As long as we are in the long process of rebuilding the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, many builders have taken the pledge to “go green.” The National Association of Home Builders has launched the National Green Building Program, and New Orleans is definitely on board. This month, the NAHB will hold its 10th annual National Green Building Conference in New Orleans. From May 10-13, this conference will attract more than 1,500 builders, architects and engineers with seminars; innovative new product and tool displays; plan reviews; and other special presentations, including the National Green Building Awards and the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Building With Trees Awards. The Green Building Home & Technology Tour will provide insights and details through seven area homes certified by the NAHB Research Center and Crescent City Green as part of the NAHB National Green Building Program. The tour, which is not open to the public, is attracting national attention.
Local builders have already demonstrated their mettle by renovating homes throughout the city with an eye on energy, water and resource efficiency; environmentally sensitive lot development; and the construction of a home as an interlaced system, and homeowners are reaping the benefits, enjoying green homes with lower energy bills, healthier indoor air and a lighter global impact.
Olde World Builders and Remodelers
4723 Allen St.
For a family that lost everything in the storm, the rebuilding process of this house was especially critical. Olde World Builders and Remodelers constructed the house using Southern Pine Council-treated pine and Crane siding. The plumbing and appliances were all installed according to the National Green Building guidelines, and Bosch energy star-rated appliances were selected, along with a tankless water heater. The energy-efficient roof is from Decra.
4037 Virgil Blvd.
Even a solidly built brick home with slab construction in Gentilly could not withstand Katrina’s wrath. This ranch-style three-bedroom home incurred standing water for several days. The 90-year-old owner and her daughter wanted to return to a comfortable, efficient home. KC Contractors came to the rescue with green products and methods, including insulated vinyl siding, foam insulation, ENERGY STAR appliances and windows, eco-friendly wood flooring in living areas and porcelain tile in kitchens and baths. A tankless water heater was installed, along with low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads. An eco-friendly landscape with water-gathering capabilities is planned. All metals from the existing structure were recycled.
3411 Piedmont Drive
Just like the Virgil Boulevard home, this pre-World War II Gentilly home was inundated with 7 feet of water, necessitating a complete renovation. The two-bedroom home was smartly updated with a number of green installations to make the building more efficient, healthful and environmentally friendly. Foam insulation was installed in the exterior walls and on the rafters, and vinyl foam siding was used on the exterior. Eco-friendly carpeting was installed in the bedrooms, and energy-efficient appliances were selected. Wood flooring in the living areas is eco-friendly while kitchens and baths feature ceramic tile. ENERGY STAR windows, low-flush toilets, water- conserving faucets and showerheads and a tankless water heater were all installed. ENERGY STAR exterior doors look out on an eco-friendly landscape plan with water-gathering capabilities. Again, all metals from the existing structure were recycled.
Step by Step Construction
217 N.Gayoso St.
A typical century-old shotgun house in Mid-City, this home flooded during Hurricane Katrina and was gutted shortly thereafter. The company did such a stellar job in bringing the house back that it will likely attain Gold Level national certification from the NAHB once the NAHB Green Remodeling Guidelines come out. During the past few months, it has served as an on-site classroom for Tulane University students and others interested in construction and innovative green construction techniques. With a large backyard, the completed home will be a designated Urban Wildlife Habitat with native landscaping and a bird habitat. It will also showcase innovative drainage plans within the wall assembly and an unvented attic system. Among the many green components that were installed to meet the NAHB’s guidelines are a tankless hot water heater; dual flush toilet; paperless sheetrock; salvaged building materials; and open-cell spray foam, an agri-based renewable water-blown product.
Green Coast Enterprises
The Arabella, 3100-02 and 3106-08 Fortin St.
Built in the classic Greek revival style seen throughout New Orleans, this condo project incorporates modern building materials and a design that looks toward a sustainable future. Green Coast Enterprises bills itself as a real estate company that emphasizes community resilience, and nowhere is it more evident than The Arabella. The condos are energy-efficient with tightly sealed and insulated living spaces, a cool roof for reduced energy costs, energy-efficient appliances, highly efficient HVAC systems and ceiling fans in every interior room to increase air flow. Limited organic material reduces the risk of mold contamination, and every unit is wired and plumbed for easy integration of renewable energy systems such as solar panels and a solar-powered hot water system. The structure has been designed to reduce risk of wind, water and termite damage with steel stud construction and cementitious siding that protects against flying debris.
Olde World Builders and Remodelers
840 Pontalba St.
Since this house is newly constructed, the builders were able to create an environmentally sound and structurally sturdy building from the bottom up. The house features a high and dry raised wood frame foundation and was constructed of Southern Pine Council-treated wood. The builders used Stormwater Best Management Practices including a rain garden and a rain barrel system. Plumbing and appliances were all installed according to National Green Building guidelines, and Bosch energy star-rated appliances were selected. A tankless water heater was installed, as was a high-efficiency air conditioning system.
Terry Tedesco Inc.
4141 Paris Road
Before 2005, Terry Tedesco Inc. built quality subdivisions throughout the area, but since Katrina, the company has focused on construction of modular homes. Going modular can often allow homeowners to be back in their houses in six to eight weeks. The Bimini is a stellar example of a “green” home. The 3,243-square-foot three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home features energy-efficient and renewable features, including double-glazed vinyl windows, spray foam insulation, ENERGY STAR appliances, and 92 percent use of compact fluorescent lighting. An Allsolar domestic hot water system was also installed. A number of features for air quality and noise reduction were included, including formaldehyde-free cabinets, quiet exhaust fans and a central vacuum system. Water-efficient appliances and fixtures were installed throughout. The home is constructed for 140 mph wind zones.