Sustainability Center

The Outreach Center is an educational learning experience designed to introduce sustainable initiatives including a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar thermal panels, solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbine, biomass electrical generator, and water reclamation ponds. Students experience an introduction to sustainable practices, LEED program, and view firsthand the functional concepts of these efforts.  Visitors will venture into a nonconventional, energy-neutral classroom and delve into the internal workings of each renewable-energy system.    

This space is air conditioned with a pond-loop geothermal system and utilizes captured rainwater to irrigate landscape beds and flush the toilet.    Top VIew


Geothermal System       /admin/phys_plant/green/index.pcf Image

Solarthermal System       /admin/phys_plant/green/index.pcf Image

Biomass System 


The sustainability center has a heliodon, which is a model to explain passive solar technologies. A heliodon is a device that simulates the angle at which sunbeams strike a physical model of a building or landscape.  A heliodon consist of one or more light sources and a mechanism to support the model and to rotate it through one to three axes.  Since the three variables of latitude, time of year, and time of day determine sun angles, a heliodon must be adjustable for all three factors. 



Why Heliodons?

Energy consumption is the primary cause of climate change, and buildings use about 50% of all the energy consumed in the United States. Thus, buildings are the main cause of climate change, and they use energy primarily for heating, cooling, and lighting all of which are all greatly impacted by the sun.  Solar responsive design can significantly reduce this energy demand by harvesting the winter sun for heating, by rejecting the summer sun to reduce the cooling load, and by collecting a small amount of quality daylight year-round to replace most of the electric lighting used during daylight hours.

Successful solar responsive design requires a thorough understanding of solar geometry and its impact on design.  Heliodons can teach developers, builders, and architects the basic concepts that will allow them to design low-energy solar-responsive buildings and communities. Heliodons can also convince potential owners to request solar responsive design and then see the validity of a particular design. They are powerful tools for demonstrating the potential and logic of solar responsive design to people of any age or education level. 

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We invite you to tour our Sustainability Center at Southeastern Louisiana University 

           Sustain pic 1    Sustain pic 2

Southeastern’s Environmental Education Development (SEED) classroom is powered by
solar photo-voltaic panels, heated and cooled by a geothermal system, has an operational
power-generating wind turbine, and solar thermal.  The SEED classroom currently has a biomass pellet process being developed in partnership with Computer Science and Technology.

Sustainability center

We invite you to contact us today to plan a visit to the Southeastern Louisiana University Sustainability Center, located at 2101 North Oak Street, for a day of fun and learning.  Email us at or call 985-549-5034 to schedule a visit.  We'll see you there.