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High-performance criteria developed for Hawaii school construction

Hawaii has become the 13th state to adopt high-performance school criteria developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).

The Hawaii CHPS Criteria (HI-CHPS) is a resource that education institutions may use to design and build healthful, high-performance, green schools.

The criteria were developed by a committee of K-12 school stakeholders under the guidance of the Hawaii Department of Education and CHPS. The Hawaii CHPS Advisory Committee used the CHPS National Core Criteria to develop a state-specific high-performance building rating system. Over the last five years, 13 states have developed rating systems for their schools, but Hawaii is only the third since the CHPS Core Criteria was made available.

"The adoption of the HI-CHPS Criteria is the next step in our development of more eco-friendly and sustainable school facilities," says Randy Moore, the state’s assistant superintendent for school facilities and support services. "Sustainability is of particular importance to Hawaii as an island state, and we are delighted to have HI-CHPS Criteria that have been created specifically for Hawaii schools. These criteria will be invaluable in the development of schools and our proactive response to both the educational need for environmentally sensitive classrooms and the societal need for energy efficiency."

HI-CHPS applies not only to the design and construction of new schools, but also to major modernizations and additions to existing campuses.

The CHPS says that Hawaii's unique climate posed the greatest challenge for the advisory committee. The prerequisites and credits had to take into account the year-round temperatures, rain and wind patterns, and humidity of the islands. The committee developed a new prerequisite for analyzing a site's microclimate to inform design decisions.

In addition, the criteria include an extra credit for naturally ventilated and conditioned classrooms to ensure that air quality and comfort were equivalently valued and achieved compared with those mechanically ventilated and conditioned.

HI-CHPS is the first CHPS Criteria to have a prerequisite and credit for use of the CHPS Operations Report Card – a program that enables schools to benchmark how facilities are performing within18 months of construction. The committee also developed credits not seen in any other state adaptation for outdoor classrooms, tree protection and preservation, culturally responsive designs, and electric vehicles.

"Hawaii CHPS contains some of the most unique and state-specific credits we have seen yet," Chip Fox, Chair of the CHPS Board of Directors. "We are thrilled to have Hawaii join the ranks of states participating in the CHPS program.”

Projects using Hawaii CHPS and seeking recognition through CHPS also will make use of a new CHPS Plan Sheet approach, which will help project managers to communicate project goals and strategies in a streamlined plan sheet that will be a part of the project’s construction documents.

Click here for access to the HI-CHPS Criteria.

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