Touring the Holy Cross Project (GREEN.O.L.A.)

 Yahoo! Green is making some headway…

Almost immediately after watching the devastation and horror of Hurricane Katrina, and later Rita, unfold in New Orleans on August 29, 2005, I began to ask myself, what could we do? These events were in part made worse by human action and inaction ? the neglect of the levees, lack of political leadership and will, poverty, and much more. Global warming had also caused the sea levels to rise, making storm surge worse, and increasing sea temperature likely fueled the intensity of the storm. The lumbering response from our government was unacceptable. Global Green could not help but respond to the plight of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast ? arguably the first major city in the U.S. affected by climate change.

Today, Brad Pitt and I hosted a ?board cutting? ceremony in the Holy Cross neighborhood of the Lower 9th Ward to launch what we hope will become the future of green affordable housing and a cornerstone of New Orleans? rebuilding efforts. Global Green sponsored an international design competition last summer, with more than 125 firms competing to design a zero-energy affordable housing development. This morning, we offered the first hard-hat tour of the Holy Cross Project site, showcasing the winning design, which was created by Matthew Berman and Andrew Kotchen of Workshop/APD.

Thanks to our friends at Yahoo! Green, you can take a virtual tour of this home, which is being built with green products and energy efficient systems and whose solar panels will generate enough electricity to power the home. You?ll find information about dozens of green products and systems, which fall into the categories of water conservation, energy conservation, natural resource conservation, indoor air quality, and durability. You?ll learn about innovative materials such as eco-friendly termite- and mold-resistant wood, soy-based foam insulation, and wheat boards.

Yahoo! Green virtual house tour

Yahoo! Green virtual house tour

Yahoo! Green virtual house tour

The principles we are applying are simple at their core: if only 50,000 homes in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were rebuilt according to even 40% of the energy and resource standards used in this home, the residents would save up to $56 million in electricity costs and reduce global warming pollution by 550,000 tons each year.

Global Green?s work has always included a focus on communities and addressing those in need. From our work on green schools to green affordable housing, it?s about revitalizing communities from the inside out, while addressing poverty. It is immensely rewarding to be bringing together and mobilizing such a dedicated team of people ? from Brad Pitt; our lead funding partner, The Home Depot Foundation (with whom we?ve worked on green affordable housing for several years); Yahoo!; our designers, architects, and developers; and the Holy Cross community ? all believing that imbedded in this project is real hope and the opportunity to make New Orleans the first true green city.

Matt Petersen
President and CEO, Global Green

Touring the Holy Cross Project (GREEN.O.L.A.)

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