fb     ul     yt

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 Institute19/08/2017 @ 13:37
Wrap-up to my stay in the MODESTEhouse

After 11 days and 114 hours in the MODESTEhouse I can say with certainty that it is very livable. I cooked, showered, slept, and habitated very comfortably and I am sure I could live there much longer. Obviously I missed my family and I would probably eventually miss some of my belongings but there was serenity and simplicity in the MODESTEhouse. I have written about the best buildings and building processes as being “unhurried.” That is how I felt in the tiny house.

We have a “punchlist” of items to correct and finish in the MODESTEhouse over the next month and soon we will be turning it over to Lafayette Habitat for Humanity and helping them to move it to a homeowner’s site. When we turn-it over we will have a public dedication for everyone to see the home and to thank all the people and companies who made this incredible project a reality. Thanks for listening to all my musings over the past two weeks. If you have additional questions feel free to message me. Talk to you soon!

(Image: Porch ceiling of the MODESTEhouse)
Building Institute
Building Institute added 2 new photos.17/08/2017 @ 19:59
MhT day 11 aug. 16

By the numbers:

216 sf including porch and loft
8'-6" wide
13'-10" high
34" off ground
24' long + trailer tongue
Approx. 8,000 lbs.
Half-ton truck adequate for towing
1 ton/1 zone minisplit heat pump
4- 250 watt pvs
2- 30 lb. propane tanks
5.3 gal. Propane tankless water heater
100 amp panel
7 duplex outlets
8 LED light fixtures
70 shelves in the storage grid
10 gallons of adhesive to glue shells
110 sheets of 1/8" plywood in shells
206 sf of polycarbonate
$70 worth of groceries for 2 weeks
Building Institute
Building Institute17/08/2017 @ 19:37
MhT day 11 aug. 17

By the numbers:

114 hours spent in the house over 11 days
10.36 hours on average per day
Building Institute
Building Institute17/08/2017 @ 19:21
MhT day 11 aug. 17

By the numbers:

44 gallon greywater tank
11 days to fill up from sink and shower
11 days to fill 2-1/2 gal. liquid tank in compost toilet
30-45 days until solids tank needs to be added to the compost heap
Building Institute
Building Institute added 2 new photos.17/08/2017 @ 18:55
MhT day 11 aug. 17

Recycling and trash after 11 days.
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