Louisiana Speaks: Pattern Book

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Location: State of Louisiana, U.S.A.. Areas susceptible to/damaged by hurricanes

In light of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, it is apparent that rebuilding efforts must ensure that structures and communities be safer, stronger, and smarter. This book serves as a tool for builders and planners who will address these needs. The book is part of a larger program that includes a regional vision for Louisiana's future and exemplary master plans.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed more than 200,000 homes and thousands of commercial and public buildings. After assessing the damage, it has been agreed that older traditional structures withstood the hurricane damages moreso than recently built structures.

Given Louisiana's small housing industry, it would take decades to replace homes lost from the hurricanes. The housing demand can likely only be met by introducing new technologies and resources. And while an onslaught of manufactured housing has been shipped to Louisiana in 2006, much of it does not resemble housing endemic to Louisiana.

This publication contains patterns and techniques for building towns, neighborhoods, and housing quickly while employing Louisiana values and traditions. These traditions influence rebuilding in harmony with Louisiana's natural climate and environment in the design and construction of environmentally-responsible houses that feature local architectural tradition. The book offers sustainable design and Green Design Principles at both the urban scale and for individual homes, also guiding the implementation of hazard-resistant design and better construction techniques. In this book are five sections: Introduction, the Community Partners, Architectural Patterns, Demonstration Plans, and Landscape Patterns sections. Each section provides essential information for making informed design and site planning decisions for renovations or new housing construction.

Read more at this project's website.

Lessons learned: There was great need for a publication like this, and the document was widely distributed throughout the state. Response to the document has been enthusiastic, but it is yet to be seen how it influences actual construction. It was difficult to reference representatively "Louisiana" communities and structures in part because few in-tact examples exist. This book may serve as a spirit or motivation for renewal rather than being a specific toolkit - the project has given many pride and hope to rebuild in ways that uphold local tradition.

Transect Zone(s): T2 reserve, T3 sub-urban, T4 general, T5 center, T6 core.
Status: Complete
Project or Plan's Scale: Region
Features: Affordable/subsidized housing, Civic buildings & parks, Green buildings, Live/work, Mixed uses, Sustainable infrastructure, Transit oriented development.
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Project team designers: Urban Design Associates
Project team developers: Louisiana Recovery Authority Support Foundation

Previous site status: Redevelopment

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: -