New Orleans v2

Post-Katrina Traditional Passive House for Central City

Through conversations with local redevelopment agencies and residents, SUSTAINABLE.TO learned that the post-Katrina New Orleans housing market demand is for beautiful, affordable, single-family homes built in the traditional New Orleans style. In response to this local preference, we have designed the exterior of this modular New Orleans Home to better reflect local traditional styling, while maintaining Passive House sustainable strategies to reduce the home’s energy consumption and to improve interior comfort.

We were asked by the St. Bernard Project (SBP) to design a model home for the 2014 New Orleans Home and Garden show to spread the word about the work they are doing throughout New Orleans. SBP volunteers had 72 hours to assemble the house inside the Superdome – studs, siding, flooring and roof – before the show opened on March 14th. After the show, the house was taken apart to be rebuilt for a deserving New Orleans family.

The house is designed to be constructed from a kit of standardized, volunteer-friendly, pre-built parts. An illustrated booklet details step-by-step instructions for the construction and assembly each individual component – similar to a piece of IKEA furniture. The parts are pre-built in a controlled environment – keeping volunteers sheltered from the elements – and can then be shipped to affected areas for rapid disaster relief. Because the kit of parts can be mass produced by volunteers, construction costs are minimized when compared to a traditional build.

New Orleans
149 m², 1,600 ft²
Project Lead:
Nicholas Discenza
Energy Use Intensity:
Estimated: 94 kWh/m²
Reduction in Energy Use from Typical: