BeauSoleil Home dedication today

by Mary Tutwiler

Make it your business today to be at Fletcher Hall on the UL campus at 1 p.m. for the dedication of the BeauSoleil Solar Home. After returning from Washington DC with the coveted Market Viability and People's Choice awards, the BeauSoleil Home is now permanently sited on the campus of UL Lafayette. At the dedication ceremony, TEAM BeauSoleil will thank all of their partners in the project by unveiling a dedication plaque mounted on the home featuring all the partner's names. There will be an open house for the public to view the interior of the home after the dedication. The dedication of the BeauSoleil Home is a part of the fourth annual Festival of the Arts being held March 22-27. The festival's honoree will be the late architect A. Hays Town. The festival will include week long festivities, featuring student works from the four departments within the College of the Arts, an architecture symposium with several prominent speakers, and a Festival Finale!celebration.

Plans for the BeauSoleil Home are still developing. Architecture and engineering students will monitor and record data (temperature, humidity, power consumption, etc.) over at least one year and report the findings. During the spring 2010 semester, the home will be open for self guided tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. Some of the possible future uses of the home are: an artist-in-residence home, a graduate student home (part of a scholarship,) a visiting faculty home and/or a coffee shop run by students.

Meanwhile, TEAM BeauSoleil is beginning negotiations with a local modular home manufacturer to license the name and design for production of the home. It will probably take a year to develop three versions of the home, test the prototypes and go into production. It is still the project's goal to have the base model available to the median income family in Louisiana which currently makes $50,000 per year and thus can afford a $120-150,000 home.

The dedication takes place on the park side of Fletcher Hall on the UL campus, beginning at 1 p.m. Parking is available in a gravel lot off of McKinley Drive or in the campus visitor parking lot off of McKinley Dr. or in Girard Park. Call 482-6225 for info for handicapped access to the house.