Louisiana Universities Resilient Architecture Collaborative (LURAC) – Inaugural Summit

Project Goals:

LURAC is focused on the development of techniques, processes, policy recommendations and outreach through “design research.” A range of case study examinations, physical mapping, community engagement, studio-based design, and synthesis practices support the development of processes and best practices to build a body of research from the scale of building materials and home design, to water management strategies and resilient neighborhood planning in Louisiana. Design practices are tested locally in each of the university participant’s areas of study and are assembled through the partnership to provide a development, design and policy framework applicable to coupled inland and coastal regions in Louisiana.

Long-term benefits of educating emerging design professionals through LURAC could include

  1. Lowering of Community Rating System scores
  2. Reduction of repetitive flood-damaged structures (repetitive losses)
  3. increased property values in places where resilient design is practiced
  4. Best practices for adaptive design and policy that can be implemented statewide
Project Team:
    • Traci Birch, PhD, AICP Interim Managing Director
      Assistant Professor in the LSU School of Architecture
    • Nick Jenisch
    • Alessandra Jerolleman
    • Louisiana Sea Grant

Louisiana is fighting on two fronts, facing dramatically increased flood risk along the coast as well as from riverine flooding in upland communities, as illustrated by the flooding of 2016. Reducing risk to the built environment requires a multi-pronged approach in which the capacity of design professionals is built concurrently with the development of a market for resilient construction, driven by consumer demand, community education, and changes to the regulatory environment. A state with so much flood risk must grow resilience capacity within, rather than rely on outside expertise.

LURAC is an effort to build a network across Louisiana that unites all six architecture, landscape architecture and planning programs through studio-based education around resilient building and community design. Faculty from each institution have met over the past two years to shape the collaborative, culminating in its kickoff in the Fall of 2018. Throughout the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters, each program has committed to designating a design studio or seminar related to LURAC educational themes and goals, allowing students in each institution to benefit from common resources, ongoing dialogue with their peers, and by sharing the results of their research and design.