When Brad Pitt founded the Make it Right foundation in 2007 to rebuild part of the flood-ruined Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, he had the future in mind. His plan was to build safe, sustainable and affordable homes for working families.
The challenge to the architects he invited to contribute to the project was daunting. The designers and architects that were invited to contribute to this project were asked to base their work on traditional New Orleans typologies — the “shotgun” single family home, and the “duplex,” a multi-family home. They were asked to make the homes green, affordable, and durable enough to weather the storms to come. They were expected to design homes that would be built using materials inspired by Cradle to Cradle™ thinking and verified to be non-toxic and reusable. And finally, they were asked to design homes that were aesthetically advanced. They recently unveiled their first floating house design.
Our designers and architects are also on the forefront of the green building movement with their exclusive partnership with ENERGY STAR— to design green house plans that meet or exceed their rigorous guidelines. The concept behind the “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR—” program was to make it easy for homeowners and builders to build a green and energy efficient home by working from an already approved house plan, rather than hope that their new home would be built correctly and efficiently enough to become ENERGY STAR— rated. Since it made perfect sense to both parties, an exclusive partnership and commitment to promote green building was formed 2 years ago.
Our architects and designers have been diligently creating new green home designs in all architectural styles and in a variety of sizes. While the average green home is 2,700 square feet and under, we have plenty of large, luxury homes that have been designed as efficiently as a home half its size.
To be designated as ‘Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR®,’ a house plan must be reviewed and approved by an independent Home Energy Rater (also known as a HERS Rater) who verifies that the plan, if built, will result in a home that is at least 15 percent more energy efficient than the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC). Homes Plans that are ‘Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR®’ also must specify additional energy-saving construction features, such as properly installed insulation and right-sized heating and cooling equipment, that will typically make them 20–30% more efficient than plans for standard homes.