Homeowner Happy in Tulane-Designed 'Green' House

December 17, 2010 5:43 AM

Kathryn Hobgood Ray

see the empowers videoThe house at 2036 Seventh St. in New Orleans, designed and built by Tulane architecture professors and students, has been certified LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first LEED-certified project for Tulane and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, which collaborated through a program called URBANbuild.

LEED certified

From left, architecture student Karla Valdivia and dean Kenneth Schwartz look on as new homeowner Tami Hills accepts the certificate for her new LEED Silver-certified home. Valdivia worked on the design and construction of the home. (Photo by Sally Asher)

First-time homebuyer Tami Hills proudly received the certificate honoring her home’s energy-efficient design at a ceremony on Dec. 10 from Byron Mouton, director of URBANbuild, and Kenneth Schwartz, dean of the Tulane School of Architecture, along with Lauren Anderson, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services.

Students who were involved in the design and construction of the house, located in the Central City neighborhood, joined in the celebration.

Hills loves her new home and says that her life philosophy is in harmony with the green nature of the house. She sees the beauty, history and potential of her neighborhood and is leading the charge for its recovery.

“My favorite feature is definitely, hands down, the Polygal panels -- they give me the privacy I need without having to hang curtains. ” says Hills. “Second in line: the insulation. For the first time in my history of living in New Orleans, I am warm in the winter and cool in the summer!”

Other green features of the home include low-emissivity windows, Energy-Star electrical fixtures and an energy-saving air conditioner, as well as sustainably harvested and manufactured materials such as bamboo flooring and zero-VOC interior paint.

Mouton says that engaging the LEED for Homes certification process “has been educational and deeply rewarding for the design students and faculty at Tulane School of Architecture, our housing partners at Neighborhood Housing Services, and especially our new homeowner. As with all of URBANbuild’s design-build projects, we hope our experience is one that other developers and institutions can look toward as a model and a starting point for more environmentally responsible, well-designed homes.”

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000