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Refract House Wins Architecture Honors In Solar Decathalon

The Refract House, a green living home built entirely by students, placed first in Architecture, successfully proving their message that Green Living isn't a compromise in the US Department of Energy's 2009 Solar Decathlon.

above: The public tours the international U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, featuring energy-efficient, solar-powered houses built by 20 university teams from North American and Europe, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009.(Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Although Team Germany won first-place overall, and Team Illinois took second, Team California's REFRACT HOUSE also placed first in Communications, second in Engineering, and third in Market Viability. That's not all... they placed in four out of five subjective judgments, and in the fifth one, Lighting, they placed sixth out of the 20 teams.

You can view high res photos of all the homes and the event here.

The Refract House was designed, built, and managed completely by undergraduate students. Team California consists of students from the California College of the Arts (CCA) and Santa Clara University (SCU). Their Refract House featuring Thermablok’s new "aerogel" insulating material placed third overall among 20 universities from around the world all vying to design, construct and operate the most aesthetic, energy-efficient, and self-sustaining solar-powered house.

A jury of professional architects praised the Refract House, calling it "beautiful in every respect," and applauding Team California’s student architects and designers for its "excellent project documentation, crystal-clear concept, and successful translation of regional architecture."

Take a look.

Renderings and plans:

The models (in which you can see how it changed).
final model:

earlier model:

The final constructed home in Washington D.C. for the event:

Now, tons of images of the home on its initial build site (prior to being moved to Washington DC for the event).


general interior shots:


The living room:



all images courtesy of the Refract House, their blog and flickr group.

To learn more and about all the amazing implementation, go here.

You can view many photos from their flickr group here.

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