Location Inglewood, CA
Size 53,500 ft²
Completed 2013
Cost $17.3 million
Program Charter high school
Awards National American Institute of Architects Education Design Award; Westside Urban Forum, Westside Prize, Infill-Unbuilt, 2009


Architect Brooks + Scarpa Architects
Client Green Dot Public Schools
Structural Engineer Thornton Tomassetti
MEP Engineer e2di
Acoustical Engineer Veneklasen Associates
Civil Engineer Barbara Hall
Construction Manager Telacu

This article is part of gb&d‘s Green Typologies series The Kids Are Alright: Five innovative schools.

Although the color reference in Los Angeles’ Green Dot Public Schools doesn’t intentionally reflect the schools’ commitment to sustainability, its new Animo Leadership High School in Inglewood, California, certainly does. Designed by Brooks + Scarpa Architects and completed in 2013 at a cost of $17.3 million, the 53,500-square-foot high school is most notable for its prevalent and architectural use of solar panels with 650 panels covering the building’s southern exposure and rooftop portions. The photovoltaic array generates around 75 percent of the energy required for the school’s multifaceted loads and reduces the building’s annual carbon emissions by more than three million pounds.

In a diverse neighborhood seated along a flight path into LAX and adjacent to the 105 Century freeway, the structure is oriented and fine-tuned to be noise-resistant. Walkways and stairwells were designed to be unenclosed, serving to lessen mechanical loads and create connections between interior and exterior spaces. Additionally, the school—attempting to deconstruct the ‘big box’ mentality for school construction—features an interior courtyard with bleacher-style terracing, further promoting interaction in the student community.

This article is part of gb&d‘s Green Typologies series, which in each issue explores a single type of building. For more of our most recent collection, The Kids Are Alright: Five innovative schools, choose from the list below:


GREEN Certification LEED certified, at minimum (expected) Solar

Certification LEED certified, at minimum (expected)
Solar 75% of building energy needs met by 650 solar panels
Site Landscaped courtyard with bleacher-style terracing
Façade Ribbed screens modulate daylighting, fight heat gain
Design Narrow floor plates increase daylight, cross-ventilation reduces mechanical loads
Automation Motion sensors and intelligent thermostats, building management system