SCU CCA Refract House US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
An Architectural drawing of the cantilever over the pond.
An Architectural drawing of the cantilever over the pond.
A process drawing showing the clerestory ribbon.
A process drawing showing the clerestory ribbon.
The Solar Plane viewed from a southern orientation drawing.
The Solar Plane viewed from a southern orientation drawing.
A small-scale model of the home.  We no longer have solar thermal panels.
A small-scale model of the home. We no longer have solar thermal panels.
Another drawing showing off the clerestory, except from the north.
Another drawing showing off the clerestory, except from the north.
design  ::  Architecture  ::

Solar Plane

How do you design a roof that is integrated with solar panels? We sought to integrate these distinct elements into a single solar plane that balances aesthetic concerns and performative needs. This seamless black plane lifts on its northern edge to provide a southern orientation.

Redwood Siding

For the siding we use a rainscreen made (up) of reclaimed redwood. We chose California redwood acquired from local fire damaged stock that produces a nice varied warm tone and texture for the rainscreen. A rainscreen is simple siding system offset from the primary structure of the house, it allows ventilation, protection from driven drain and minimizes thermal gain.

Daylighting and Clerstory

A strong emphasis was placed on (quality of) daylighting–both for its quality of light and for reducing energy needs. One strategy to provide (quality) daylighting is a clerestory window, which is a series of small windows placed at the top of a wall to allow ambient day lighting. We use operable clerestories on the northern façade to provide daylighting as well as ventilation.

Courtyard

The bent form of our house produces a central courtyard that is the physical and conceptual core of the house. And through the use of materials, such as the reclaimed elm used in both flooring and decking, and placement of openings along the courtyard, each living space extends towards and onto the deck. At the same time the deck itself reads as an exterior “room”.

Reflecting Pool

Conserving water is critical in California. The Refract House uses a rain-catchment system to collect, and filter it’s rain runoff. We store the water for dry season irrigation of the gardens. The pool is naturally cleaned using riparian plants and gravel.

Wall Assembly

The wall assembly functions as an exterior rain screen, a central insulation and weather barrier, and an interior build-out for light and ventilation. ­­