Updated daylighting standards, life cycle product assessment among upgrades to CHPS guidelines for high-performance schools

May 02, 2008 |

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools is set to release a new edition of its guidelines this fall, the first major update since 2006. Committees are currently discussing what changes will be made and, according to CHPS assistant director Kristin Heinen, some of the updates will likely reflect recent design trends. For example, guidelines for classroom daylighting and acoustics will likely be adjusted to include information for larger-than-average classrooms, of the sort many designers are now incorporating as collaborative, flexible space.

Another change reflects an increased interest in products and materials that are sustainable during their entire life cycle and provide more than one green benefit to a building. “Right now, you pick material based on just one characteristic,” Heinen says. “We're looking at ways to incentivize a system that looks at the entire performance of the product.”

But those aren't the only changes in the pipeline. CHPS is also looking at guidelines that would promote working with communities to provide safe routes to school, installing water management systems that would alert facilities operators to leaks during summer vacation and other downtimes, and planting school gardens that would put children in touch with nature and teach them sustainable values.

Heinen says the first public review draft of the new guidelines will be released in late May. Designers and other experts will have 45 days to review and submit comments before the next draft is written. To participate in this part of the process, visit: www.chps.net/review/2009edition.

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