The line to see the Greenbuild LivingHome snaked along the convention floor last week as thousands of show visitors toured the one-of-a-kind sustainable home.

But the home's real mission goes beyond wowing attendees at the convention center in New Orleans: After its stint as a world-class demonstration home, the house will become home to a low-income family in the city’s Lower 9th Ward. It soon will be sold to a family in Make It Right's home buying program, says executive director Tom Darden. Founded in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Make It Right constructs affordable high-performance houses in New Orleans and a handful of communities across the country. 

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With a 4.2 kW PV system and superior insulation package the modular home’s electricity bills will be practically zero—something that’s crucial for Make It Right clients, says Darden. A recent study found that the organization’s New Orleans homes save owners an average of $130 a month.

“That means they have more money to save or spend on fresh food, health care, or ballet lessons for their kids,” he says.