On Wednesday July 29 at the offices of the Diocese of Lafayette, there will be a day-long workshop: Building is a Moral Act: Saving Money and the Common Good.
Catholic Charities agencies throughout Louisiana, in cooperation with the Life and Justice Committee (Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops) and the Stewardship of the Environment Commission (Louisiana Interchurch Conference), are co-sponsoring this event. Funded with a $1,000 Climate Change grant from CCUSA, the workshop will present ways that churches and non-profit agencies can reduce both our carbon footprint and budget expenses by implementing more sustainable construction, renovation and maintenance practices in all of the buildings that we build and operate. As part of the workshop we will tour BeauSoleil, an energy efficient "green" house constructed with sustainable building practices.
For members of the LCCB Life and Justice Committee and the LIC Commission on Stewardship of the Environment , this workshop will be our July meeting.
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. Operable shutters serve dual functions by providing shade and hurricane protection for windows. In addition to sustainability, the project will also include reflections of the schools’ native culture - a rich heritage that TEAM BeauSoleil is proud to share with the world.
With this mission in mind, the UL Lafayette design team worked to capture the essence of Louisiana’s heritage in their design. The transitional porch and kitchen respond to the region's love of entertaining and cooking. Native plants and local materials, such as cypress, were incorporated throughout the home and landscaping. For the competition, the home will be completed with Louisiana artwork and performances by the band BeauSoleil.
The students and professors who make up TEAM BeauSoleil are dedicated to turning this real-world, sustainable living solution into an eventual working model that can be sold to the public. Once the home is introduced to the marketplace, it will meet the urgent need for self-sufficient residential homes that was heightened after the hurricanes of 2005. The BeauSoleil Louisiana Solar Home brings a tangible opportunity for homeowners in the Gulf Coast region to cut their energy costs, while providing a viable environmental alternative to traditional homes. As a self-sufficient home, it will actually put energy back into the grid.