The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is committed to providing better learning environments for its students. Green, high performance designs have a substantial impact on the environment and public health and contribute to a more effective learning environment. LAUSD was the first school district to adopt the sustainability standards of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). This point-based system defines a high performance school as site, energy, material, and water efficient, as well as healthy, comfortable, and easy to maintain and operate.
In 2001, the LAUSD Board of Education passed a resolution adopting CHPS as a guideline for building sustainable schools, and, in 2003, the Board made CHPS official policy. By 2012, CHPS criteria will have been applied to the planning and design of 130 new schools and 15 existing schools. This paper explores the use of Low Impact Development (LID) techniques in LAUSD new school projects. School districts face many difficult challenges in designing and implementing LID at new schools. Design considerations include safety concerns, accessibility requirements, fire codes and fire lanes, real estate limitations, and the cost of maintenance. Just as the stormwater facilities must achieve water quality goals, they must also maintain a safe environment, be aesthetically pleasing to staff and students, and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. This paper presents a number of case studies for new school designs that incorporate LID techniques, as well as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The case studies highlight the special considerations that accompany LID implementation for new school projects within the District and include techniques such as infiltration, biofiltration, use of site-specific native plants, green roofs, and community-based wetlands. The case studies showcase projects that have addressed the special school design considerations and achieved the green goals established by the School BoardRead More:http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/41099(367)65