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Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans Launched by Global Green USA and Brad Pitt

Surrounded by green building displays, Global Green USA President Matt Petersen was joined by design jury chairman Brad Pitt, Pritzker Award winner Thom Mayne and the rest of the jury made up of nationally renowned architects and environmental experts as they launched their Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans. The event also included the competition jury, made up of nationally renowned architects and environmental experts, and marked the conclusion of four days of deliberations to review more than one hundred green building design submissions from across the country and around the world.

"The goals of this competition were two fold," said Brad Pitt, "Help the rebuilding effort in areas that have difficulty rebuilding. Advance the cause of green design. We want to rebuild intelligently."

At the event Global Green announced a public vote portion of the competition. They will post the design drawings online, along with information about what green building is. Public voting will begin Monday at when the finalists are announced.

All of the submissions featured green building principles for affordable housing complexes that would save residents money by reducing energy costs. The designs improve the health of the community and reduce the impact on the environment. The designs will serve as model projects for the healthy green rebuilding of New Orleans. A large selection of the competition entries, including all of the award winners, will be exhibited in New Orleans at the Ogden Museum and in Washington, DC at the National Building Museum.

"Green building can be the cornerstone of the New Orleans rebuilding effort-- and serve as an example for urban areas everywhere. It will mean a healthier and sustainable New Orleans as we build toward the future," said Global Green President Matt Petersen. "The caliber of submissions and the creative concepts submitted by the nation's most talented architects and designers show that green building has come of age. Now, its more important than ever with the increased energy costs combined with the growing risks we face from global warming."

The Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans - Advancing the Sustainable Rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast - combines Global Green USA's commitment to green affordable housing, sustainable cities, and climate solutions that work for communities, with Brad Pitt's passion for intelligent architecture. The idea for the competition developed from a conversation between Brad Pitt and Global Green President, Matt Petersen, at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City in September 2005. The competition is a central component of Global Green's sustainable rebuilding initiative for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, which began 10 days after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. This contest is an opportunity to give back to New Orleans, the birthplace of great culture, music, food, and architecture.

The design jury met over two days to review the wide variety of submissions. Brad Pitt, who chaired the competition was joined by Pritzker Award Winner Thom Mayne, Principle, Morphosis Architects (Santa Monica, CA); William Morrish, Elwood R. Quesada Professor of Architecture School of Architecture, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA); Walter J. Hood, Principal, Hood Design (Oakland CA), Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA); Marion Weiss, Principal, Weiss/Manfredi Architects ,Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania; David Orr , Chair, Environmental Studies Program (Oberlin College, OH); and Yolanda Daniels, Co-Founder, Studio Sumo (New York, NY), and Matt Petersen, President of Global Green USA.

"Green design is smart design, common sense design and the future of all design," said Pritzker Prize winning architect Thom Mayne who is also designing the city's new Jazz Center. "I look forward to a day soon when using natural healthy green principles for design and construction of buildings are the standard here and throughout the country."

The New Orleans contingent of the jury included Pam Dashiell, President, Holy Cross Neighborhood Association ( New Orleans, LA); Lauren Anderson, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Service of New Orleans, Inc. ( New Orleans); Keith Butler, Investment Banker & Real Estate Developer ( New Orleans & New York).

"We're excited that historic Holy Cross Neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward is the focus of Stage 1 of the competition. Rebuilding our community the right way, in a way that protects the health and environment of its residents is what this competition is all about," said Pam Dashiell.

Earlier this week, the six member Technical Jury chaired by Walker Wells, Global Green's Program Director for Green Building,met for two days to review and judge the green building components of the competition designs. Additional jurors included: Bruce M. Hampton, Principle, Elton+Hampton Architects (Allston, MA); William D. Browning (US Green Building Council-USGBC), Principle, Browning + Bannon (Washington, DC); Bob Berkebile (USGBC), Principle, BNIM Architects (Kansas City, MO); E. Eean McNaughton (American Institute for Architects (AIA), Principal, E. Eean McNaughton, Architects (New Orleans, LA); Susan Maxman (AIA), Design Principle - Maxman Partners (Philadelphia, PA).

Two New Orleans-based consultants are assisting Global Green in organizing this project: Reed Kroloff and Casey Jones of Jones-Kroloff Design Services and John Williams of John Williams Architects.

Joining Brad Pitt as a sponsor and initial underwriter for the competition is Suzanne Friewald, Sean Cummings, a New Orleanean, and an anonymous donor. Global Green USA continues to solicit support for its competition and for the building of the winning projects. Global Green's Resource Center and work in New Orleans is supported by the Home Depot Foundation, Jerry and Ann Moss, donations from Global Green staff, and by dozens of other individuals.

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