(06/08/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — Ten years ago, the LSU AgCenter opened LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center, a permanent, high-performance housing educational exhibit, attraction and outreach program.
LaHouse was created to provide a one-stop source of research-based information on housing solutions to the challenges of the Gulf Coast region climate, natural hazards and environment while showcasing low-cost to premium options.
“It’s fulfilled that purpose for 10 years and is now even more relevant and valued by its users,” said Claudette Hanks Reichel, LaHouse director and LSU AgCenter extension professor.
LaHouse will celebrate this anniversary with a series of events, including LaHouse Anniversary Open House Saturdays on July 14 and November 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with birthday cake, special exhibits, free publications and experts on hand to answer questions.
Reichel said LaHouse was strategically designed to demonstrate how to achieve five integrated benefits: resource efficiency, durability, healthy, convenience and practical.
“With the power of knowledge, it’s truly doable to enjoy high comfort with low energy bills, breathe easy with healthy air quality, and have control of your future with a storm-resilient, quality-built home and secure financial asset,” Reichel said.
The exhibit house includes four climate-tailored building and foundation systems, three high-efficiency HVAC systems and a wide variety of materials, products, assembly methods and technologies with green, healthy and low-maintenance characteristics.
The layout and interiors exhibit family-friendly universal design features that accommodate diverse and changing needs and abilities.
Some of the high-performance features you can see in LaHouse via its cutaways, models and displays with point-of-feature signs and its advantages include:
— Advanced framing, engineered wood products and panelized and insulated concrete building systems.
— Flood-hardy restoration building systems and materials.
— Wind-tested roofing; hurricane connectors; impact-rated windows, shutters, panels and screens;
hurricane and tornado storm shelters.
— Multiple lines of defense from Formosan termites: steel mesh barriers, rock beds, chemical barriers, and borate-treated woods and insulations.
— Insulation alternatives in strategic applications.
— A geothermal heat pump, dual-fuel air source heat pump, tankless water heater, hydronic heating systems and four methods of efficient ductwork within conditioned space.
— Indoor air quality features, including four types of dehumidifiers, controlled fresh air ventilation, sealed combustion fireplace, quiet exhaust fans, low VOC paint and smooth floorings.
— Universal design kitchen and bath layouts, storage, fixtures and appliances, curbless shower, tub with cantilever seat and air jets.
— Low-maintenance, long-life exterior and interior finish materials and more.
The sustainable landscape has a walking trail and plant identification signs with Louisiana horticulture exhibits, stormwater management features to prevent pollution, integrated pest management features and more.
LaHouse is open for self-guided touring Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and periodic seasonal Saturday events as a public service. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated to help support exhibits and programs.
LaHouse Mobile, a traveling supplemental exhibit, shows additional features, materials and methods to improve existing homes.
“It’s not about building a home of the future, it’s about shaping the future, with homes that are not only beautiful and marketable but also keep comfort affordable; save money, time and toil; and create healthy and safe living for people of any age,” Reichel said.
To find the sources and attributes of nearly everything in LaHouse, visit the online keyword-searchable LaHouse Product and Services Contributors Directory at www.lsuagcenter.com/LaHouseProducts
LaHouse Resource Center 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 Roy O Martin Lumber Company.The U.S. Department of Energy and Louisiana Department of Natural Resources were primary partners.
For more information about LaHouse Resource Center and its programs, visit www.lsuagcenter.com/LaHouse.
The LSU AgCenter LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center, a permanent, high-performance housing educational exhibit, attraction and outreach program, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Located on the LSU campus, the showcase home offers housing solution to challenges of the Gulf Coast region. LSU AgCenter file photo
Claudette Reichel, left, director of the LSU AgCenter LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center, talks with visitors about the features of the home. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter
The kitchen in the LSU AgCenter LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center LaHouse uses universal design that aims to accommodate diverse and changing needs and abilities of a home’s occupants. LSU AgCenter file photo