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New Orleans Schools Recover from Hurricane Katrina with Assistance from DOE and NREL

June 17, 2014 - 11:42am

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The solar installation at Warren Easton Senior High School was the first of four installations placed on local schools as part of Solar Schools Initiative program. At 28 kW of thin-film, it is the largest installation in the city of New Orleans. | Photo by Garrett Crawford, NREL 18358

The solar installation at Warren Easton Senior High School was the first of four installations placed on local schools as part of Solar Schools Initiative program. At 28 kW of thin-film, it is the largest installation in the city of New Orleans. | Photo by Garrett Crawford, NREL 18358

Craig Elementary School, located in New Orleans, installed one of the largest solar systems in the city. | Photo by Emil Albrecht, NREL 18360

Craig Elementary School, located in New Orleans, installed one of the largest solar systems in the city. | Photo by Emil Albrecht, NREL 18360

New Orleans is one of the DOE's 25 Solar America Cities. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 16862

New Orleans is one of the DOE's 25 Solar America Cities. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 16862

Sprouting in once-flooded neighborhoods are some new energy-efficient homes featuring rooftop solar panels, extensive insulation and more efficient climate systems. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 16863

Sprouting in once-flooded neighborhoods are some new energy-efficient homes featuring rooftop solar panels, extensive insulation and more efficient climate systems. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 16863

Project Home Again homes built by the Riggio Foundation and developer Green Coast Enterprises in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans meet the DOE Builder's Challenge level of energy efficiency. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 19426

Project Home Again homes built by the Riggio Foundation and developer Green Coast Enterprises in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans meet the DOE Builder's Challenge level of energy efficiency. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 19426

The solar installation at Warren Easton Senior High School was the first of four installations placed on local schools as part of Solar Schools Initiative program. At 28 kW of thin-film, it is the largest installation in the city of New Orleans. | Photo by Garrett Crawford, NREL 18358
Craig Elementary School, located in New Orleans, installed one of the largest solar systems in the city. | Photo by Emil Albrecht, NREL 18360
New Orleans is one of the DOE's 25 Solar America Cities. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 16862
Sprouting in once-flooded neighborhoods are some new energy-efficient homes featuring rooftop solar panels, extensive insulation and more efficient climate systems. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 16863
Project Home Again homes built by the Riggio Foundation and developer Green Coast Enterprises in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans meet the DOE Builder's Challenge level of energy efficiency. | Photo by Phil Voss, NREL 19426
EERE Investment Technical assistance
Location New Orleans, Louisiana
Partners Louisiana Department of Education
Project Details

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2007, DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), provided 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.

Thirty-percent 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).Image of fixed blinds in a classroom at Andrew Wilson Elementary School in New Orleans, LA.

In August 2007, DOE, NREL, and the Louisiana Department of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding advocating the use of the AEDG series to build more than 40 new K-12 schools and renovate more than 35 existing schools over the next 10 years, impacting more than 53,000 students.

As part of this effort, NREL provided technical assistance to help K-12 schools improve energy efficiency and reduce operational costs. NREL completed energy audits and consulted on energy-efficient design strategies, energy modeling, and pre-design and design reviews for new schools. Based on strategies described in the AEDG for K-12 School Buildings, 30% energy savings over code requirements were recommended.

Four new schools were built to meet these recommendations, achieving a combined annual energy savings of more than $310,000: 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.

In addition, Joseph A. Craig Elementary School underwent a major renovation to incorporate energy efficient technologies. The lessons learned from these projects are captured in a brochure to help other school districts and design teams with their in-progress and future school building projects in hot-humid climates.

 

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