Global Green USA at Flickr, free license to publish.)Here’s a rare but welcome thing: good news from post-Katrina New Orleans. Global Green USA’s first ultra-green home in the Holy Cross neighborhood stood strong during hurricanes Gustav and Ike, both of which caused massive damage in parts of Louisiana and Texas, as well as elsewhere.

Global Green USA’s first house, which currently serves as a visitors’ center,”withstood the storm and is now open and ready to show others how they can rebuild stronger and greener,” said Beth Galante, director for Global Green USA New Orleans.

The Holy Cross project aims to eventually build five single-family homes, an 18-unit apartment building and a community center/sustainable-design-climate-action center. All the structures are being designed not only for energy efficiency but for strength and durability in a hurricane-prone region.

The first house, completed this May, is rated LEED Platinum, the highest ranking in green construction standards. It features rooftop solar panels built to withstand hurricane-force winds, along with energy-efficient windows and doors of shatterproof glass, mold- and mildew-resistant framing and mold-inhibiting cypress flooring and paperless sheetrock. The home is also built four feet above ground in the highest part of the Ninth Ward.

If only we could build many thousands more homes like these throughout the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast (and elsewhere). Think of the phenomenal savings we could reap, both in avoided dollar damages and preventable misery and grief.

Related posts:

Year Three in Rebuilding New Orleans: Taking More Green Steps, One by One
The Sustainable Hurricane Season Plan
Sean Penn Gets Dirty in New Orleans
60,000 CFLs and Counting