Lexington, MA, December 06, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- More communities throughout the Northeast planning for school modernization projects can now recognize the health, environmental and economic benefits of a high performance school. In addition to new construction projects, the Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) now incorporates major renovations to existing buildings into its protocol criteria, Northeast-CHPS 2.0. (http://neep.org/public-policy/hpse/hpse-nechps)
Modeled after California's pioneering CHPS guide, Northeast-CHPS 2.0 is a set of building and design standards for the construction or renovation of energy efficient, environmentally friendly, healthy school facilities from pre-K through community colleges. It places a special focus on the policy and operations of high performance schools, outlining policies that schools can adopt to ensure their buildings operate as intended.
“The key to building an energy-efficient high performance school is both the design process and what happens after the building is occupied,” continues Sarno. “The Policy and Operations prerequisites in the Northeast CHPS protocol are written to define a strategy that guides the district in coordinating operations and maintenance plans with financial and procurement plans.”
The protocol was developed collaboratively by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) with input from stakeholders across the region. While the CHPS protocol is nationally recognized for excellence in building standards, the protocol is unique in that it takes into account regional and state anomalies to make it relevant for the diverse needs of communities, and the priorities of the departments of education across, the country.
“Northeast-CHPS has been tailored specifically for our region’s state building code requirements, the climate, and the environmental priorities of the Northeast,” says Carolyn Sarno, NEEP’s High Performance Buildings Program Manager, and Vice-Chair of the National CHPS Board. “Thanks to the collaborative contributions from the regions’ Departments of Education, the updates to the Northeast-CHPS protocol in version 2.0 represent the latest in best practices for building and renovating schools that are energy efficient, healthy and well-maintained learning environments.”
CHPS in Action around the Region
States in the region are recognizing the health, economic, and physical benefits of supporting schools to build to high performance standards. In Massachusetts the MSBA (Mass School Building Authority) offers a 1.5 to 2 percent incentive for money spent towards energy efficiency in the context of designing towards MA CHPS certification, while the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative offers grants to schools for reimbursement of costs associated with renewable energy installation and/or building design when building to MA-CHPS standards.
School districts in New Hampshire may receive up to an additional three percent in state construction aid for completion of projects that build to Northeast CHPS criteria.
“We are confident that by building to Northeast CHPS standards we will be constructing better school buildings that will meet the needs of our communities for many years,” says Edward R. Murdough, Administrator of the Bureau of School Approval & Facility Management. “The Northeast CHPS Protocol has been adopted by statute as New Hampshire's standard for High Performance Schools. Our team of educators, school administrators, design professionals, builders, and others has thoroughly reviewed the latest version of Northeast CHPS to ensure that the new protocol will continue to meet our expectations for High Performance Schools. We anticipate using the protocol for several upcoming projects because we know that Northeast-CHPS truly fits the priorities of this region.”
Find out more about high performance schools, and download the new CHPS 2.0 on NEEP’s website. (http://neep.org/public-policy/3/78/High-Performance-Buildings).