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Getting to the Heart of CHPS: Understanding the Core Criteria and Criteria Development Process

For the last year, CHPS has been engaged in the update to the CHPS National Core Criteria, one of the keystones to the CHPS program. The Core Criteria Version 2.0 was released for four public review periods from July to December of this year, and received hundreds of comments from stakeholders.

Because the Core Criteria is a document that states use to create adaptations, the structure is slightly different than the structure of the state-specific Criteria. Like the state-specific Criteria, it offers “prerequisites.” All states must require these features or strategies, so these should be thought of as the features and strategies that all high performance buildings in all states must have. The Core Criteria also lists “mandatory offerings”. These are features and strategies that must be offered as either prerequisites or credits in the adaptations, depending on the priorities of the state or region.

Before Version 2.0 of the National Core Criteria, points were not set in the Core Criteria at all – those were left up to the state to allocate. As a result, there was quite a bit of variation between states, which made it difficult to compare state rating systems, as well as update them. However, with the new Core Criteria, points have been allocated according to the priorities of the Core Criteria. The Core Criteria is worth 200 points overall and points have been allocated to prerequisites as well as to credits.

When a state or region adapts the Core Criteria, they must allocate an additional 50 points. The points can be used to increase the “value” of existing prerequisites and credits, or to add new prerequisites or credits that are not found in the Core Criteria.

Putting the Core Criteria into Action
For each new or updated Criteria, there are four major areas of additions and changes that each partner advisory committee must engage with:
  • State-specific laws, climate, geography, and regional priorities: Updates to code; updates to state and utility funding and incentives; and additions and corrections in reference to relevant state laws, regulations and policies.
  • Mandatory Offerings: Decide which mandatory offerings become prerequisites – required strategies for all CHPS schools in that state – or credits – optional strategies.
  • Regional Point Allocations: Assign the additional 50 points to prerequisites and credits.
  • Optional Criteria: Consider additional strategies either prerequisites or credits that are not part of the Core.
  • Resources: Cite relevant state-specific resources.
December 17, 2013 (Sacramento, CA) For the last year, CHPS has been engaged in the update to the CHPS National Core Criteria, one of the keystones to the CHPS program. Let's go deeper into how the process of Criteria development works. ~order=2013-12-17
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