Tulane Architecture professors and students built their first LEED-certified residential project for first-time New Orleans homebuyer Tami Hills, who proudly received a certificate honoring her new home's energy-efficient design.
The project was a collaboration through URBANbuild, organized by Byron Mouton, director of URBANbuild, and Kenneth Schwartz, dean of the Tulane School of Architecture, along with Lauren Anderson, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services.
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"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!"
She sees potential for her neighborhood and is leading the charge for its recovery. Hills says her life philosophy is now harmony with the green nature of the house.
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."