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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.

Vermilionville Coussan House_image1

Vermilionville Coussan House_image2

Cousson House, Vermilionville

Lafayette, Louisiana


​The Coussan Home is an 1850’s boussiliage (mud and spanish moss) home which was donated to the University  and moved to Vermilionville Living History Museum by UL Lafayette Building Institute students. There it was restored with a cypress porch, cedar shake roof, cypress siding, cypress piers, handicapped accessible ramp, and patched plaster/boussiliage. A local artisan constructed a boussiliage chimney.

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