Solar panels will both heat domestic hot water and generate a good deal of the electricity consumed on site. But electricity loads will be reduced by 50 to 75 percent of conventional consumption through the use of high-efficiency lighting and appliances.
Water consumption and wastewater volume will be similarly reduced through water-saving fixtures and appliances, a graywater system for toilet flushing, and a rainwater collection system. These efficiencies are expected to save over $600 per person per year.
All these changes are intended to qualify the development for the highest LEED Certification, "Platinum," thanks to a comprehensive design approach that goes beyond technological to consider effects on the city and region.
Greening the City
The neighborhood will offer site-scale protection from the elements through building orientation and tree placement. It will take advantage of local community resources through the on-site day care center, community center, and public transportation. It will limit demand on the municipal water supply and waste infrastructure.
Locally purchased building materials and labor bolster the economy. The project will develop an industry currently missing in New Orleans. A facility to manufacture the modular housing will place all the construction resources under one roof and take advantage of proximity to the Mississippi River to minimize transportation costs — and associated pollution — for raw materials.
If the project is as successful as is hoped, the city could soon begin exporting affordable and efficient modular homes throughout the hurricane- and flood-ravaged southern United States.
By creating a multipurpose, mixed-use site in Holy Cross, GreeNOLA will not only provide much needed, rapidly deployable, environmentally sustainable housing, it could help to revitalize the Holy Cross neighborhood and put it at the forefront of the "greening" of the Gulf Coast.
The Global Green competition jury was chaired by actor and architecture enthusiast Brad Pitt, who cosponsored and attracted media attention to the event.
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