In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, leaving the Lower 9th Ward, where hundreds of working class families lived, utterly devastated. By 2007, it was clear something dramatic needed to be done to help the people rebuild. Enter Brad Pitt–a dramatic sustainability advocate if ever there was one. Brad Pitt created the Make It Right Foundation, geared toward building 150 eco real estate homes for the displaced residents.
Make It Right’s 86th completed eco real estate building was designed by none other than Frank Gehry, famous in the world of architecture. The home is inspired by New Orleans’ traditional double-shotgun homes which have no halls. The rooms are arranged one after the other in a simple line, and all are connected by doors.
The building includes one three-bedroom unit for the primary owner, and a smaller space which can be rented out. The primary half is painted a warm rose pink, while the renter’s half is a rich violet. The floor plan is arranged so that no one has rooms directly above the other resident’s living space.
The eco real estate has sturdy, sustainable fiber cement board siding. Both the exterior and interior walls were coated with zero-VOC green paints. (That is, the paint is eco-friendly–not actually green!) Both sides of the eco real estate property have ample rooftop space for recreation, which is shaded by two great big solar panels. This is an innovative way to use solar panels–for shade as well as collecting sunlight. The frame is SIP, structural insulated panels, which include a thick insulating foam core sandwiched between two durable facings.
Make It Right’s latest piece of eco real estate is energy-efficient, sustainable and simply designed. It’s a huge achievement for the people of New Orleans, and for everyone who came together to make this happen.
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