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Sustainability in a Subtropical Climate
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The author purchased 5 acres of land on the Bayou Teche in south Louisiana some 22 years ago. The property was over grown with vegetation and contained dump sites from many years of neglect and abuse. This allowed for the purchase of the property at a lower price, and the opportunity to follow the advice of architect friend Malcolm Wells - "buy an ugly piece of property and make it beautiful, while usually we do just the opposite." An old house, doomed for destruction, was purchased and moved to the property. After a year of part-time renovation the author and his family moved into the structure. For the next 17 years, time was spent cleaning up and selectively clearing the property. Also during this time research on local vernacular architecture and sustainability continued along with the collecting of materials to be recycled into the design of a new home. About 5 years ago the design was finalized, the property was cleaned up, and construction started on a new house. Construction, on a part-time basis, lasted for the next 4 years. Some of the major considerations for human comfort were shading, ventilation, and thermal grounding along with concerns for infiltration, insulation and solar radiation. Sustainability considerations were energy efficient design, local materials, recycled materials, indoor air quality, and Feng Shui.
Cazayoux, E. J. (2000). Sustainability in a Subtropical Climate. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from