Insulation leads questions at LaHouse open house

Richard C. Bogren, Reichel, Claudette H.

News Release Distributed 07/29/13

BATON ROUGE, La. – Home insulation was one of the hot topics of conversation during an open house at the LSU AgCenter LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center on July 27.

Herb Sumrall, of Baton Rouge, was interested in learning about attic insulation options for his son’s older house in New Orleans.

“I came to learn about using existing systems in older homes,” Sumrall said.

He spent time talking with LSU AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Reichel about various alternatives. Reichel offered advice and provided printed materials.

She also invited Sumrall to visit the exhibit on the LaHouse second floor, where different insulation materials are on display.

The LaHouse facility is home to a research-based, educational outreach program that has become a showcase for durable, hurricane-resistant construction materials and techniques, Reichel said. It was built and furnished with donated labor and materials and was under construction when Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in 2005.

“We focus on resilient, disaster-resistant features of home building,” Reichel said. “We have four building systems with hurricane connections and a wind-resistant roof.”

Open daily Monday-Friday during the year, LaHouse offers four weekend open houses – one in each season.

“In July, we focus on storm features,” Reichel said. “We feature health and safety in the fall, energy efficiency and water issues in winter, and energy and termites in spring.”

This open house, however, brought in people interested in energy efficiency – particularly insulation. Questions included the difference between an air-conditioned and nonair-conditioned attics and advantages of fiberglass batts versus foam insulation in walls.

Reichel and staff member Shandy Ogea answered questions and directed visitors to the various displays, which include various options for wind-resistant windows and building systems that can withstand being flooded.

“I’m very excited and thrilled to be here,” said Brenna Barthel, of Houma. “I’ve been wanting to come for a long time. I’m glad they’re open this Saturday.”

Barthel said she was particularly interested in learning about the landscaping at LaHouse as well as options for protecting her home from damage from hurricanes.

Rick Bogren
7/29/2013 11:57:22 PM
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