Designing a home is about developing space-layouts that serve the needs of the occupants, engineering the building so it is both sturdy and attractive and selecting materials and systems that contribute to its durability and your health.

You can choose any architectural style that is compatible with your street and neighborhood. For any of these, you’ll be happier with your home if you also include features that address the Louisiana challenges of climate, exposure to flood, wind, fire and freezing conditions, and rampant infestations of Formosan subterranean termites. Common building methods, manufacturer specifications and even building codes may not take all these issues into consideration.

A house is a system, not just a shell. It’s a shelter, but it is also a manipulated environment that attempts to control the movement and amount of heat, air, light, sound, sights and even feelings. How you deal with building dynamics (heat, moisture and air flow) can greatly affect your energy consumption and the durability of the structure. It will also influence your indoor air quality and comfort.

Find out more about combining form and function with building science and design for performance. Visit Safer, Stronger, Smarter/The Ideal Home.

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1/3/2007 6:46:00 AM
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