CA-CHPS Criteria
(2009 Edition)

Now available for download


High Performance Relocatable Stakeholders Meeting
June 11, 2008
Please contact>>

San Joaquin County CHPS Seminar
June 20, 2008 11AM PDT Please RSVP>>

Intro to CHPS Conference Call Seminar
July 14, 2008

More events>>

Celebrate National Healthy Schools Day with CHPS
Read more>>

New CHPS Rating Systems Available for Texas and California
Read more>>
New Members

California Department of Pesticide Regulation
Green Technology
PE Consulting, Inc.
Rehau, Inc.
West Costa Contra Unified School District

View our entire membership list and learn about the benefits of joining today.

May 2008

Congratulations to Palo Alto Unified for Including CHPS in Upcoming Bond Bill

Innovative Policy Solution Prioritizes High Performance Schools From the Beginning
In this June’s election, Santa Clara County residents will vote on Measure A, which will raise $378 million for Palo Alto schools in through a bond. The bill language references Palo Alto Unified School District’s commitment to meeting the CHPS Criteria for all new construction and major modernizations in the district. This is the first time a district’s commitment to CHPS has been specifically referenced in bond language, and CHPS congratulates Palo Alto Unified for their integration of high performance priorities at the very beginning of the process! Including CHPS in the bond bill language is a great way of prioritizing CHPS high performance features when asking for community approval and funding for the projects.

Bob Golton, Co-chief Business Official of Palo Alto Unified, is one of the chief composers of the bill. If the bond is approved by voters, Palo Alto will get a new high school theater, a new high school classroom building, permanent buildings to replace portable classrooms, and new elementary schools. Golton said that including CHPS in bond bill language is just common sense, since they will be “investing in high performance features that will result in energy savings that can then be put back into the classroom, like paying teachers’ salaries and purchasing supplies.” He added that it is a way of showing taxpayers that they are “investing our community’s funding efficiently.”

Sustainable initiatives are not new to PAUSD or to the community. Walt Hays, a long-time resident, chairs Palo Alto’s sustainable school committee, and he says that the CHPS initiative just “reinforces what the community already believes.” Currently, his committee is discussing monitoring and publishing energy use across the district in the hopes that this will lead individual schools to take action to decrease their current energy use.

Read the language of the bond bill here.

More News from CHPS

CHPS Criteria 2009 Edition Available for Public Review in June
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) will release a draft of the 2009 Edition of its high performance school Criteria for public review in June 2008. CHPS has provided school districts and their design teams with tools for building a new generation of high performance schools since 2000. The CHPS Criteria, Volume III of the CHPS Best Practices Manual, which provides a stringent and comprehensive standard for high performance schools, is at the heart of CHPS’ resources. The Criteria is updated every three years, concurrent with the updates to California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24). CHPS is seeking public comment on the updated Criteria. The drafts for public comment will be available in early June 2008. The comment period is forty-five days.

Some of the exciting developments for the 2009 Criteria include new credits for designing for deconstruction and adaptability; siting for school gardens; net-zero energy schools; providing safe routes to schools; innovative water management strategies; limits on mercury and other health hazards; and life-cycle assessment of building materials.
CA-CHPS 2009 Criteria

CHPS Announces New Technical Committee Chair
Jim Ogden, of WCS/Ca and a CHPS Board Member, will chair the CHPS Technical Committee, which is made up of over fifty experts in the high performance school field. Jim takes over from Bill Orr, who recently became the Division Chief of the Cleanup, Closure and Financial Assurances Division of the CA Integrated Waste Management Board. "I've known Jim for a long time, and I know he will be a great technical chair and advocate for high performance schools," said Bill. "Jim was largely responsible for the success of the green building aspects of California's showcase office complex, the Capitol Area East End Complex. I know he will bring the same passion and commitment to the technical chair position."

Jim has over 22 years of experience in the design and construction industry. Jim recently joined WCS/Ca, after having contributed to the LEED and CHPS certification of nearly 3.5 million square feet equaling over $700 million of construction in his previous work since 1998. Jim’s experience with sustainable building factors, life-cycle cost analysis, green architecture, materials selection, building commissioning, and construction waste management provide an important environmental viewpoint when working with his private, public and educational clients. He was a founding participant of California’s Sustainable Building Task Force. Jim holds a degree in Environmental Design from Texas A&M.

A fond farewell to Bill Orr, who moves, as he says, from saving the world one school at a time to saving the world one dump at a time. And welcome to Jim Ogden!

Greentools For Healthy Schools 2008
Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 30, 2008. Save $50 on registration!
Register today for Greentools 2008 and save $50 on every registration type. The deadline for Early Bird Registration is this Friday, May 30, 2008. Don't miss this chance to attend the year's most useful training on high performance schools.

We will soon be releasing our jam-packed schedule of speakers, trainings and networking events. Register today for as little as $235. Register today!

Natomas Unified School District's H. Allen Hight Learning Center to Host Day II CHPS School Tour
CHPS is excited to announce Day II of Greentools for Healthy Schools 2008 will be hosted by one of the newest schools designed and built to the CHPS Criteria, H. Allen Hight Learning Center in Natomas, CA (just fifteen minutes outside of downtown Sacramento). At Hight, the combined 88,000 sq. ft. middle school and 70,000 sq. ft. elementary school include a multi-purpose room, cafeteria and gymnasium, all built to the CHPS high performance criteria.

Join members of the design team and district officials as they host us for Day II of Greentools 2008 at H. Allen Hight for a comprehensive, informative tour of the school and design charrettes for participating school districts.

Learn more about the Greentools 2008 here program:

Greentools Workshop Proposal Deadline: Friday, May 30, 2008
This year's Greentools Conference will focus on climate change, high performance school policy and existing schools. Our goal is to provide concrete tools and success stories so that school districts and design teams can take home the knowledge that will make high performance schools a reality in their districts. We are seeking workshop proposals that fulfill this goal. To download a workshop proposal form, visit: The last day to submit proposals is this Friday, May 30th, 2008. If you have questions, please call (415)957-9888 or email

High Performance School Policy Update:

Federal Legislation: The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act (HR 3021)
H.R. 3021, the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act, is currently moving through Congress. The legislation provides supplemental grant funding to school districts to improve facilities using the CHPS Criteria. CHPS supports this bill, which is an important first step in ensuring that our nation’s school children have the best opportunity to learn and grow in healthy, environmentally responsible schools.

Taxpayers demand sound investments in America’s school infrastructure, and the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act ensures that the dollars spent on our nation’s schools will maximize student performance, occupant health and comfort, and financial savings through the reduction of resource use, such as energy and water. It is critical that Congress act on this important issue now and bring the bill to the floor for a vote. This legislation could not come at a more significant time: investment of the $6.4 billion in grant funding should create approximately 100,000 new jobs for Americans in a stagnating economy. Concurrently, with the housing market sliding, schools stand to lose funding from the collection of property taxes, which has traditionally been an effective way for communities to fund their schools. The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act will ensure we can continue to offer provide the best school facilities possible to America’s schoolchildren. You can follow the bill here:

California Legislation: AB 2808: Green Schools: Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning Materials and Products
This bill requires California public and private primary and secondary schools to use "environmentally sensitive cleaning materials and products" at "the earliest contractual opportunity but no later than July 1, 2012." The bill defines "environmentally sensitive" as products that minimize adverse impacts on children's health and the environment. It charges the California Department of Public Health, and other agencies and stakeholders, with developing guidance and specifications on what products for schools will comply. It is sponsored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R, 80th district, Palm Springs area) and is modeled on laws already passed by New York, Illinois and Maine. Similar legislation is pending in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Cleaning products used in schools contain an array of hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens, reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, and chemicals that cause asthma. Chemicals in cleaners contribute to poor indoor air quality, smog formation, asthma and respiratory problems and other diseases. These cleaning chemicals are also routinely washed down the drain where they find their way into drinking water, lakes and streams, adversely affecting plant and animal life, threatening public health and adding to pollution. The cleaning industry consumes six billion pounds of chemicals annually, including non-renewable resources such as petroleum. To learn more about this bill, visit the Green Schools Initiative:

CHPS Project Spotlight: Profile School, Bethlehem, NH

Small School District Aims High for New Hampshire’s Second CHPS School
In fall of 2007, Profile School District – serving four communities in northern New Hampshire with a total population of 2,300 – opened the doors to a brand new CHPS high school in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. The school, which was designed according to the Northeast CHPS Criteria, demonstrates how central a school can be in a small community and, accordingly, has been designed for the cafeteria, gym and library to be joint-use with the community.

The high school is being built on the site of the previous high school, which, after being declared unsafe by the Fire Marshal, brought the need for a new building. Eight-one percent of the construction waste will be diverted from landfills and recycled. “The old steel frame was taken by a local contractor for reuse. Approximately 160,000 lbs of steel frame was recycled,” said Chris Drobat, lead architect on the project, and an associate architect at Lavallee Brensinger Architects in Manchester, NH. “In addition, the concrete and concrete block will be crushed on-site and reused under a new parking lot.”

“It is one of the best designed schools I have seen because of the commitment of the architect and school community,” said Carolyn Sarno, Program Manager for the High Performance Schools Exchange at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). “They successfully pursued the commitment to reducing environmental impact without sacrificing occupant comfort. For instance, over sixty percent of the construction materials were source locally, within 500 miles. At the same time, significant attention was paid to the acoustical environment, resulting in superior acoustics throughout the school. Profile School really demonstrates how far a high performance school can go towards addressing both the health of a school’s occupants and the health of the environment.”

Energy savings were another priority of this project. Extensive daylighting, daylighting sensors, occupancy sensors and high efficiency interior lighting were combined to provide well-lit interior environments and reduced energy costs for the district. The building envelope will also ensure that the building stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter with minimal cost by including high performance insulation, and windows that will maximize daylight while minimizing summer heat gain.

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