Global Green USA and Brad Pitt announced today six finalists for the Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans. Each finalist responded to the competition goals of demonstrating how green building and intelligent architecture can be brought together in an innovative way while respecting the historical context of New Orleans neighborhoods. The designs can be viewed and voted on here.

All of the selected designs express a clear understanding of the need to address rising electricity and energy costs and mounting health problems caused by exposure to unhealthy building practices. Healthy, energy efficient homes and affordable housing often have no or little increased cost, yet provide vast benefits through lower energy and water bills, increased durability, and improved health of the residents. Green, high performance buildings are also smart solutions to global warming.

The six finalists are:
– Drew Lang Architects/Drew Lang – NYC, NY and New Orleans, LA
– Brininstool and Lynch/Brad Lynch – Chicago, IL
– Workshop APD/Matthew Berman and Andrew Kotchen – NYC, NY
– Schwartz Architecture/Frederic Schwartz – NYC, NY
– MetroStudio/Ken Gowland – New Orleans, LA
– Eskew, Dumez and Ripple/Steve Dumez – New Orleans, LA

These finalists will work, with the support of Global Green technical assistance and guidance from the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, to ensure their final designs not only meeting green building guidelines (e.g., net zero energy, etc.) that benefit the residents and community, but are also specific to the climate and culture of New Orleans and Holy Cross.

“We’re excited that historic Holy Cross Neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward is the focus of Stage 1 of the competition. Rebuilding our community the right way, in a way that protects the health and environment of its residents is what this competition is all about,” said Pam Dashiell.

“The goals of this competition were two fold,” said Brad Pitt. “Help the rebuilding effort in areas that have difficulty rebuilding. Advance the cause of green design. We want to rebuild intelligently.”

Public voting will began yesterday. Voting will include information about green building and what homeowners can do to today to make their homes healither and more energy efficient. The designs will hopefully serve as model projects for the healthy green rebuilding of New Orleans. A large selection of the competition entries, including all of the award winners, will be exhibited in New Orleans at the Ogden Museum and in Washington, DC at the National Building Museum.

“Green building can be the cornerstone of the New Orleans rebuilding effort– and serve as an example for urban areas everywhere. It will mean a healthier and sustainable New Orleans as we build toward the future,” said Global Green President Matt Petersen. “The caliber of submissions and the creative concepts submitted by the nation’s most talented architects and designers show that green building has come of age. Now, it’s more important than ever with the increased energy costs combined with the growing risks we face from global warming.”

The Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans – Advancing the Sustainable Rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast – combines Global Green USA’s commitment to green affordable housing, sustainable cities, and climate solutions that work for communities, with Brad Pitt’s passion for intelligent architecture. The competition is an opportunity to give back to New Orleans, the birthplace of great culture, music, food, and architecture, as well as shine the light on the benefits of high performance, green building for the entire nation.

The finalists were selected by the design jury which was chaired by Brad Pitt and included Pritzker Award Winner Thom Mayne, principle at Morphosis Architects (Santa Monica, CA); Pam Dashiell, president of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association (New Orleans, LA); Lauren Anderson, executive Director for the Neighborhood Housing Service of New Orleans, Inc. (New Orleans); Keith Butler, an investment banker and real estate developer (New Orleans & New York); William Morrish, Elwood R. Quesada Professor of Architecture School of Architecture, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA); Walter J. Hood, Principal, Hood Design (Oakland CA), Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA); Marion Weiss, Principal, Weiss/Manfredi Architects ,Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania; David Orr , Chair, Environmental Studies Program (Oberlin College, OH); and Yolanda Daniels, Co-Founder, Studio Sumo (New York, NY), and Matt Petersen, President of Global Green USA.

The designs were also reviewed by the six member Technical Jury chaired by Walker Wells, Global Green’s Program Director for Green Building. They met for two days to review and judge the green building components of the competition designs. Additional jurors included: Bruce M. Hampton, Principle, Elton+Hampton Architects (Allston, MA); William D. Browning (US Green Building Council-USGBC), Principle, Browning + Bannon (Washington, DC); Bob Berkebile (USGBC), Principle, BNIM Architects (Kansas City, MO); E. Eean McNaughton (American Institute for Architects, AIA), Principal, E. Eean McNaughton, Architects (New Orleans, LA); Susan Maxman (AIA), Design Principle – Maxman Partners (Philadelphia, PA).

Joining Brad Pitt as a sponsor and initial underwriter for the competition are Adam Joseph Lewis, Suzanne Friewald, and Sean Cummings, a New Orleans native. Global Green USA continues to solicit support for its competition and for the building of the winning projects. Global Green’s Resource Center and work in New Orleans is supported by the Home Depot Foundation, Jerry and Ann Moss, donations from Global Green staff, and by dozens of other individuals.

Global Green USA – the American affiliate of President Gorbachev’s Green Cross International – was founded by Diane Meyer Simon in 1993. Its newly opened field office and green building resource center will serve as a focal point of green building expertise for New Orleans residents and is the face of its “Healthy Homes, Smart Neighborhoods” initiative whose Honorary National Task Force includes: Julian bond, Gen. Wesley Clark, Leonardo DiCaprio, Morgan Freeman, Lee Hamilton, Pat Mitchell and David Orr. Global Green USA has been a national leader in green building for affordable housing, schools and communities for more than a decade and has influenced more than $20 billion dollars in green construction.

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  1. While TFM readers deal primarily with commercial buildings for businesses, schools, hospitals, and other non-residential facilities, this could be an interesting competition for those who incorporate energy conservation into their personal lives. Thanks for the heads up!

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