- The Santa Clara University (SCU) Solar Decathlon home, called the Refract House, is an 800-square-foot luxurious solar home, designed to prove that green living is not a compromise by bringing solar and sustainability together with beauty and function.
- Students installed Uponor’s PEX-based radiant floor heating and cooling, plumbing, D’MAND® Hot Water Delivery System and Climate Cŏntrol™ Network System in the home.
- The Climate Cŏntrol™ Network System maintains even temperatures within the home. This is especially critical in radiant cooling where temperatures must be maintained above the dew point to avoid condensation inside the house.
The Solar Decathlon competition is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Santa Clara University, one of 20 universities from around the world invited to participate, asked Uponor to provide products to support their efforts to build an energy-efficient, solar-powered house for the competition.
By combining youth and process to set the standard in green living, The Refract House is designed, built and managed entirely by students from SCU and California College of the Arts (CCA).
“We had energy conservation and environmental concerns top-of-mind when we designed the home, and Uponor’s products gave us efficient methods and materials to meet that goal,” says Tim Sennott, engineering manager; thermal systems lead, Team California Solar Decathlon 2009.
Sennott and his student-led team aim to improve on their 2007 third-place finish by taking advantage of new and cutting-edge solar and energy-conservation functions for the Refract House.
They turned to Uponor for efficiencies in plumbing and radiant heating and cooling. Our proven combination of AquaPEX® tubing and ProPEX® multiport tees allowed students to design the most efficient plumbing system possible with fewer feet of tubing, fittings and connections than a traditional system.
The D’MAND® Hot Water Delivery System also helped provide fast hot water delivery, resulting in energy and water savings for the homeowner. In addition to the plumbing and radiant system, Uponor also provided the Climate Cŏntrol™ Network System to manage heating and ventilation to a single network control system.
This system offers aesthetically pleasing controls with low-profile thermostat options as well as precise temperature control, making it possible to ensure energy efficiencies.
The home features Uponor's Climate Cŏntrol™ Network System.
The heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water systems are controlled by the Climate Cŏntrol Network System to allow the user complete control of the environment, including temperature, humidity and CO2/VOC levels.
Learn More about the Solar Decathlon
Improved Air Quality
Bent design structure with low-e glass windows and a photovoltaic-panel roof
800 square feet
Uponor AquaPEX® and Wirsbo hePEX™
Amount of Tubing:
175 feet of Uponor AquaPEX ½" tubing
120 feet of Uponor AquaPEX ¾" tubing
1,800 feet of Wirsbo hePEX