The Orange County Sustainability Decathlon is thrilled to announce the winner of its inaugural competition: Rancho Cielo Youth Campus of Salinas, Calif. This remarkable institution, dedicated to serving underserved youth, not only left a strong impression on the judges but also excelled in performance-based verifications.
Rancho Cielo’s winning house, aptly named Nexus, is defined by a commitment to sustainable design and a dynamic spirit of collaboration. Their team wholeheartedly embraces the possibilities inherent in sustainable, resilient, and forward-thinking construction design.
“This is an incredible Cinderella story. This is the smallest school. It is also the one with the least resources. What they had was will. The students, trustees, administrators, and teachers were determined to build the best house they could. Their win also demonstrates the need for vocational training,” said Fred Smoller, OCSD president and CEO.
“The Orange County Sustainability Decathlon brought focus to our construction academy. Many said it couldn’t be done. Rancho Cielo’s accomplishment was earned by the board, donors, staff, students, and community partners,” added Chris Devers, Rancho Cielo president and CEO.
The UC Irvine/Orange Coast College team, teamMADE, took second place in the OCSD. It’s house placed in the top three in nine separate contests.
The Cal Poly Pomona team, Team Roots, took home third place in the competition. Cal Poly Pomona also placed in the top three in nine separate contests.
The OCSD organizers extend their heartfelt congratulations to all participating teams, recognizing their amazing contributions to sustainability and innovative construction and design.