Neighborhood schools | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED ND: Built Project | v4 - LEED v4

Neighborhood schools

Possible 1 point


To promote community interaction and engagement by integrating schools into the neighborhood. To improve students’ health by encouraging walking and bicycling to school.


Include in the project a residential component that constitutes at least 30% of the project’s total building floor area, and locate or design the project such that at least 50% of the dwelling units are within a ½-mile (800-meter) walking distance of the functional entry of an existing or new elementary or middle school or within a 1-mile (1600-meter) walking distance of the functional entry of an existing or new high school.

For any new school, the school authority must commit that the school will be open by the time 50% of the project dwelling units are occupied. A legally binding warrant committing to open the school by this time must be provided at the time of first building occupancy.

Portions of the circulation network within or bordering the project boundary that lead from dwelling units to the school site must have (1) a complete network of sidewalks on both sides and (2) either continuous bicycle lanes or a combination of traffic control and calming measures (alleys may be exempted). If the school is planned as part of the project, it must be designed such that pedestrians and cyclists can easily reach building entrances without crossing bus zones, parking entrances, and student drop-off areas.

New school campuses within the project boundary must not exceed the following limits:

  • high school (15 - 18 years old), 15 acres (6 hectares);
  • middle school (11 - 14 years old), 10 acres (4 hectares); and
  • elementary school (6 - 10 years old), 5 acres (2 hectares).

Schools combining grade levels from more than one category may use the grade level with the higher allowable limits.

Facilities on the school site (e.g., athletic fields, playgrounds, multipurpose interior spaces) for which there is a formal joint-use agreement with another entity may be deducted from the total site area of the school.

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