The Building Institute is UL Lafayette’s integrated project delivery, design-build program. The program brings architecture students, architects, engineers and contractors together in the design and construction of single-family, market-rate homes. The homes are built on infill property in the urban core neighborhoods of Lafayette, Louisiana and then publically sold at a market-rate. Students work hand-in-hand with local contractors to build the homes which achieve sustainability standards such as the National Homebuilder’s Green Building Standard or LEED. The Building Institute is structured through a graduate design studio in the fall, a construction documents course in the spring and the construction course in the summer. Students receive academic credit for each course and in addition, several team leaders receive paid summer internships allowing them to accrue IDP credit. The Building Institute is not a simulation- it is hyper-reality. As architect-developers, the students become agents of change.
Classes start Wednesday, what will we build?!...
Following our successful , affordable, and sustainable housing research with the BeauSoleil Home, EVENThouse, NEXThouse, COURhouse, and Habitat Homes we are proposing a new project called the MODESTEhouse. Through a partnership with Lafayette Habitat for Humanity and UL Lafayette, the School of Architecture and Design’s Building Institute proposes to build a 200 square foot prototype disaster relief home for an actual victim of the 2016 Louisiana flood. Capitalizing on the popular culture appeal of tiny homes, the MODESTEhouse will build upon this momentum which espouses a simple, minimal, lifestyle free of the excessive-trappings of America’s mass-consumerism. For a growing number of people, no longer is the perception that “less is less” when it comes to housing. As Mies van der Rohe said, “less is more.”
The MODESTEhouse will utilize the most advanced digital-fabrication techniques housed within the College of Arts. Streamlining automated production, flat-packing, and “just-in-time” fabrication modes, the MODESTEhouse will become a prototype for future homes in our area. It will be built on a movable trailer chassis in the rear service area of Fletcher Hall and later moved to the flood victim’s site. Habitat for Humanity, as well as many other non-profit agencies have been focused on disaster relief following the Louisiana flooding of August 2016. Of great need are permanent and temporary replacement housing for those who lost homes, especially trailer homes which cannot be repaired. Governor Edward’s office has estimated that 60,646 homes were damaged or destroyed and over 100,000 people have filed for FEMA housing help after the 2016 flooding.