13 May 2008

On the scene at the Green Building Conference

[Here's a first-person report from HCN's Kate Fazzini.]

Wow, I am really busy. Sorry for the late blog entry. I thought this was supposed to be the "big easy"?!

I'm down in New Orleans for the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Conference, the 10th year for the show. It's hot, the weather's great and I'm learning a lot -– a LOT -– about green building. The highlight of my day yesterday was a tour of several storm-damaged areas, some that saw homes marinating in more than eight feet of water for days after Hurricane Katrina. Toni Wendel, owner of Olde World Builders in New Orleans, served as my spitfire guide. Wendel is in the process of rebuilding two homes under recently adopted Crescent City Green guidelines. I'll be writing about her and several others in the next issue of Home Channel News.

But for now, some of the most striking images from our trip around the city yesterday were the homes in need of repair. To say houses are in "various states" of rebuilding is a vast understatement. Homes, shiny and new and remodeled, sit next to homes in the middle of complete demolition and rebuilding. And those both sit next to homes that look as though they haven't been visited since the storm, except by vandals –- and some haven't been.

There is definitely a deep rebuilding movement here, and a long way to go. The main thing, though, is the builders here love their city and are working overtime to make the rebuilding effort happen. I've included some photos of our trip and hope to have more up here before the end of the conference.

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