The Green Leaf

Building a green home in New Orleans

May 11th, 2011
 doctoral architecture students Frank Alsup, Sanphawat Jatupatwarangkul, Tuan Tran and Ramo Khem make up the Greenboy Design team.

The Greenboy Design team. Photo courtesy of

To win an award is one thing, but to see the real-life application of your hard work is a reward in itself.

Greenboy Design, a team of students from the University of Hawaii at Manoa's School of Architecture, is one of two finalists in the U.S. Green Building Council's 2010 Natural Talent Design Competition.

The team — which is made up of doctoral architecture students Frank Alsup, Sanphawat Jatupatwarangkul, Tuan Tran and Ramo Khem — will actually see their design for a single-family home built in New Orleans' historic Broadmoor district. The home is currently under construction.

The challenge was to create an affordable, energy-efficient home in a neighborhood under redevelopment. While incorporating green building principles, the team also maintained respect for the Broadmoor aesthetic, which won approval via a community vote held earlier this summer.

The 816-square-foot, two-bedroom home is on a challenging lot — narrow and rectangular.

Greenboy Design designed a contemporary, LEED Platinum home with an elevated deck surrounded by garden space and parking below. A covered patio becomes an extension of the interior living space, while the rear patio adds space to the master bedroom.

The team did a rigorous analysis of local wind patterns and daylight to figure out how to best bring natural ventilation and light into the home, added insulation beyond what was required, and planned landscaping that uses native ardisa for ground cover.

The design, of course, includes hurricane straps and tie downs, along with storm shutters for the windows that lock in place.

The team competed against more than 360 design submissions throughout the U.S. Final winners will be selected at Greenbuild's October conference in Toronto. More information about the 2010 Natural Talent Design Competition can be found at

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