Brad Pitt — actor, sex symbol, biodegradable body wash endorser, and Mr. Jolie — may have lost the Golden Globe last evening for his role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but his residential rebuilding effort, The Make It Right Foundation, continues to be a big winner in the Big Easy.
According to Architectural Record, construction has been completed on the first six houses being built by Pitt’s foundation in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, an area ravaged by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Make It Right plans on building 150 homes in total, with 40 more due to be ready by this summer. Involved in this massive philanthropic project is an A-list of architectural firms including Concordia, Kieran Timberlake, and Billes Architecture. Aside from attracting residents back to the area, the homes are also being touted for their storm-resistant, affordable, and innovative, eco-friendly designs. Two of the houses, designed by LA-based Graft, even tap into the recent prefab home trend.
The Make It Right houses are among the first in New Orleans to receive LEED platinum certification. Notable eco-features include nontoxic paints, ENERGY STAR appliances, sustainable wood cabinetry, photovoltaic panels, super-tight insulation, groundwater heat pumps for heating and cooling, and rain harvest systems that allow residents to use rainwater for toilet use (if a state law banning this practice is repealed).
The average budget for each Make It Right home is $150,000 and they’re heavily subsidized by Pitt’s foundation. The foundation accepts donations and gives individuals the option of directing contributions to certain areas of the home. For example, for $200 one can donate a tree or for $5,000, a rainwater harvesting system. And, of course, big spenders can completely “adopt” a home for $150,000.
Since a Brad Pitt-related blog entry would not be complete without a shot of his iconic mug, check out his appearance on Larry King Live (below) where he discusses the good work of the Make It Right Foundation in detail.