calif. Feb. 22, 2011—For the first time since winning third place in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon, Santa Clara University students and alumni will give public tours of Refract House, the 800-square-foot energy-efficient, solar-powered home they built from the ground up.
Tours will be available on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Santa Clara University from 2–3:30 p.m. The house is located between the Malley Fitness Center and the parking garage (see map).
Students will show the public some of the many eco-friendly products in and around the house that garnered international attention during the competition that took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in October 2009. They are:
  • Solar photovoltaic arrays
  • Radiant heating and cooling
  • Krypton and Argon gas-filled, double-paned glass windows and doors
  • Student-designed bamboo paneling and cabinetry
  • Reclaimed wood siding, floors, and deck
  • Top-of-the line energy-efficient appliances
  • One of the world’s lightest, thinnest, most energy-efficient television
The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition for thousands of college students from around the world to determine which team can design, engineer, and build the most beautiful, comfortable, energy-efficient home that’s entirely powered by solar energy.
After spending half of their college career building the house, the students disassembled it, trucked it to the nation’s capital, and then reassembled it on the mall for the competition from Oct. 816, 2009. SCU students won second place in the category of engineering and third place overall, beating top universities such as Tufts, Rice, and Cornell. Read more.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California’s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see
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Connie Kim Coutain | | 408-554-5126 office | 408-829-4836 cell
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