Green (re)building in New Orleans

A new report from the Sierra Club examines the green rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, nearly four years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.


On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina raced into New Orleans , and the city was forever changed. The rebuilding efforts have been focused in certain regions, but many areas of the city still look as they did shortly after New Orleans dried. Some view the situation as a unique opportunity to build a green city from the ground up. As reported on the Mother Nature Network website , the Sierra Club released a report last week that examines the green rebuilding efforts in the city.

According to the Sierra Club website, "the report's five goals are to profile key agencies; to catalog current and former green building projects; to evaluate the capacity and needs of each business and organization; to assess the current green building situation; and to develop a directory of local green building service providers."

Much of the data used in the report was gathered through two different surveys. One survey was given to universities, architects, construction companies, nonprofit organizations, and others involved in the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. The second survey focused on soliciting responses from workforce training programs.

Of the agencies profiled in the report, 36.7% have been involved in the green building industry for 13 months to two years. This should come as no surprise as the green building industry only recently has begun to pick up momentum, and the situation in New Orleans presented a unique opportunity for businesses to get into the green building field.

After the agency profiles, the report goes on to provide a comprehensive summary of the survey results. A few of the topics covered in the survey include:
• Obstacles to green building projects and services
• Percentage of green products purchased
• Reasons for not purchasing green products
• Percentage of local volunteers
• Knowledge of green building concepts.

The report concludes with an index of agencies that are involved in the green rebuild of New Orleans. For more information, download the 53-page report: New Orleans Green Building Assessment (PDF).

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