Neighborhood schools | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED ND: Plan | v3 - LEED 2009

Neighborhood schools

NPDc15 | Possible 1 point


To promote community interaction and engagement by integrating schools into the neighborhood. To support 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 1/2-mile (800 meters) walk distance of an existing or new elementary or middle school building entrance or within a 1-mile (1600 meters) walk distance of an existing or new high school building entrance. For any new school, the school district or equivalent organization must commit in a legally binding warrant that the school will be open by the time of occupancy of 50% of the project dwelling units.

Streets within and/or bordering the project boundary that lead from dwelling units to the school site must have a complete network of sidewalks on both sides and either bicycle lanes or traffic control and/or calming measures. 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 must not exceed the following:

  • High schools, 15 acres (6 hectares);
  • Middle schools, 10 acres (4 hectares);
  • Elementary schools, 5 acres (2 hectares).
  • Schools combining grade levels from more than one category may use the grade level with the higher allowable land area.

    Facilities on the school site for which there is a formal joint-use agreement with another entity, such as athletic facilities, playgrounds, and multipurpose spaces in buildings, may be deducted from the total site area of the school.

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