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Natural Awakenings

Home Sweet Home: New Orleans’ Naturally Affordable Face-lift

Feb 01, 2008 03:00AM

Eco-celebrity Brad Pitt is leading the charge to restore New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward the right way—with environmentally-sound, affordable, storm-safe housing. He’s commissioned 15 innovative and ecologically responsible architecture firms to design the first 150 three-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot homes to go up in his Make It Right project over the next two years. Targeted build cost is $150,000.

“If you have a blank slate and this great technology is out there, what better test than low-income housing?” queries Pitt. “It’s got to work at all levels to really be viable.” He expects that the green building elements incorporated into these simple designs will reduce upkeep costs by at least 75 percent.

Pitt and others have subscribed millions in matching funds in order to raise contributions by individuals, organizations and corporations eager to adopt one or more houses or a portion of a house. For example, a donor can direct funds to purchase a tankless water heater, solar panel, low-flush toilet or a tree.

To help, visit www.MakeItRightNOLA.org.

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