CITRIS-supported UC Santa Cruz student team wins at sustainability decathlon 

Three-dimensional rendering of a sustainable house design displayed on a gray platform with a light blue background.

A UC Santa Cruz student team supported by a 2022 campus seed award — now known as an Interdisciplinary Innovation Program, or I2P award — scored a series of accolades at the 2023 Orange County Sustainability Decathlon for EcoHus, an innovative, affordable, net-zero house they designed and built for the competition. They won first place in the water use and conservation, energy efficiency, and innovation categories, and their design came in second in market potential and third place in lighting and appliances.

“With the goal of making beautiful, functional, affordable, and environmentally groundbreaking creations that are fire and drought resistant, leave no carbon footprint and aim to do no less than help save the planet, our success in the competition showed what UC Santa Cruz students are capable of,” said Sue Carter, a CITRIS principal investigator and UC Santa Cruz Rachel Carson College Provost and professor of physics who served as project lead. “Our students are already dreaming up ideas to build for next year.”