The Solar Decathalon teams are really kicking things up a notch this year. First we see the Penn State team using celebs, like Ed Begley Jr. Next we see the Virginia Tech team showcasing their home in the ___ Museum. Now, we see University of Louisiana Lafayette "BeauSoleil" home tugging at our heartstrings by designing and building a home that his possibly the most energy-efficient but also one designed to with the community in mind.The BeauSoleil home, includes several aspects of the Louisiana culture, including exterior porches for socializing, and a "dog-trot" in the center of the house which acts as a breezeway. In addition, the house has a large kitchen, which is also common among many southern homes.
Interior Rendering of the BeauSoleil House.
Now, not only does this home generate more energy than it consumes, but it also is stronger than possibly any of the other homes in the contest - strong enough to sustain hurricane force winds. For a team from the Gulf, this attribute is something that is just as important as having a small carbon footprint. Life on the Gulf means living through hurricanes and it means needing housing that is able to withstand the conditions, otherwise communities are forever in the rebuilding process.
BeauSoleil is designed to meet the needs of the local climate and conditions. The team looked at the median income in Louisiana and used this as a benchmark for designing a home that is cutting-edge but also affordable. Designing self-sustainable, low-energy homes that are also good for emergency times is one way that this Louisiana team is representing their home state and in a way giving back. :BeauSoleil
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