The K-5 elementary school is located in Playa Vista, a community in the Westside area of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Unified School District campus is focused on science, technology, engineering and math, and has an educational partnership with Loyola Marymount University.
Designed by Osborn Architects, Playa Vista Elementary incorporates a number of sustainable building measures, including standard roof-mounted and building integrated bi-facial solar panels, a geothermal heat exchange system, high efficiency plumbing fixtures, and the use of reclaimed water for landscaping and for flushing toilets. The bifacial solar panels also serve as a rain cover for the external walkway. The geothermal system is an underground network of water-filled pipes that uses the earth’s temperature to regulate the temperature within the buildings. The pipes shed heat into the ground on hot days and extract heat from the ground on cold days.
The campus is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council. The school is also pursuing designed certification from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools.
The solar photovoltaic (PV) array totaling 256 kilowatts installed on the roof and canopies is designed to generate enough energy to cover up to 60 percent of the school’s annual energy costs.
The energy provided by the solar PV array avoids greenhouse gas emissions comparable to 29,154 gallons of gasoline consumed per year.
Using reclaimed water for irrigation reduces the need to use drinkable water.
Type of Project
The school opened in August 2012.
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Electric vehicle manufacturing
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Smart grid/solar/wind/fuel cell/advanced energy storage/solar thermal
Zero net energy mixed use, multi-unit housing communities