SCU CCA Refract House US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
The Refract House.  Can you believe undergraduate students built this?
The Refract House. Can you believe undergraduate students built this?
concept  ::  Student Intent  ::


Our unique collaboration between schools, undergraduate students, and fields of expertise will provide a new model for integrated design. Our mission with the Refract House is to demonstrate that green living does not require a compromise in lifestyle - it will be a home inspires others. Ultimately, the influence of the Refract House project should far beyond Team California, its message reverberating long after the Solar Decathlon has ended.

Student Powered

The Refract House was designed, built, and managed completely by undergraduate students. Coming to this project, we knew nothing. However, as true students not delayed by 'convention', we learned quickly and designed as we believed was right, not off of what was cheap or easy.

If the homes of the Solar Decathlon are those of the future, than the Refract House truly is because it was built by the future: the young students of today.


In the construction of Refract House, we really focused on how we were using resources and material choices. This was not part of the competition, this sustainability aspect is not expected. However, according to our principles, it is worth taking a little energy hit in order to use aluminum windows (recyclable) instead of using vinyl windows (not). Same thing with using a recirculation pump, it costs a bit of energy to use the pump, but we more than make up for it with the water we are saving.

Post Competition

The Refract House will either be stationed across from city hall in San Jose, or possibly going to the US Embassy in Chile. We are excited about both options, since they are both locations where an enthusiastic public will enjoy it as an exhibit.


The logo of the Refract House illustrates refraction with its twist in shape, but additionally provides a very strong visual for a group to rally behind. We use it on everything from clothing to construction drawing title blocks