So I’m back in New Orleans this week doing another restoration project in the Holy Cross neighborhood in the Lower 9th. My first day back I spent insulating a home, which was awesome for three reasons: 1) I’ve never done this kind of insulating; 2) The future owners will have a more efficient home, 3) Nobody insulates their buildings in New Orleans. We also took a tour of the Global Green Homes springing up in Holy Cross, which feature solar panels, reflective roofs, low VOC paints and adhesives, geothermal heating and cooling systems (well, one of them does), Energy Star appliances, etc., etc. They are generally going for around $200,000, which seems pretty darned cheap, though they are actually a little pricey for residents who lived in the area pre-Katrina. It’s a tough balance.
I also notice a new trend here–green boutique shops. Despite the Make It Right homes (Brad Pitt’s project in the Lower 9th) and other green building programs that have sprung up in the hardest hit areas and gotten a lot of media hype, New Orleans is just not a very environmentally-conscious city in many ways. Well, save the fact that preservation is King here, which perhaps makes it more environmentally-friendly than anyone gives it props for. I’d love to see that data. At any rate, it’s cool to see that a more conscious and active awareness is growing!