Brad Pitt's foundation on Saturday brought sustainability and green building to an area of Kansas City that struggles with high unemployment and crime rates.
Make It Right, Pitt's six-year-old green building organization, cut the ribbon on Bancroft School Apartments, a former school building that now contains 50 LEED Platinum certified rental units under a solar roof with 400 panels. The school, in the Manheim Park neighborhood, has previously been abandoned and boarded up for 13 years, according to Make It Right.
“As a fellow Missourian, it brings me great pride that Make It Right can be of service in my home state,” Pitt said. “This beautiful building will provide housing for many people in need. We also hope it serves as a catalyst for new life and new investment in the community of Manheim Park.”
A mix of private donations and tax credits funded the $14.3 million Bancroft School Apartment project. Make It Right worked with the Dalmark Group, NHS and Green Impact Zone to renovate the school, which was built more than 100 years ago.
The renovation included using 2,220 gallons paint without volatile organic compounds, donated by Benjamin Moore and 40,000 square feet of Cradle to Cradle certified hardwood flooring and carpet, provided by Shaw Floors. Cradle to Cradle certified products and designs use renewable energy, maintain and enhance water quality and honors social fairness and human dignity, according to architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart, who wrote the book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.
The units also feature energy-efficient windows and sensors from Leviton that the occupant manage energy consumption and costs.
“We have come so far from the days of creating the Green Impact Zone to working for more jobs, greater energy efficiency and a better quality of life for all who live and work here," U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) said. "The repurposed Bancroft School now opens as a shining example of our progress, improvement and success.”
Pitt founded Make It Right in 2007 to build green and affordable housing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, LA. The group partnered with 21 architects and embraced LEED and Cradle to Cradle standards for each project. Pitt's organization has also provided solar installations at various sites in New Orleans and Newark, NJ.
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