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.
Watch as TEAM BeauSoleil builds it’s post-Katrina self-sufficient home on the National Mall during the 2009 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
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.
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.
Photos by Philip Gould and Catherine Guidry.