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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Building Energy-Efficient Schools in New Orleans: Lessons Learned

Building Energy-Efficient Schools in New Orleans: Lessons Learned

Hurricane Katrina was the largest natural disaster in the United States, striking the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, and flooding 80% of New Orleans; to make matters worse, the city was flooded again only three weeks later by the effects of Hurricane Rita. Many of the buildings, including schools, were heavily damaged. The devastation of schools in New Orleans from the hurricanes was exacerbated by many years of deferred school maintenance. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), began providing technical assistance to New Orleans' schools to improve energy efficiency and reduce school operating costs. Initial technical assistance included energy audits of open and operating school facilities and consultation on energy-efficient design strategies, energy modeling, and pre-design and design reviews for new schools. 30% energy savings over code requirements were recommended based on strategies described in the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for K-12 School Buildings, published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The experiences of incorporating energy efficiency after Hurricanes Katrina Rita in four new schools-- Langston Hughes Elementary School, Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School (which was 50% new construction and 50% major renovation), L.B. Landry High School, and Lake Area High School--and one major renovation, Joseph A. Craig Elementary School--are described here to help other school districts and design teams with their in-progress and future school building projects in hot-humid climates.


U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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