Build it Back Green in New Orleans – 5 years on

With 29 August marking the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Global Green USA President Matt Petersen called on President Obama to demand that BP fund the creation of a $2.5 billion “Gulf Coast Clean Energy and Healthy Communities Foundation” thereby helping transform the Gulf Coast into the green coast. He was marking the completion of the first phase of Global Green’s sustainable Holy Cross Project, a response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina making Global Green the only environmental group building affordable housing in the United States.

Joined by Petersen and leaders from the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association (HCNA) at the 5th anniversary event, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao announced $550,000 from the Dept. of Energy which he helped secure to fund the back up solar energy and water systems in Global Green’s Holy Cross community and climate action center. Global Green has secured a total of $3.2 million in federal and private philanthropic funding to build the first new community center in the 9th Ward, including a $500,000 Kresge grant and $2.2 million in stimulus funding via the City of New Orleans, the only new construction funded by these dollars in the Lower 9th Ward.
The Holy Cross Project’s five LEED Platinum, energy efficient homes were a result of the sustainable design competition held with jury chair Brad Pitt and winning design by Workshop APD’s Matthew Berman and Andrew Kotchen, and collaboration with the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association (HCNA). The final Holy Cross Project – with lead funding partner The Home Depot Foundation — will include the 5 homes, an 18-unit apartment building, and the community and climate action center.
“Global Green is turning the vision of rebuilding a healthy green New Orleans into reality. They are working to help improve our communities by providing the knowledge, tools, and inspiration to create cost-effective solutions that work – saving money, improving lives and protecting our environment, said Congressman Cao. “Global Green’s Holy Cross Project is a remarkable model sustainable village helping to restore housing and services to the Lower 9th Ward and serving as a beacon of hope for the entire community. The impact Global Green is having on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast will last for generations to come.”
New Orleans Green Map
Global Green also unveiled a green map of New Orleans showcasing thousands of green initiatives at schools, homes, and communities that are transforming the city, and invited the public to provide additional green points to add to the map, which can be found at
“New Orleans is having a green renaissance. Prior to Katrina, New Orleans and Louisiana lacked virtually any green building or energy-efficiency infrastructure. Louisiana didn’t have a modern energy code, there were no LEED certified buildings, and so many children were in unhealthy and incredibly energy inefficient schools,” said Global Green President Matt Petersen. “There are more green single family affordable housing units being built in New Orleans than any other city in the US – Global Green has been proud to be at the forefront of this sustainable renaissance, and revolution.”
Dedication of Visitor Center to Pam Dashiell
Global Green dedicated its Visitor Center to the memory of Pam Dashiell, Past President of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association.
“We honor Pam for her tireless and passionate commitment to a sustainable Lower 9th Ward Community,” said Global Green New Orleans Director Beth Galante. “Her vision lives on and inspires all who knew her. Thanks to Pam and other leaders, New Orleans is a Solar America City, Louisiana has the most progressive solar tax credit in the country, and there are countless green building projects and hundreds of green building products are now available that weren’t before.”
Global Green also acknowledged the in-kind support of so many important corporate donors including: The Mohawk Group, Daltile, Caroma USA, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Delta Faucets, Columbia Forest Products, James Hardie, Bluwood, Edgefield Lumber and their suppliers, Huntsman Polyurethanes/Certainteed, Custom Furniture, Dash Lumber, Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. Simpson Sod Co.
Time Magazine has said, “No organization is doing more to rebuild New Orleans green than Global Green USA.” Following the tragic BP Oil disaster, Global Green is using its extensive resources and understanding of the challenges and opportunities in New Orleans and the Gulf to call upon President Obama to Create the “Gulf Coast Clean Energy and Healthy Communities Foundation” – to transform the Gulf Coast to the Green Coast by helping the hard working Americans in the Gulf lead us to a stronger and cleaner economy, support wetlands and ecosystem restoration, and create more resilient Gulf Coast communities.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, Global Green formulated a vision and a plan to find a silver – or green – lining in the disaster. Thanks to Global Green, numerous rebuilding projects in New Orleans are now offering critical solutions to how we create highly efficient, green homes and schools, while at the same time aiding under-served and underprivileged communities. New Orleans is on the front line of rising sea levels and storm intensity caused by global warming. The opportunity to rebuild the city as an international example of sustainability comes in the aftermath of disasters that are increasingly being recognized as the tipping point for global awareness of climate change and its potentially devastating impacts.
Global Green USA
Global Green USA, Green Cross International’s American affiliate, is a national leader in creating smart solutions to climate change. For more than 15 years, Global Green’s LEED-accredited staff has spearheaded applying green building technology to more than $20 billion in new schools and affordable housing construction, while advancing groundbreaking solar, green building, and energy efficiency legislation. Global Green opened a New Orleans office shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf and is collaborating with environmentalists, community developers, the Recovery School District, urban organizations, and others to create the building blocks for a climate friendly, model sustainable city for the 21st century.

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