‘High-performance’ home to open for inspection

Claudette Reichel  |  9/23/2009 9:39:42 PM

News Release Distributed 09/23/09

PONCHATOULA, La. – Construction will pause on a “high-performance” demonstration house on two separate dates to give the general public and housing professionals insider views of the innovative structure being built in the Pine Island subdivision.

On Oct. 3, the public is invited to a free open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with live demonstrations at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Educational materials also will be available on how to achieve highly energy-efficient, durable and healthful-living homes in our hot, humid climate.

On Oct. 7, realtors, lenders, appraisers, inspectors and other housing professionals are invited to a free open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include tours and a noon presentation along with educational materials.

“These are unique opportunities to see first-hand what’s behind the drywall and why things you can’t normally see in a finished home make such a big difference in how a home performs and feels,” said Dr. Claudette Reichel, extension housing specialist with the LSU AgCenter and project director of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Gulf Region High Performance Homes program. “Today, a house can offer so much more than shelter and beauty.”

A Gulf region high-performance (GRHP) home like the Ponchatoula house goes beyond minimum code requirements. It has:

– High energy-efficiency. This GRHP home will use at least 30 percent less energy than most new homes and 50 percent less than typical existing homes.

– High comfort. A GRHP house can be cool in summer and warm in winter without high utility bills or uncomfortable high humidity.

– High durability. A GRHP house is built to last with special detailing to prevent water leaks and moisture problems such as decay and mold.

– High indoor air quality. GRHP homes are built to be healthful places to live and breathe. This feature is made possible by building tight and venting right, with effective humidity control and air filtration.

“Even with all these advantages, this home was designed to be affordable to buy and even more affordable to own and expected to grow in value more than standard homes without the high-performance advantages,” Reichel said.

“Low maintenance, low utility bills and low hassle mean more time and money to enjoy home and life,” she added.

Reichel noted that this demonstration home was designed to meet the standards to earn the Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Home label, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Builders Challenge EnergySmart Home Scale and the ANSI Green Building Standard Bronze certification – all within the price range of similar homes.

The house is located in Ponchatula’s Pine Island subdivision, which is off of U.S Hwy. 51 between La. Hwy. 22 and Interstate 12. Look for Lot 80 at 161 Jack Pine Lane.

The Ponchatoula GRHP Demonstration Home is being built by Southern Homes (www.SouthernHomes.com) in partnership with LSU AgCenter’s LaHouse Resource Center (www.LouisianaHouse.org), the U.S. Department of Energy Building America Program (www.BuildingAmerica.gov) and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Energy Program (www.DNR.Louisiana.gov).

For information about the Pine Island homes, contact Jennifer Alphonse (jennifera@southernhomes.com) or Angelina Anzalone (angelina@southernhomes.com). For research based information on housing, horticulture, family finance and more, visit www.LSUagcenter.com.

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Editor: Mark Claesgens

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