When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans back in 2005, it devastated New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Thousands of families lost their homes in what ended up being the most costly natural disaster in American history. A couple of years later, and with so many people still without homes, the Make it Right Foundation was set up to help slowly rebuild the neighborhood.
These weren't just standard, cookie cutter houses though. This particular project was centered on affordable, sustainable, hurricane resistant homes that would qualify for LEED Platinum.
To get as many LEED points as possible, Make It Right took various measures that ensured the points would quickly add up, including installing the product in a tight space.
After a lot of research, Make It Right soon realized that only The Unico System could be used in homes with such limited space
They also learned that by using The Unico System, he could use energy efficient, variable speed motors, which come in handy since these homes are constantly ventilating. They need to be ventilating all the time because of how air tight these homes are. To achieve LEED Platinum, these homes have to achieve an ACH rating (the rating to determine how air tight a home is) of 7 or less. These homes have an average rating between 0.5 - 0.89. Compare this to a conventionally built home that has an average rating of about 10.
Indoor air quality was also a big concern for these homes. To combat airborne particulates, the homes use MERV 11 filters. A MERV 11 will catch everything in the air down to the common cold virus. Because these types of filters are so thick though, it takes an air conditioning system that can pull a lot of air through with ease and The Unico System had no issues accomplishing this.
Make It Right was also surprised by the amount of humidity The Unico System can pull out of the air, 30% more than traditional systems. This is especially important in climates such as New Orleans.