Designed by Brooks+Scarpa Architects, the Green Dot Animo High School in South Los Angeles features a whopping 650 solar panels on its south-facing façade. The new public high school gets 75% of its energy from solar power and is expected to offset up to 3 million pounds of carbon emissions over its lifetime. It also takes advantage of a number of passive green building strategies to help achieve optimal levels of natural lighting and ventilation.
The new school uses similar passive sustainable techniques as schools designed by New Orleans architects Curtis and Davis in the 1950s, which were adapted to local climates to provide optimal learning condition for students. Instead of designing a conventional, fully-contained box, the architects introduced an open-air covered lobby and terraced flows to draw natural lighting and fresh air into the building.By utilizing natural resources and limiting artificial lighting and air conditioning, the design enabled significant cost savings. The spaces where most of the daily activities take place are grouped on one site.
Faceted, ribbed screens on the facades prevent excessive solar gain while 650 solar panels on the south façade provide clean energy for the school. The building, which aims for LEED Certification, features numerous sustainable materials incorporated throughout the project.