The Collaborative for High Performance Schools  (CHPS) has released the new Texas CHPS (TX-CHPS) Criteria and the 2009 Edition of the California CHPS (CA-CHPS) Criteria for use. The two assessment tools create state-specific benchmark systems for the design and construction of high performance school buildings that are efficient, comfortable, environmentally responsible and healthy spaces for learning.
"The CHPS Board of Directors is excited to offer Texas and California much-needed local solutions for building high performance schools in the nation's largest school construction markets," said Chip Fox, chair of the CHPS Board of Directors, and New Construction Manager at Sempra Utilities. "Texas CHPS and California CHPS will help schools and districts invest wisely to provide green, healthy spaces of learning for schoolchildren."
For the past year, advisory committees based in Texas and California, representing a broad range of school construction and operation stakeholders, developed TX-CHPS and CA-CHPS. The rating systems apply not only to the design and construction of new schools, but also to major modernizations and additions to existing school campuses. Schools that pursue certification through CHPS will be supported by the CHPS organization throughout the design, construction and operation process.
"Building more energy efficient schools will safeguard the air our kids breathe and the education dollars on which they rely," noted Texas State Representative Mike Villarreal, who has filed legislation to incentivize building environmentally-friendly schools. "The new Texas-CHPS system gives us another tool for promoting greener schools."
The rating systems reflect the priorities of California and Texas school stakeholders and the varying needs the school systems of each state. In Texas, Criteria credits that increased energy performance and independence as well as improved student health were emphasized, including the energy performance, on-site energy production, daylighting and low-emitting materials credits. New credits for irrigation system commissioning and school gardens, as well as a new category addressing carbon emission reduction efforts, mark the major changes for the 2009 edition of the CA-CHPS Criteria.
Texas CHPS and California CHPS can be found at: http://www.chps.net/manual/index.htm#vol3 
CHPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit headquartered in San Francisco. For more information about CHPS, visit www.chps.net .