At the time of Hurricane Katrina, recent issue of Oprah featured an article about how
many of the homes in New Orleans being rebuilt that are eco friendly and use solar power.
From the dishwasher to the bathroom light to the wood used in the house’s
frame, these homes are examples of the greening of the construction industry.
That article stated a woman who has a new house, five years after the hurricane that is
run by solar panels. The panels are as big as picnic tables and her rooftop features 15
of them.In her neighborhood there are many other homes just like hers that use solar
panels to generate energy.
The ability to tap the sun for energy along with making new housing have the smallest
carbon footprint possible is the idea behind these new homes that replace some of the
thousands of homes wiped out in the hurricane.
All of these Louisiana residents lost everything when Hurricane Katrina swept through
their neighborhood in 2005. The devastation was seen around the world.
Not like traditional rain barrels that capture run off, these houses have a network of
gutters and tubes that actually direct the water into two cement containers that hold 300
gallons of water apiece. The containers include a pump that allows homeowners to use
the water for gardening or lawns or whatever on their properties.
Under the ground deep below the homes, a series of pipes collect the heat from the
ground and channels it up into the houses as another source of heat in addition to that
of the solar panels on top of the home.
Lighting and appliances are pretty standard to what you might see in any other eco-
friendly home, those with CFLs that consume less energy than traditional light bulbs. All
appliances are rated and Energy Star certified.
The foundation named ‘Make It Right’ is trying to build homes that use 70 percent less
energy than a typical home. The houses, which come in brilliant colors such as orange
and pink, cost at least $200,000 to build.Some residents can’t afford this price and the
foundation tries to help finance and fund the homes.
As solar power and green housing becomes more popular, this country will see more
and more homes of this type. It may seem right now like it is a little The Jetsons, but
truly this is the wave of the future and we will see all of these features implemented
more and more in new housing until most of us will barely be able to remember life