U.S. Green Building Council President, CEO & Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi today declared that the neighbourhood being built by Make It Right New Orleans, the post-Katrina housing initiative launched by actor Brad Pitt, is the “largest and greenest community of single-family homes in the world” at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York.
Make It Right, which was announced as a 'commitment' at the 2007 CGI meeting, has already LEED Platinum certified 13 homes and is building at least 150 sustainable, storm-resistant LEED Platinum homes in a Lower 9th Ward neighbourhood of New Orleans, wiped out by the Hurricane Katrina and that was nearest to the disastrous breech of the Industrial Canal levee.
“In transforming the Lower 9th Ward, Make It Right is showing us how we can transform those parts of our nation that have fallen behind the most, whether through neglect, poverty or disaster," President Clinton said. "Make It Right offers a blueprint for how to build homes that instill pride and combine to form communities of hope and opportunity. By following the Make It Right model, we can generate the green collar jobs our economy needs to move forward and advance building practices that reduce carbon emissions, while at the same time growing neighborhoods where families can thrive."
“Through Make It Right we are reminded that our work is not about buildings, but rather about the people within them," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "In facing our nation’s unprecedented economic and environmental crises, we must change the way the places in which we live, work, learn and play are built and operated. What we’re seeing with green building goes beyond energy-efficiency to a transformation of entire communities – and the lives of the people who live there. Make It Right has proved that green building can be both affordable and high performing.”
“While Katrina gave us the opportunity to think creatively about how to make green homes affordable for the low-income families who need them the most, it shouldn’t take a hurricane to make that happen in other cities,” said Pitt said. “Our plan is to take what we have learned in New Orleans and help other communities build healthy, safe and affordable green homes. Our hope is to make these homes the norm, not the exception.”
Fedrizzi presented a LEED plaque to Pitt, Darden and Make It Right resident and Katrina-survivor Deidre Taylor in recognition of the initiative’s 150+ planned and 13 already certified LEED Platinum homes. No other community comprises as many LEED Platinum certified homes. LEED Platinum is the highest possible green building certification.
Make It Right is a collaboration between actor Brad Pitt, Steve Bing, Graft Architects, Cherokee Gives Back and William McDonough + Partners. Make it Right will have 50 homes by December 2009 and 150 by December 2010.