Global Greens Holy Cross Project in the Lower 9th

Denise Attaway  |  8/27/2007 8:16:20 PM

Global Green USA, with the support of Brad Pitt and lead funding from the Home Depot Foundation is building the first sustainable low-income housing community in New Orleans’ ravaged Ninth Ward. The first of five planned single-family homes in the development will be completed in Fall 2007 and will initially serve as a Visitors Center for developers, contractors and residents to learn how to rebuild green.

The project is located on Andre Street, between Douglass and North Peters. North Peters Street runs along the foot of the levee.

Future Development plans at the site

Five Single Family Homes -- The plan includes five single homes, which will be sold to displaced residents of the Holy Cross and 9th Ward communities. Global Green is working with the Holy Cross Neighborhood to create homeowner selection criteria, and identify and select qualified homebuyers. The homes will sell for an average price of $175,000 and Global Green plans to create a soft second mortgage financing option to help prospective buyers to bring the equivalent price to $150,000 or lower.

The homes should save the residents an estimated $1,200 to $2,400 a year in utility bills, allowing lower income families to qualify for the mortgage. Using advanced monitoring systems in the home, residents can see their energy and resource consumption in real-time and, if they choose, modify their behavior to further lower energy costs. Modest homeowner association fees will allow for residents to turn to the project manager to ensure the rain water harvesting, geothermal, solar and other systems are maintained properly and will continue to maximize savings.

One 18-unit Apartment Building -  A green, affordable building will feature views of the Mississippi River and downtown New Orleans, 75% to 90% lower energy bills and all the benefits of healthy indoor air quality. These restricted income units will make it possible for low income residents and families to enjoy these unique apartments. It is estimated one bedroom apartments will rent for $550 a month and 2 bedroom apartments will rent for $650 a month. Global Green will seek applications from displaced residents of the 9th Ward.

Community Center – The community center will feature community services, such as an ATM, corner market, etc., a Visitor’s and Green Building Resource Center, an arts and cultural component, and an emergency center. For emergency needs, a rain water harvesting system will collect water (with filtration bringing it to drinking water standards), and solar panels on the roof of the Center will charge batteries that will provide power for emergency refrigeration (for medicines, etc.), lights and mobile phones in case residents are left without power or are unable to evacuate in an emergency.

Sustainable Design and Climate Action Institute: As a centerpiece of the project and Global Green’s ongoing presence in New Orleans, the institute would be a “Center of Excellence” for the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast that demonstrate all aspects of green building appropriate for the climate zone, while providing opportunities for sharing knowledge across the United States, and even globally. This also will be a gathering place for information, knowledge, and leadership generated by the sustainable design and green building activity in and around New Orleans and the response to Hurricane Katrina. The monitoring of the buildings will also allow the institute to study the performance energy systems, energy conservation, IAQ, water efficiency, and system monitoring.

Outdoor Space: The interior courtyard will provide an outdoor gathering area for residents. A pathway through the project to the Mississippi River will have an interpretative learning component and children’s education area that connect to the river levee, community center, visitor’s center, and other sustainable landscaping features such as stormwater runoff capture and cisterns. These elements will be tied to the Visitor’s Center and be part of the experience for those that come to see the project.

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