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Building Institute

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.
Building Institute
Building Institute added 6 new photos.16/10/2017 @ 18:55
MODESTEhouse Dedication on Wednesday night at 5:30 at Fletcher Hall. Hope to see you!
Building Institute
Building Institute07/10/2017 @ 18:43
Building Institute
Building Institute03/10/2017 @ 14:40
UL Architecture Students’ MODESTEhouse for Habitat for Humanity
Dedication October 18, 2017 at Fletcher Hall, 421 E. Lewis St. @ 5:30-7:30PM

[Lafayette, LA, 9/20/17] – The MODESTEhouse, a 216 square foot tiny home designed and built by UL Architecture students will be dedicated and the keys turned over to the new Lafayette Habitat for Humanity homeowner on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

Through a partnership between Lafayette Habitat for Humanity, Upbring Disaster Response, the UL Foundation, the UL School of Architecture and Design, Acadian Home Builders Association, Love Acadiana , and the Community Foundation of Acadiana, this $25,000 home was funded and will be sold through Lafayette Habitat for Humanity to an individual from New Iberia, Louisiana who lost his home in the August 2016 floods.

The MODESTEhouse features an innovative structural system similar to boat construction to make it extremely light and strong. The north wall is completely glazed with NASA-designed insulative polycarbonate and has continuous storage shelving on the interior. In addition the home has a covered porch, corrugated metal and cypress siding, solar panels, and energy efficient heating and air-conditioning.

The Dedication is open to the public, with a brief dedication ceremony to be held at 6 p.m., and the home will be available to tour before and after the ceremony. Parking for the event will be in the UL Parking Garage off of Girard Park. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information or an interview contact W. Geoff Gjertson, AIA, Professor at gjertson@louisiana.edu/337-278-2722, or Melinda Taylor, Lafayette Habitat for Humanity Executive Director at 337-258-4458.
Building Institute
Building Institute updated their cover photo.30/09/2017 @ 8:15
PROJECT CATEGORY : Featured / Homes / Large Projects




Team BeauSoleil Roof Install Time Lapse

Watch as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s TEAM BeauSoleil installs the roof of the BeauSoleil Louisiana Solar Home on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Team BeauSoleil in competing in the 2009 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.



TEAM BeauSoleil Builds on the National Mall

Watch as TEAM BeauSoleil builds it’s post-Katrina self-sufficient home on the National Mall during the 2009 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.




TEAM BeauSoleil Heads to DC

Designed to be completely self-sufficient, the BeauSoleil Home will generate more energy than it consumes, collect its own water using a cistern, and capture natural breezes and sunshine to reduce the amount of energy it consumes.


BeauSoleil Home

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Campus


BeauSoleil, which means “sunshine” in Cajun French, is the name of the solar house designed and built by the team from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, first-time competitors in the Solar Decathlon.  The house is a hybrid structure in every sense. With a focus on the culture and lifestyle of south Louisiana, BeauSoleil combines traditional, local design concepts with the latest innovations in energy efficiency and solar technology.


After the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s BeauSoleil returned to campus, where it will remain.  “We put it here on campus so that students can experience it over the next several years and learn from it,” says Dr. Geoff Gjertson, the 2009 team’s faculty leader.  On March 25, 2010, a dedication ceremony officially marked BeauSoleil’s permanent location next to Fletcher Hall, where the art and architecture program is based.  At Solar Decathlon 2009, BeauSoleil won the People’s Choice Award. This accolade proved that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette succeeded in creating a solar-powered house that people wanted to call home.


Much of BeauSoleil’s appeal stemmed from its local flavor. The students made sure to incorporate space for Acadian cultural traditions such as cooking, entertaining, and socializing into their design. The result was a maison (house) with universal appeal.


Believe in tomorrow, Beginning today.


Complete Project:






Design Renderings:






Photos by Philip Gould and Catherine Guidry.

UL Lafayette School of Architecture and Design
PO Box 42811 . Lafayette, LA . 70504