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Cal Poly Pomona


Orange County Sustainability Decathlon 2nd Runner Up, 2023

LOT 202

Cal Poly Pomona

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Team Members
Sunai Kim, Sydney Nguyen, Anthony Fung, Emil Salem, Pilar Cuadros Arias, Madelyn Bickel, Kevin Chimpen, Jerry Kwan, Jayce Lilly, Elijah Kim, Vahe Zarukian, Eduardo Yanez

During the fall semester of 2022, eight design teams, comprising engineers and architecture students, enthusiastically embraced the challenge of crafting an environmentally conscious and cost-effective housing solution for their senior research project. Subsequently, through popular vote by esteemed faculty and industry professionals, the design for the “Roots House” emerged as the victorious choice.

Team Roots is a diverse, multi-disciplinary assembly, encompassing students specializing in Architecture, Regenerative Studies, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, and Business. Our dynamic team includes over 70 dedicated students who have contributed to the project’s progress, and more individuals are poised to join in this fall to bring the Roots House to life at the Orange County Sustainability Decathlon.

3801 W Temple Ave
Pomona, CA 91768

Model Home

Roots House

Cal Poly Pomona

Target Market


Our concept emerged in response to the California Housing Crisis and environmental concerns prevalent in the construction sector. Cal Poly Pomona’s Team Roots envisions a residence that not only embodies principles of social interaction, inclusivity, empathy, and sustainability but also reimagines communal living on a big scale. Our design concept focuses on the synergy between two distinct demographic cohorts – the youth and the seniors – forging a dynamic and symbiotic multi-generational community. The younger generation stands to gain from the wisdom, experience, and assistance of their elder counterparts while the seniors find solace, care, and a sense of belonging that augments their emotional well-being. At the onset of the design process, we meticulously considered parameters to optimize the residence’s functionality, habitability, convenience, and comfort, thereby attaining a harmonious living environment for its inhabitants.

Functionality was achieved by separating the private and social spaces within the house. The open-concept kitchen and living area serve as the welcoming heart of the home, embracing the ingress and egress of occupants while seamlessly integrating internal and external spaces. This strategic arrangement fosters a convivial ambiance and cultivates connections between residents and their guests. Conversely, the private spaces are discreetly placed, accessible via a corridor that establishes a private division between distinct home environments. Flexibility reigns with a versatile flex room, adaptable to suit an array of homeowner requirements.

Habitability was established through a detailed climate analysis, enabling precise placement of shading elements and fenestration. This configuration optimizes passive heating and cooling mechanisms, ensuring a thermally efficient interior year-round. Our ethos of inclusivity extends to adaptable design guidelines by accommodating the diverse needs of homeowners.

Convenience is woven into the community through a pedestrian-centric neighborhood, complete with an on-site produce garden fostering shared experiences. Purposeful spaces cater to the recreation and wellness pursuits of both a mature and youthful populace. The community center encompasses a multipurpose space offering educational programs, childcare services, and storage provisions. Just outside of the community center are amenities, including a small parking area for visitors and a designated space for our four-legged companions.

Comfort emanates from an architecturally calibrated scale, providing the homeowner with a unique connection to their home. Abundant natural lighting illuminates the interiors, invigorating the living spaces with vitality. Adequate cross-ventilation enriches the home, imbuing it with serene natural airflow and an atmosphere conducive to relaxation, productivity, and the general well-being of occupants.


  • 1008sf home – small footprint
  • Consolidated wet areas.
  • Pergolas with movable panels to ensure privacy when needed.
  • Outdoor kitchen bar by the main entrance.
  • Open plan concept.
  • Clearstory to provide natural light and ventilation.
  • Cross ventilation
  • Massive picture window by the dining space.
  • Pocket door opening to the back patio.
  • Generous outdoor patio.
  • Water feature with a living green wall.
  • Modern floor to ceiling window.
  • Custom cabinetry.
  • WaterSense – certified fixtures
  • EV Charger.
  • Edible garden
  • Fog catcher.
  • Rain barrel collecting rain water.
  • Leapfrog grey system
  • Solar panel
  • EnergyStar appliances
  • LED lighting
  • Native landscape
  • ADA flexible

Business Profile

Roots Design and Construction Company

The Roots ADU is an energy efficient, resilient, sustainable, and affordable house for the California housing market. There are two major challenges that we will address: (1) global warming with its devastating effects, increasing extreme weather events such as wildfires, flooding, and drought that are displacing millions of people; (2) California’s rising cost of housing that, compared to the national affordability index of 2.7 (ratio of the median home price to median income), is 6 to 10+, making California the epicenter for lack of affordable housing. Our team seeks to solve these three problems through innovative design and construction productivity.

We will connect our customers to a dealer, who would be willing to take the customers through the design and permit stages. We will provide the drawings as part of the design team.