Cal Poly Pomona’s Roots House is an award winner

Photo/courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona recently announced its Roots House project, a market-ready, energy-efficient family home designed and built by CPP students, had received 10 awards from the inaugural Orange County Sustainability Decathlon.

The state-funded juried competition — modeled after the U.S. Department of Solar Energy’s Solar Decathlon — challenged 14 international collegiate teams with creating solar-powered homes. The Cal Poly Pomona team’s house not only won the third spot overall, but was also recognized in the following categories: first place in communications and marketing, health and comfort, and energy efficiency; second in architecture and interior design, and lighting and appliances; and third in market potential, water use and conservation, sustainability and resilience, and engineering and construction.


Photo/courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona


“I’m incredibly proud of our students who have shown tremendous growth through this project and held on to the vision of the Roots House and Community to see it come to life,” said Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Sunai Kim, lead faculty advisor, in a press release, adding the house is currently seeking a buyer. According to the release, Kim sees two options in the future: the Roots House going to market in five to 10 years for use as an accessory dwelling unit, and/or developing a Roots House community that can foster “climate-resilient multigenerational neighborhoods.”

Construction funds and sustainable materials were received through in-kind donations by nearly 50 sponsors, including Chino-based AMCO Structures for construction. For a view of the Roots House’s notable features, visit

The 1,008-square-foot house is the culmination of three semesters’ work by more than 100 CPP students from across nine majors including civilchemical, environmental, mechanicalelectrical and computer engineering; architectureregenerative studies; and business administration.


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