CS/EE/ME 75, 2010-11 - Project Organization

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CS/EE/ME 75 Organization Schedule Team wiki Public site

This page describes the organization of the Solar Decathlon Team, as reflected through CS/EE/ME 75. This page is in draft form, pending discussion with the IPT.

Project Mission Statement

The mission of the SCI-Arc/Caltech team is to design and build a stylish, affordable net-zero home well suited to the Los Angeles urban area. The project will highlight the innovative work of the two unique institutions by implementing new design solutions to the affordable, sustainable housing market. As an integral part of the design/build process, the SCI-Arc/Caltech team will engage the city of Los Angeles in a series of public outreach programs to locally educate the community about the merits of sustainable design. This spirit of extending the merits of sustainable design into the general public and city are integrated into the team's fundamental marketing strategy—informing a design that can be populated across L.A. into a number of strategic locations, thus addressing densification through infill and multi-unit development.

Engineering Team Principles

  • Design to win: conceive, design, implement and operate the house in a way that scores the maximum allowable points for engineering subsystems on a 95th percentile day and ensures that our design will be the winning house.
  • Captivate the imagination: Demonstrate that it is possible to build an affordable and sustainable house that Americans will buy and investigate and publicize new technologies and technology opportunities that can lead to even better designs in the future
  • Take pride in our work: Carry out and present our design activities in a manner that reflects the excellence and uniqueness of Caltech and SCI-Arc. We should be proud of the work we have done.
  • Motivate the next generation: Get the next generation of Caltech students excited about participating in Solar Decathalon 2013 and leave behind artifacts and knowledge that will help them win in an increasingly sophisticated competition.

Engineering Team Structure

Design Teams

  • All CS/EE/ME 75 students must be on a design team

Integrated Product Team (IPT)

Engineering Coach: TBD (staff; 10 hrs/wk)
Project Manager: TBD (staff; 10 hrs/wk)
Systems Engineer: TBD (ug; 9 units)

Instr: Melany Hunt
Coord: Prakhar Mehrotra
Team rep: TBD (ug; 9 units)

Mechanical Systems

  • 8-12 Caltech students
  • 0-2 SCI-Arc students
  • HVAC
  • Water systems
  • Building shell
  • Appliances
  • Fire protection

Instr: Harry Atwater
Coord: Dan Turner-Evans
Team rep: TBD (ug; 9 units)

Electrical Systems

  • 4-8 Caltech students
  • 2-4 SCI-Arc students
  • Electrical power
  • Photovoltaics
  • Lighting
  • Consumer electronics

Instr: Richard Murray
Coord: Annie Liu
Team rep: TBD (ug; 9 units)

Computing Systems

  • 4-6 Caltech students
  • 0-4 SCI-Arc students
  • Energy monitoring
  • Security system
  • Home automation
  • Weather database

Lead: Reed Finlay
Instructors: W Jones, D Oyler
Student reps (2):


  • 24-30 SCI-Arc students
  • 6-10 Caltech students
  • Interior design (east)
  • Interior design (west)
  • Exterior design (puff)
  • Exterior design (tension)

Support Teams

  • Students participating in support teams must be signed up for 6-9 units
System Administration
  • Maintain project computing systems
  • Lead: UG (tbd)
  • Maintain Caltech test facilities
  • Lead: UG (tbd)
  • Public outreach and fundraising
  • Lead: Elisabeth Neigert (SCI-Arc)

Team and subsystem descriptions

The work in the project is broken up into a number of subsystems, each the responsibility of a one of the three design teams. The descriptions below, broken up by team, give a brief summary of the functions required of each subsystem.

Mechanical Systems

Electrical Systems

Computing Systems

Integrated Product Team