Volunteers and experts from Belgard® and Oldcastle® Building Products arrived on May 11th at two New Orleans homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina to make a difference – and that they did! Within one day, a permeable paver path was installed so that a homeowner could walk safely from the back to the front of her home, and at the other house, a transformation began with a new look from Suretouch® stone veneer. All products and expertise were donated. (For more information on the homeowners, read last week’s blog)
Rayne Street home
This home had the molded wood removed, an insulation wrap applied, then Oldcastle’s Suretouch Veneer System in Morency Stone was put in place. Installation is simple with 8 easy steps. With Suretouch, the home has a higher insulation factor, which makes it cooler during the hot New Orleans summers. Let’s not forget the beauty Suretouch adds to a home. Suretouch offers both masonry units emulating the look and feel of natural stone, as well as clay brick units for the warmth of traditional brick. Click for a brochure.
Tricou Street home
Belgard brought experts and materials to create a safe walkway using Eco Dublin pavers, from their permeable line. In only a few hours, the new walkway was hosed off and ready for foot traffic. Permeable pavers allow rain water to return to the soil instead of pooling on the walk, causing a slippery surface. Belgard offers a variety of environmentally focused options. They can be used for paths, patios and vehicular traffic. Paver installation is simple, or use a Belgard Authorized Contractor.
See the final photos in the next blog.
Through the organization of New Orleans based, Operation Helping Hands, a group of volunteers, including Oldcastle Building Products, along with Reed Construction Data, the AIA Council of Architectural Component Executives (CACE), and Hanley Wood formed a day of community outreach through Project NOLA. Together, they rebuilt five homes for families who were displaced due to Katrina. Two of the homes were sponsored by Oldcastle® Building Products, who donated Belgard Hardscapes pavers and Suretouch® Veneer System. In addition to donating products and funds, Oldcastle teams of experts rolled up their sleeves and led the charge to rebuild these two homes.
BBQ Chicken Pizza on the Grill
Ingredients (amount varies depending on the size of the pizza and your preferences)
- Pizza Shell (buying the pre cooked one is quick, but homemade works too*)
- BBQ sauce
- Cooked Canadian Bacon, chopped
- Pizza Cheese, grated
- Red Peppers, sliced or diced
- Scallions, sliced
- Cilantro, shredded
- Baby Spinach, shredded and washed thoroughly
Preheat half your grill to medium, or fire up your Chicago Brick Oven. Cook chicken (or buy rotisserie chicken from market and strip into bite-size pieces) and mix with cooked bacon and BBQ sauce. Lightly brush the bottom (grill side) of the pizza shell with oil.
Brush a thin coat of BBQ sauce over the top side of pizza shell. If using dough, see recipe below for grilling instructions. Spread a generous coating of the cheese mixture over shell. Spread BBQ chicken pieces over pizza. Top-off with spinach, peppers, scallions and cilantro. OPTIONAL: Add drops of BBQ sauce over pizza before grilling. Cook on the grill’s indirect heat side. Leave on the grill until the cheese is melted, approx 5-7 minutes depending on pizza size.
BBQ chicken goes great with most toppings. Try topping the shell with fresh mozzarella, the bbq chicken mixture, garden tomatoes, and oregano.
* Basic Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°F to 115°F)
1/4 ounce active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 cups all–purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour or fine ground yellow corn meal
1/3 cup olive oil, and extra for coating the bowl
1 teaspoon salt
Combine yeast, water and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir. Let sit until foamy on top. Add 1/2 cup flour, the semolina, and 1/3 cup olive oil with the salt. Mix and continue working in the flour a 1/4 cup at a time until completed. Put the dough on a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth and tacky. Prepare a large mixing bowl coated in olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with wax paper or wet towel. Place in a warm area and let double in size; usually takes over an hour. Knead the dough a little and separate into two equal portions. At this point, store in airtight bags; it’s ready to use as directed in recipes.
Cooking on the grill: You’ll want to spread out your dough to a circular 1/2 inch thin layer (no sky-high flipping needed) by pressing out in a circular motion or flipping between hands. Lightly coat a preheated grill with oil and place stretched dough on direct medium high heat for 2-3 minutes depending on size. Then flip to indirect heat and add toppings. The dough may char lightly, but that will give it a crunch! If you are using your Brick Oven, follow those directions.
Note: You can freeze and store this dough up to four months. Make sure before using to thaw for several hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans six years ago this August. Today, over 5,000 homeowners still have not been able to return to an acceptable living situation. Although many have received government assistance and grants to rebuild, they have faced a major hurdle: fraudulent and inexperienced contractors. Operation Helping Hands has answered the need, organizing the rebuild of over 200 homes and gutting or painting 2400 more. Operation Helping Hands has coordinated the ProjectNOLA effort for building professionals to lend their expertise this month and Belgard® is headed to New Orleans to help.
May 11th will see a group of volunteer professionals from the architecture, manufacturing and contracting industries come together to rebuild five homes. Two of the homes will be sponsored by Oldcastle® Building Products, who will donate Belgard Hardscapes pavers and Suretouch® Veneer System. Teams of Belgard and Oldcastle experts will roll up their sleeves and lead the charge.
Both homes were flooded when the levees burst the day after Katrina. These courageous families moved out-of-state with few belongings, but a deep desire to returning to their beloved homes one day. After a year or so, the rebuilding process started. With plans made, contracts signed and money exchanged, both families encountered contractors who took their money only to leave the jobs incomplete. Now, almost six years later, help has arrived.
Belgard, along with Reed Construction Data, the AIA Council of Architectural Component Executive (CACE), and Hanley Wood, will make these two homeowners’ dreams a reality. The Tricou Street home will allow a blind woman to return to her supportive neighbors. While the woman who lives at Rayne Street will finally be able to return to a livable house where her grandchildren can visit and play in the yard.
Using Belgard pavers and Oldcastle’s innovative Suretouch veneer system, long-lasting walkways and patios are in the plans. With the mild weather, outdoor living is common in New Orleans and Belgard will make space for company. The outside of the houses will be completed quickly with a beautiful maintenance free exterior that will last for years.
Belgard is honored to be part of this project and hopes you will continue to follow the progress in our next blogs.
Oldcastle Building Products’ Suretouch System allows for the timeless look of traditional building material such as brick and stone along with the latest in technology, at an exceptional value. Used on homes and commercial buildings, there is a variety of colors and shapes to coordinate with any architectural style. The installation uses premolded polystyrene panels to secure the product and mortar is installed using an injection gun or grout bag. Learn more about Suretouch at our website and sign up for our newsletter.