California College of the Arts (CCA) and Santa Clara University recently assembled a team of over 100 students to design the Refract House, an ultra energy-efficient dwelling that promotes an “innovative and cost-effective strategy to climate-friendly building”. Taking up just 800 square feet, the Refract House is compact, energy efficient and green in just about every way imaginable, combining state of the art climate and energy monitoring technologies with solar-thermal and photovoltaic systems.

refract house, cca, scu, california academy of the arts, santa clara university, solar decathlon, sustainable design, green design, zero energy home

The Refract House is one of 20 entries from this year’s US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which invites colleges and universities across the US to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar powered house. The Refract House gets its name from the form of the structure itself – the house is shaped like a bent tube, which allows it to take advantage of natural lighting by refracting light within. The house also creates a strong relationship with the outdoors and surrounding area by wrapping around a central courtyard that contains a landscape designed to reflect California’s climate and ecosystems.

The design of the Refract House is bold, innovative and somewhat futuristic, but the designers at CCA and SCU ensured the habitability of this zero energy structure. The residence will be on display to the public at this year’s Solar Decathlon, which runs from October 9-18 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

+ Refract House

+ Solar Decathlon

Via Arch Daily