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Photo of Refract House and landscaping at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009. Enlarge image

Refract House is designed to take full advantage of California's sunny climate. The house now resides on the Santa Clara University campus.
(Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Who: Team California
What: Refract House
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA 95053
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Public tours: Available upon request

Solar Decathlon 2009

Team California: Creating a Legacy

Following the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009, Team California's Refract House returned to Santa Clara University's Silicon Valley campus. In this location, it joined Santa Clara's Solar Decathlon 2007 house as a hands-on research facility for faculty and students.

Santa Clara University (SCU) and California College of the Arts formed a winning partnership for Solar Decathlon 2009. Their innovative Refract House placed third overall in the competition, thanks largely to top performances in the Architecture, Communications, Engineering, and Market Viability contests.

"Our intention is to make use of both houses for collecting data, creating ties to various courses, doing extensive community outreach, promoting SCU, and supporting assorted research projects," says Dr. Timothy Hight, chair and associate professor in the SCU mechanical engineering department.

Preet Anand, an SCU team member, summed up his future hopes for the Refract House on the team blog. "I'm still truly in denial that this project is over. As reality seeps in, I think about legacy. I hope we leave one behind that a house can be beautiful, unique, and still green," he says.

Anand could also add educational, informative, and inspirational to his list. These qualities are sure to ensue once the reconstruction of Refract House is complete in time for the start of fall 2010 classes.