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John C. Williams Architects
824 Baronne St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113
p: 504.566.0888
f: 504.566.0897
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Global Green Holy Cross Project


In our desire to rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in a sustainable, healthy, and responsible way, Williams Architects is working with Global Green USA, the Home Depot Foundation, Brad Pitt, and others to create a sustainable development in Holy Cross, an historic neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The Global Green Holy Cross Project, currently under construction, is designed as a LEED Platinum development in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The project consists of five single family houses, an 18-unit Multi-Family Building, and two story Community Center and retail building. The project was a result of an international design competition. Williams Architects was selected as the Architect of Record to bring the winning design to fruition.

Sustainability, affordability, replicability, passive survivability, and good design are the goals for the project. These often diverse objectives have resulted in a unique response to the challenges we face in New Orleans as we rebuild. The houses range from 950 to 1370sf, and are oriented to maximize solar (photovoltaic) energy production. The initial house, which is complete and operates as visitor center until the project is complete, has a vegetated roof, geothermal heat pump, rainwater harvesting system, reclaimed flooring, and a green screen. All of the houses will have solar electric panels, energy efficient insulation strategies, tankless water heaters, and paperless gypsum board. Throughout the entire project, materials will be selected with no volatile organic compounds (VOC's) or urea formaldehyde, and construction will use FSC certified and borate treated lumber. The 18 unit multi-family building will serve the needs of returning residents needing housing while still maintaining the high levels of sustainability as the rest of the project. The Community Center will house a small retail store and bank branch/ATM, a community meeting room, office space for the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, a green building resource center, and the New Orleans offices of Global Green and Sustainable Design and Climate Action Center. The site is being designed to retain rainwater from a 10 year rain event, with bio-swales and a rain garden planted with native species to help slow, reduce, and clean stormwater.

The project is currently under construction and expected to be completed by the end of 2009.



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