Project 180 Turn Around: 2015 Rebuild New Orleans is a project that interested me when Brad Pitt devised a restructuring housing program to help those who lost in New Orleans. It’s been 7 years since the devastating events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Not much was done to prevent and repair the incident by all levels of government. The thought of never rebuilding there again is the first thing that comes to most minds. However this location still manages to exist with a mixture of cultures, largely intact historic built homes, even though the city is situated on marshland below the sea level. With this said, as an Industrial Designer, every problem might have a solution.
I am proposing an easy on-site housing development method, set in the not so distant future (10 years after Katrina) to try to rebuild the homes and lives of people in New Orleans. The foundation is critical as some sediment can sink overtime. Therefore, I am incorporating a solid poured concrete foundation, with thirty-two rods berried deep within the platform for each house of an entire supporting block to link together. Each home consists of 3 units, which are strategically designed to be interchangeable, depending on the homeowners wants for each unit. They are quick to produce by an aluminum interlocking panel design to take the cargo shipping container living concept to a whole different level. The 3 units can accommodate and keep 3 generations of a single family together, yet giving each their own sense of individual pride/privacy. Each unit is fitted with handicap-able ramps, railings and guardrails with a carport entry below. The 1st floor unit begins the stairwell link to the 2nd and 3rd units. The 2nd unit is propped upwards from the garage level and allows the 3rd floor to have an access roof area for gardening, partying and a helicopter evacuation landing dock on the 3rd unit's roof.
To take advantage of the natural elements and the extruded octagonal shape of the individual unit's design, each is fitted with solar panel roofs that hydraulically operate depending on the location of the sun from East to West, with South facing rear solar panels. Each unit has front walkout private patios that offer natural lighting through thick hurricane proof windows that can transition to opaque. The separate living rooms use "Plyboo" flooring and utilize 'smart colors', especially the white exterior which is essential to reflect sunlight to reduce the effects of global warming. According to Secretary Steven Chu, the switch to a white roof alone can reduce 10-15% on energy costs, depending on the geometry of the structure and cool better during the summer and retain heat better during the winter season. A trickle down water filtration system and single air-conditioner is positioned in between the units to transfer natural rain water to the plants below and into a recycled clean water septic tank within the concrete base to allow this home to be sustainable.