How LSU Researchers Are Showcasing More Resilient And Efficient Homes

As we shape our homes, we shape our future. Truly affordable housing that empowers families to thrive must integrate energy-efficiency with disaster resilience, durability and health.

One of Louisiana’s leaders in this arena over the past decade has been the LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center on the LSU campus, which serves as a vital public showcase for solutions for resistance to hurricanes, floods, termites, and moisture and decay. LaHouse includes a permanent showcase house with exhibit and resource room, seven acres of educational landscape exhibits, a multimedia teaching center, as well as educational outreach to consumers, professionals and youth.

LaHouse Director Dr. Claudette Hanks Reichel, an LSU professor and extension housing specialist, gave a detailed overview of the facility and the research it has produced during a panel discussion at the Connections housing conference hosted by the Louisiana Housing Corporation.

Demonstrating Strategies for Resilient, High-Performance Homes

Her presentation highlighted strategies for resilient, high-performance building systems in new homes and in the restoration of flooded homes for the Louisiana climate and natural hazards. Members of the public can tour the facility, which is located is located at 2858 Gourrier Ave. in Baton Rouge across from Alex Box Stadium, to see these strategies up close — often with supplementary explainers, videos and cutaways to facilitate a deep understanding of the techniques.

“LaHouse is an educational showcase of solutions that demonstrates ways to achieve and enjoy all these benefits,” Reichel says. “It is possible and practical to have it all — energy and resource efficiency, durability with hazard resistance, and a healthy and safe home environment that is practical, convenient and comfortable.”

The mission of LaHouse is to shape the future with homes that offer more comfort, durability, value, convenience, environmental quality, safety and better health with less energy, water, pollution, waste, damage and loss.

Educating Louisiana Homeowners about Flood Protection

Flooding is a persistent problem for Louisiana homeowners, and the LaHouse facility demonstrates several flood restoration techniques that make restoration much easier for homeowners. Highlights of the facility include a showcase of three types of roofing systems, installed for high wind-resistance, leak resistance and long-term durability. In addition, the exterior of the house includes a range of ways to protect windows and doors.

The LSU AgCenter also provides a number of valuable flood-recovery resources, from a detailed FAQ for gutting a home after a flood to a detailed fact sheet on guidelines to help safely and effectively clean and restore a storm-damaged home and contents.

LaHouse, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, is open for self-guided tours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. One Saturday each season, LaHouse also opens its doors to accommodate those who cannot visit during regular business hours or who want to speak with AgCenter housing experts to learn about building resilient, high-performance homes.

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