Johnny Morgan | 7/17/2018 9:09:43 PM
(07/17/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — For more than 10 years, potential homebuilders, contractors and those planning renovations have looked to the LSU AgCenter LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center for construction ideas.
In that time, LaHouse has hosted a number of open house events to show off the unique construction of the building — including on July 14 at a special open house celebrating its 10th anniversary.
LaHouse is a virtual classroom for anyone who wants to know the best materials to use in south Louisiana homes. It is a one-stop source of research-based information on housing solutions to the challenges of the Gulf Coast climate, natural hazards and environment while showcasing low-cost to premium options, said AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Reichel.
The resource center will continue celebrating its anniversary with another open house on Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with birthday cake, special exhibits, free publications and experts on hand to answer questions.
LaHouse is open for self-guided tours Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Seasonal Saturday events are also held. A suggested donation of $5 per visit helps support exhibits and programs.
Free print materials on many topics are available at LaHouse. Free information also is available online at www.lsuagcenter.com/lahouse, www.youtube.com/mylahouse and www.facebook.com/mylahouse.
Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture, said LaHouse was built at the perfect time. It was nearly complete when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. Construction stopped — giving homeowners and contractors a unique opportunity to see the building systems up close.
“It became one of the most sought-after resources we have,” he said.
LaHouse was never about building a house of the future.
“It’s about shaping the future with homes that are beautiful, marketable, but also help keep comfort and marketability,” Reichel said.
Baton Rouge homeowner Mark Davis praised the resources available at LaHouse. He spent many hours there before and during the building of his home.
“It provided a lot of information that helped us make good decisions about our home,” Davis said.
Construction of LaHouse was funded largely by gifts and donations from more than 300 supporters.
Major sponsors included Paula Garvey Manship, Entergy of Louisiana, the Borate Treated Wood Alliance of U.S. Borax, Osmose and Louisiana Pacific, Building Science Corporation, the Louisiana Home Builders Association, LaHouse builder Roy Domangue and RoyOMartin Lumber Company. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources were primary partners.
LSU AgCenter LaHouse director and extension professor Claudette Reichel shows a timeline and impact of the LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center at a reception celebrating LaHouse’s 10th anniversary on July 9. Photo by Tobie Blanchard/LSU AgCenter
LSU AgCenter extension associate Shandy Heil explains the importance of having flood insurance to LaHouse visitors Donald and Belinda Price during an open house on July 14. Photo by Johnny Morgan/ LSU AgCenter