Laura Thomas, photographer

Laura Thomas, photographer

Leed Certification
Energy and Atmosphere

MIR - Billes Partners House


Make-It-Right Foundation


New Orleans, LA

Project Type:




Green Rater:

Project Goal:

In December 2006, Brad Pitt instituted the Make It Right Foundation, a group of experts in New Orleans to brainstorm about building green affordable housing on a large scale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Having spent time with community leaders and displaced residents determined to return home, Pitt realized that an opportunity existed to build houses that were not only stronger and healthier, but that had less impact on the environment. After discussing the hurdles associated with rebuilding in a devastated area, the group determined that a large-scale redevelopment project focused on green affordable housing and incorporating innovative design was indeed possible. The group settled on the goal of constructing 150 homes (one of the larger rebuilding projects in the city), with an emphasis on developing an affordable system that could be replicated.


To demonstrate replicability, Pitt determined to locate the project in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the most devastated areas of New Orleans, proving that safe homes could and should be rebuilt. Pitt hoped that this project would be a catalyst for recovery and redevelopment throughout the Lower 9th Ward and across the city of New Orleans.

Billes Partners was selected, along with 12 other local, national, and international firms, each to design a single-story, sustainable home. Garnering world-wide attention and a LEED for Homes Platinum rating, the project completed the construction of the 13th Billes house as of March 2011.

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