In 2007, my firm, Watt Tieder Hoffar & Fitzgerald, was retained to work on what potentially could have been the largest construction case in history: litigation arising from Hurricane Katrina flooding and the New Orleans levee structure. While we never went to trial, as part of our preparations for the case, I found myself in New Orleans walking next to one of the infamous levees. With images of devastated homes in mind, I anxiously watched news of Hurricane Gustav over the Labor Day weekend. Thankfully, it appears New Orleans avoided the brunt of the hurricane.
As rebuilding efforts have continued in New Orleans, one of the more interesting post-Katrina developments has been the incorporation of green building strategies in the construction of homes and businesses. For example, the Daily Green has reported “a wave of builders are repurposing salvageable materials from the destruction, which is a win-win in terms of reducing costs and cleaning up the enormous mess.” You may have also heard of Brad Pitt’s Make it Right project, which aims to build 150 affordable, environmentally sound houses over the next two years. Just two weeks ago, Pitt toured the first green home built through his project:
The Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans is a little greener, thanks to Brad Pitt. This week, he checked out the progress on the first building in what will be a sustainable, green — and affordable — housing complex.
Not only that, it’s the first new housing to come to that particular neighborhood since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, according to the Times-Picayune.
Now that it appears Hurricane Gustav has skirted New Orleans, rebuilding New Orleans can again be the focus. It will be interesting to see the innovative green building strategies that are incorporated into the city.