New Orleans’ Ninth Ward lost more than 4,000 homes in 2006′s Hurricane Katrina. For the last four years, Brad Pitt has been helping to rebuild the area through his “Make it Right” foundation.

Pitt took Ellen DeGeneres on a tour of the progress on ‘Ellen.’ What they saw may surprise you. 

According to Pitt, he “fell in love” with New Orleans in the early ’90s, and helping the city in its time of need was the least he could do.

As you can see in the video, the houses the ‘Get it Right’ foundation build are not only fully sustainable — in fact, they take in more energy than they spend — but they are rather architecturally unique. The homes are also designed to withstand a storm like Katrina.

“What you are seeing is more than a neighborhood,” Pitt explained. It’s a new way to think about building.”

So far about 75 houses have been finished, and 14 families have moved in. Pitt expects to build many more, and feels they have finally gotten the price-per-house low enough to be able to help needy families effectively.

Watching the international superstar’s causal interaction with the residents of the Ninth Ward — many of whom he knows by name — suggests that when it come to helping New Orleans, Pitt is in it for the long haul.