Claudette Reichel, Gautreaux, Craig | 6/27/2008 8:53:04 PM
News Release Distributed 06/27/08
A home is the largest and most important purchase most people make. To help homeowners make the most of that investment while also doing their part for the environment and future generations, the LSU AgCenter and its partners have developed the Louisiana House Home and Landscape Resource Center.
Known as LaHouse, for short, the completed center will open for a Preview Open House throughout the day July 15. It also will open Wednesdays through Fridays for several weeks following that event to allow the public to see some of the unique features incorporated into the home’s construction. Full-service operations then are expected to begin in the fall.
Located on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, the center focuses on housing and landscape techniques specific to our region’s subtropical climate and hazards.
The demonstration house is designed around the concept of being a sustainable home. Its design makes it energy and resource efficient, more comfortable, safer, more durable and healthier for its occupants – including exceptional indoor air quality and universal design.
An unusual and powerful strength of the house and landscape is that many different options are presented, and homeowners may pick and choose the options that are either most affordable or that meet their needs or desires for optimal performance.
Claudette Reichel, housing specialist for the LSU AgCenter, said she is excited LaHouse is nearing completion and will be ready to be seen as a finished product. It had been exhibited in its midconstruction phases since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the state and forced many into major rebuilding efforts.
“Both consumers and professionals can see first hand and learn about many solutions – from ways to protect their homes from hurricanes, floods, mold and termites to the employment of highly energy efficient and healthy building, air conditioning and lighting systems to interiors that combine beauty, comfort and convenience with eco-friendly benefits,” Reichel said.
The house will not only serve as an educational showcase, but the garage is actually a multimedia classroom for audiences such as builders, designers and consumers to get the latest, science-based information or to rent for their own educational programs. Cutaways and an unfinished exhibit room will allow visitors to see the special components used in construction.
Featured attractions include not only the house itself but also the 7-acre site designed around being a sustainable landscape exhibit. A pond on the site will play dual roles in stormwater pollution prevention and in the heating and cooling of the house through a geothermal heat exchange system. Winding trails will lead visitors through drought-resistant native plants, a rain garden and other special horticulture exhibits, and a programmable irrigation system will minimize the amount of water used to keep the plants healthy.
The LaHouse Resource Center was made possible by the support of partners and private contributors who share its vision of shaping the future with sustainable homes and development. LaHouse key partners include the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program. Top key contributors include Entergy of Louisiana, Paula Garvey Manship, the Borate-Treated Wood Alliance (U.S. Borax, Osmose and Louisiana-Pacific), Louisiana Home Builders Association, Roy Domangue, Roy O. Martin Lumber Co. and Building Science Corp.