Without the vision of Claudette Hanks Reichel, there likely would be no LaHouse Resource Center on the LSU campus. As Business Report details in its new Executive Spotlight feature on Reichel, she proposed the idea to build it during a meeting with AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson in 2000. Reichel had joined the AgCenter’s extension service—its educational outreach arm—in 1981.
“I get to be a bridge or conduit between the research scientists and the real world,” she says. When sustainability emerged as a major design focus, the professor saw the need for “a permanent demo home equipped as a ‘showcase of solutions’ for housing that is resource efficient, durable, healthy, convenient and practical for this region’s climate and natural hazards.”
It took years for the idea to be realized.
“It was a long yet amazing process, complicated by inclusion of multiple types of high-performance building systems and products,” Reichel says. “I chaired the project and design teams from the beginning, then built and utilized LaHouse as part of my extension sustainable housing program.”
She assumed administrative functions as LaHouse director in 2011. It is open weekdays to the public. Read the full feature and Q&A with Reichel. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find.
If you could have any job other than your own, what would it be?
“My ‘pie in the sky’ answer is a neuroscientist, since the brain and how it works is so mysterious and fascinating to me. My ‘fun job’ answer is a costume designer for film or theater, since creativity has a lot of appeal. My more realistic answer is to be a private consultant in residential design and perhaps forensics.”