LewandowskaArchitect PLLC

Focus on Net-Zero and Carbon-Neutral Buildings and Site

SUSTAINABLE HOUSING COMPLEX, New Orleans, Louisiana

Global Green USA's commitment to green, affordable housing, sustainable cities, and climate solutions that work for communities inspired this design. The 1.25 acre site is located in Holy Cross neighborhood, one of two neighborhoods that comprise the Lower Ninth Ward....Read More

The site is developed into six single family homes, an apartment complex with an integral day-care and community center, an outside play area and 20 on-site parking spaces. The tallest building fa├žade facing the city is anchoring the development with the neighborhood. It is constructed from series of horizontal, operable wood panels, thus making it transparent and honest.

Traditionally private backyards are semi-public and open into a community garden, which offers summer stage performances, social interaction in resting areas and overlook tower, bicycle and jogging ring. Engaging families in small communities strengthens their social base and helps to overcome the trauma caused by the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Private open space is provided on roof gardens, which offer river views as well as increased winds.

Development combines high-level energy efficiency and on-site energy generation to achieve net-zero and carbon neutral buildings and site. The uniqueness of the environment in New Orleans, which offers an abundance of rain water, mild temperatures in winters, poor air and wind quality, inspired a combination of energy-saving strategies. They include: passive air conditioning using water storage in walls and slabs as thermal mass, radiant slabs, cooling through heat absorption of green roofs, entire heating through roof-mounted solar tubes, ventilated facades and skylights, double water system utilizing rain water for toilets and exterior use, electricity generated in micro-water turbines and integrated photovoltaics, daylight responsive controls and reflective aluminum wall panels.