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Home&Real Estate Home Front SUDDEN OAK DEATH ... Citizenscientist volunteers are needed for training on how to combat sudden oak death, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, at the Carriage House of Holbrook Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton. After training with Matteo Garbelotto of U.C. Berkeley, the volunteers will collect bay laurel leaf samples in Palo Alto and drop them off by Sunday evening. Information: Canopy at 650-964-6110 or www. PLAYHOUSE AUCTION ... The Dreams Happen gala and playhouse auction, a benefit for Rebuilding Together Peninsula, will be held from 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, at Stanford Shopping Center. Tickets, which include cocktails, moonlight supper, auction and drawing, desserts and dancing, are $115. Information: www.rebuildingtogetherpeninsula. org N Send notices of news and events related to real estate, interior design, home improvement and gardening to Home Front, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302, or email cblitzer@paweekly. com. Deadline is one week before publication. Courtesy of Stanford Solar Decathlon team W Katie Brigham HOUSEHOLD WASTE ... Unwanted toxic household items — from pesticides to pool chemicals — can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, June 1, at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant, 2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto. Drop offs are limited to 15 gallons or 125 pounds of toxics per visit. For a complete list of what’s accepted, go to www. Stanford students build an interactive, customizable solar home Katie Brigham CELEBRATE WITH SUNSET ... This year’s Sunset Celebration Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, will include a Weber Grilling School (tickets are $30, including a cookbook and tools); chef and author Fabio Viviani; and presentations on the GE Monogram Cooking Stage, Safeway Outdoor Stage, wine seminars, the Garden & Outdoor Living Stage, Transitions Stage and musical events. Admission is $18 general, $15 seniors, free for children 12 and under (plus online fees). Information: Also online at BEYOND SMART HOMES by Audra Sorman earing a hard hat and safety goggles, Stanford University student Derek Ouyang stood in the middle of a partially constructed solar house, which shaded a group of working students from the heat of a sunny May afternoon. A senior studying civil engineering and architectural design, Ouyang looked back-and-forth between the digital blueprint on his laptop screen and the home-to-be around him. “I’m very interested in making it easier for people to understand how energy works and to make better decisions,” he said. In a bid to bring this understanding to life, Project Leader Ouyang and the first-ever Stanford Solar Decathlon team are building an energy-efficient solar house to participate in a two-year-long competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. This October, 20 collegiate teams from around the world will transport their completed solar homes to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif., where each team’s structure will be open to the public and evaluated by judges in 10 categories such as affordability, energy balance and market appeal. After hearing about the last Solar Decathlon, held in Washington, D.C., in 2011, Ouyang and a handful of other students were inspired to write a proposal to take part in the competition. In January of last year, the team was officially invited to participate. The department is giving them $100,000 to complete the project, a 1,000-squarefoot energy-efficient solar home. With the help of five carpenters, the team began construction in March and had the framework up within the first two weeks of construction, Ouyang said. He added that the team also has received funding through donations from Stanford and companies such as DIRECTV totaling $1 million. The money will go towards incentivizing participation in the project as well as travel and other expenses, and the overall projected cost to construct the home is $250,000. Today, the team is made up of about 40 undergraduate and graduate students in disciplines like civil and environmental engineering, architectural design and computer sci(continued on page 35) Katie Brigham LAWN OR ???? ... Master Gardeners Marianne Mueller and Vera Kark will offer a free workshop called “Rethinking Your Lawn” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, at the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Drive, Palo Alto. Focus will be on converting water-guzzling traditional grass lawns to low-water-use ground covers. Information: Master Gardeners at 408-282-3105, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or http:// OPEN HOME GUIDE 50 From top: An artist’s rendering of the Stanford team’s finished entry in the upcoming Solar Decathlon, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy; a progress shot of Stanford’s Start.Home, its zero-net-energy building; sophomore Thuy Ny Le and senior Nick Cariello (bottom photo) sport hard hats as they work on the Start.Home. ÜÜÜ°*>œÌœ"˜ˆ˜i°Vœ“ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊ>ÞÊΣ]ÊÓä£ÎÊU Page 33

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