Washington University St. Louis

The PCI Foundation was a sponsor of the Washington University entry into the 2017 Solar Decathlon, Crete House.

With CRETE house, the Wash U – St. Louis team strives to demonstrate the efficiency, resilience, and market appeal of its precast concrete home. The design of CRETE house focuses on all aspects of self-sufficiency, including energy, water, and food production, and it demonstrates innovative ways to use the home's exterior to grow food sustainably. Resilience in the face of tornadoes and strong winds is an important goal.

Because the entire envelope is precast concrete, it demonstrates resilience against fire, moisture, mold, insects, and extreme weather conditions. The concrete structure serves several practical functions but also drives the home's aesthetic, helping make the argument for cast concrete homes as a compelling alternative to traditional light wood-frame construction. The Wash U St. Louis team's ultimate goal is to demonstrate innovative design and solutions that positively impact the building industry, develop the next generation of architects and engineers, and improve humanity's connection with our planet.