Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools Protocol - New Construction & Major Renovations

2009

The purpose of Northeast-CHPS is to encourage the construction of schools that provide premium educational environments while providing important benefits for students, educators, administrators, and the public. High performance schools provide high quality learning environments, conserve natural resources, consume less energy, are easier to maintain, and provide an enhanced community resource.

High performance schools are thermally, visually, and acoustically comfortable. Teachers, students, and administrators are neither too hot nor too cold as they teach, learn, and work. High quality lighting assures that visual tasks are made easier. Students and teachers can hear each other without the distractions of ventilation systems or noise from outside or adjoining spaces.

High performance schools take advantage of recent advances in energy efficiency and incorporate heating, cooling, and lighting systems that produce the highest comfort levels for the least cost. Daylight is brought into the school to enhance the learning environment and decrease the need for electrical lighting. The building shell integrates the most effective combination of insulation, glazing, and thermal mass to ensure energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Modern plumbing fixtures and innovative water use strategies combine to reduce water consumption.

Healthy indoor air is another important component of high performance schools. Air intakes are located away from potential sources of contamination and ventilation systems are designed to optimize fresh air. Architects and engineers incorporate the best design practices to prevent water from entering wall and roof assemblies, preventing mold growth and/or premature replacement of indoor finishes and even structural elements.

The school’s site development and construction conserves valuable resources. Additionally the site is convenient to the community, encouraging bicycle, pedestrian, and mass transit access.

This environmental stewardship becomes a resource for teachers, students, and the community providing important examples of responsible development.

Above all, a high performance school provides an environment that enhances the primary mission of public schools: the education of future citizens. Northeast-CHPS provides guidelines for the construction of new schools and the renovation of existing schools. The prerequisites outlined in this document represent the core requirements for the establishment of high performance schools. The optional credits provide opportunities for communities to further enhance the educational environment.