Photo by: Tim Hayes

Photo by: Jamie Costello

Leed Certification
Materials and Resources



North Central Louisiana Habitat for Humanity


Ruston, LA

LEED Consultant:

Chip Henderson

Project Goal:

The mission statement was defined at the beginning of the design process and drove the project from start to finish: Habitech09 will create a home that symbolizes hope, dignity, and character for a family and the surrounding community. As young professionals we will continue to advance our knowledge by crafting a home that demonstrates how architecture can improve a family’s life as well as that of a community. We will build trust by creating relationships through community awareness and involvement in this home. As architecture students, we would like to challenge existing notions of housing to produce a thoughtful and responsive home for the family and the community. As stated, their mission does not directly state their intentions of green building; instead they place emphasis on improving a family’s life and the challenge placed on existing notions of housing. A green home will inherently improve the family’s life through the money saved on utility bills and maintenance of the home. A green home will also challenge existing notions of housing by allowing them to design sustainably. Passive design, such as building orientation, window alignment for natural ventilation and window placement, played an important role in the early stages of the project through fruition.


The design of the home is based on the mission statement, site, and client needs. Therefore, the concept drew on the proportional length of the site and paralleled the path through which the community is welcomed. On the public side of the house, the front and back walls act as diaphanous, translucent layers to prevent the blocking of the public progression. The roof plane folds to become a funneling object reinforcing the connection to the community. Design considerations regarding LEED certification played an important role as well. The students held a series of design charrettes with a variety of professors with specialties including interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, and LEED accreditation. They also designed the home for passive solar design including building orientation and natural ventilation.

Drawings were continuously worked on throughout the design and build phase. Sets of drawings developed include: construction documents for a building permit and an as built consolidated set for documentation purposes. LEED credits implemented in their drawings include: implementation of LEED credits determined during the design phase; framing plans; details that showed proper construction methods regarding durability measures, such as window installation, metal drip edge at all exposed roof decking, and proper sealing of all possible air infiltration locations; and call outs of environmentally preferable materials.

During the build phase, Habitech09 participated in everything from digging the foundation to touch-ups. In order to achieve LEED certification they had to ensure prerequisites and credits were met during construction. A few credits achieved that were implemented during construction include:
• Sustainable Sites – Silt fencing to protect against soil erosion during construction.
• Water Efficiency – High efficient lavatory faucets that met EPA Water Sense specifications during plumbing trim out.
• Energy and Atmosphere – Achievement of a 67 score on the HERS Index entitled the project to 15 credits.
• Materials and Resources – Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) framing or placing studs every 24” on center earned the project 4 credits.
• Indoor Environmental Quality – Installation of ducted kitchen and bathroom vents will help expel moisture and unwanted smell from the home.

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