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January 26, 2010

Building for a client with specific desires can be difficult, but designing for one with few programming preferences can often be harder. Such was the case for a team of nine fifth-year students at Louisiana Tech University who teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to create a modern home in the traditional town of Ruston, Louisiana.

What would end up as a LEED silver home—the first of its kind in Northern Louisiana—started as an empty lot in need of significant work. The site wasn't the students' first choice but its close proximity to the center of town helped them garner extra LEED
What would end up as a LEED silver home—the first of its kind in Northern Louisiana—started as an empty lot in need of significant work. The site wasn't the students' first choice but its close proximity to the center of town helped them garner extra LEED points. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The group of nine students, all in their fifth year at <a href="http://www.latech.edu/">Louisiana Tech University</a>, spent the first half of the 2008-2009 academic year planning the home's design. "We went through a whole bunch of different iterations,"
The group of nine students, all in their fifth year at Louisiana Tech University, spent the first half of the 2008-2009 academic year planning the home's design. "We went through a whole bunch of different iterations," Boudreaux says. "We worked individually, then had meetings and voted in a pretty democratic way for what we liked most." Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The biggest decision was whether to orient the house along the east-west or north-south axis. The team would have earned more LEED points by having the house face east or west, but since the lot was long and narrow in the north-south direction, they decid
The biggest decision was whether to orient the house along the east-west or north-south axis. The team would have earned more LEED points by having the house face east or west, but since the lot was long and narrow in the north-south direction, they decided to have it face north to the street. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The students broke ground in January 2009 and completed the home on May 22, 2009, the day before graduation. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
The students broke ground in January 2009 and completed the home on May 22, 2009, the day before graduation. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The then future resident of the home was chosen early on in the design process—which made things easier—but she had few preferences for what she wanted in the home, which made it more difficult. Her only requirements were a porch in the back yard and the
The then future resident of the home was chosen early on in the design process—which made things easier—but she had few preferences for what she wanted in the home, which made it more difficult. Her only requirements were a porch in the back yard and the bedroom in the rear of the house. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The students were not left alone to complete the home. The majority of funding came from <a href="http://www.habitat.org/">Habitat from Humanity</a> and community members donated both time and supplies to help with the build. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudr
The students were not left alone to complete the home. The majority of funding came from Habitat from Humanity and community members donated both time and supplies to help with the build. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The team worked until the night before graduation to complete the home and held the open house the next morning, before they donned their caps and gowns. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
The team worked until the night before graduation to complete the home and held the open house the next morning, before they donned their caps and gowns. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The newly completed home. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
The newly completed home. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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Because the team chose to orient the house along the north-south axis, they limited the number and size of windows on the east and west elevations to reduce heat gain. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
Because the team chose to orient the house along the north-south axis, they limited the number and size of windows on the east and west elevations to reduce heat gain. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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A mutual goal of the students and the resident was to create a home that was inviting to the community. The front and left side of of the home is the public space; the back and majority of the right side is the private space. The back porch is located on
A mutual goal of the students and the resident was to create a home that was inviting to the community. The front and left side of of the home is the public space; the back and majority of the right side is the private space. The back porch is located on the left side of the house and can be seen through the front door. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The back porch, one of the few requests of the resident. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
The back porch, one of the few requests of the resident. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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Inside the front door, a long hallway separates the public space, on the left, from the private space, which extends farther back on the right side of the home. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
Inside the front door, a long hallway separates the public space, on the left, from the private space, which extends farther back on the right side of the home. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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Because the house is on the north-south axis, the team added extra openings, including clerestory windows above the kitchen, to bring in additional light. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
Because the house is on the north-south axis, the team added extra openings, including clerestory windows above the kitchen, to bring in additional light. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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Many of the points accrued to reach LEED silver status were acquired by installing Energy Star products, especially in the kitchen. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
Many of the points accrued to reach LEED silver status were acquired by installing Energy Star products, especially in the kitchen. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The left side of the house is the main public area and was designed as a kitchen-dining-living great room. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
The left side of the house is the main public area and was designed as a kitchen-dining-living great room. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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The designers on the morning of graduation, happy to have completed the home in time. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
The designers on the morning of graduation, happy to have completed the home in time. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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Though the house is quite different from its neighbors, the team worked hard to keep the proportions the same and received positive feedback from the community. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
Though the house is quite different from its neighbors, the team worked hard to keep the proportions the same and received positive feedback from the community. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.
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What would end up as a LEED silver home—the first of its kind in Northern Louisiana—started as an empty lot in need of significant work. The site wasn't the students' first choice but its close proximity to the center of town helped them garner extra LEED
What would end up as a LEED silver home—the first of its kind in Northern Louisiana—started as an empty lot in need of significant work. The site wasn't the students' first choice but its close proximity to the center of town helped them garner extra LEED points. Photo courtesy of Jared Boudreaux and Tim Hayes.

The clients had two requirements: a porch in the back yard and a bedroom in the rear of the home. The rest was up to the students. The result was a LEED silver, 1,152-square-foot home built on a minimal budget with the help of local volunteers who donated their time and supplies to the team. 

View the slideshow and read the full story, told in captions.

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