We are team UC Santa Cruz and we are participating in this year's Orange County Sustainability Decathlon. Our design is called EcoHus, which is a net zero and water-sustainable home. Members of our team range from undergraduate students to graduate student leads, with the guidance of our Project Lead and Faculty Advisor, Dr. Sue Carter.
What is the Orange County Sustainability Decathlon?
The Orange County Sustainability Decathlon 2023 is a collegiate competition focused on sustainable housing, challenging multidisciplinary from across the world to create a sustainable house that addresses California's unique sustainable development needs. With the ever-increasing effects of climate change and a rising cost of living in California, there is a need for more resilient, sustainable, reproducible, and affordable housing in the region. Our home will be evaluated in several different contests, including:
- Sustainability and resilience,
- Architecture and interior design,
- Health and comfort,
- Market potential,
- And more!
Team UC Santa Cruz will display our market-ready home during the competition in October, which will be shown to the public and evaluated by jury members.
EcoHus is run by UCSC students
At every step of the design and construction process, UCSC students are actively involved in the making of EcoHus. Team UCSC's graduate students lead the project in different areas such as communications, design, construction, and performance verification. Our undergraduate students, or Green Construction Interns, are also able to specialize in certain areas such as lighting or water systems. This allows students to get exposed to sustainable construction and explore different fields that they are interested in.
While UCSC students collaborate on the design aspects of EcoHus during weekly meetings, the team is able to focus on construction during our build week trips to Riverside. These build weeks allow for students to gain hands-on experience in different fields, such as wielding and woodworking, as well as build community while they live together at the build site.
We need your support to make this project a reality!
For more information on our project visit us at