Resources for School Officials
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to guide the design of high-performance, sustainable buildings. Representatives of all segments of the building industry helped develop LEED and continue to contribute to its evolution.
LEED provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals. Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED recognizes achievements and promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.
LEED was created to:
No incentives are currently provided to offset costs associated with LEED standards.
A group of California public and private stakeholders, including government, industry, electric utilities and non-profit organizations have developed a certification to define High Performance Schools based on Leadership in the Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED 2.0).
(NOTE: The New Jersey SmartStart Buildings Program is working in partnership with the New Buildings Institute, a not-for-profit corporation engaged in building science research, to develop a set of design guidelines for New Jersey that incorporate the CHPS model, but adapts it for New Jersey-specific climate and building conditions. See more complete description under "Advanced Building Guidelines Project" below.)
Best Practices Manual, Vol. I: The new 2002 Edition addresses the needs of school districts, including superintendents, parents, teachers, school board members, administrators and facility managers. In addition to a new case study, the 2002 Edition includes an expanded "Characteristics of a High Performance School." The manual also provides checklists, a process guide for building, and a list of questions to ask your design team.
Best Practices Manual, Vol. II: The 2002 Edition contains technical design guidelines for high performance schools tailored for California climate zones. It is promoted as a "flexible and complete resource for architects and engineers." The new edition also contains expanded information on ground source heat pumps, acoustics, materials and commissioning.
Criteria, Volume III: The Criteria provide a flexible system of prerequisites and optional credits that address all aspects of high-performance schools. A "CHPS School" must meet all of the prerequisites and earn at least 28 out of 81 points.
Additional materials available include:
Material Specifications: This document contains model specification language detailing recycled content guidelines and maximum VOC emission rates and testing standards for materials.
CHPS Criteria Scorecard: This scorecard was developed by the Los Angeles Unified School District under a grant from the California Energy Commission and U.S. Department of Energy Rebuild America Program.
CHPS Training Presentations: A series of presentations are available, including: Introduction to CHPS, Lighting, IAQ and Materials, HVAC, Site Planning and CHPS Criteria.
CHPS Videos: California's leading experts in high performance design discuss the major design strategies for schools in the CHPS Online Video Series. This eight-video series can be viewed for free via the web.
PROGRAM: Advanced Building Guidelines Project
The Advanced Building Guidelines are intended to guide architects and engineers interested in designing commercial and institutional buildings to efficiency levels that are significantly higher than the minimum standards established by building energy codes.
They can also be used as a model for an advanced building energy code. The Guidelines are being developed by the New Buildings Institute, a not-for-profit corporation engaged in building science research and a team of nationally recognized experts in building performance.
Essentially, NBI will provide, in a number of building sectors:
The first Guidelines will address schools and will build off the CHPS model.
The SmartStart Buildings Program proposes to participate in this project to develop Guidelines that are specific to New Jersey conditions, first for schools and subsequently for other common building types. The ultimate goal is to establish a quantifiable and recognizable standard for high efficiency in construction and, most particularly, to provide a roadmap for designers interested in achieving LEED or other nationally-recognized high performance building standards.
The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council produces a training binder entitled Resource & Strategy Guide for High Performance School Buildings. This guide defines, recommends and details the value of a process for achieving a High Performance School. It is available for $25 each or $22 in bulk purchases plus the cost of shipping.
SBIC also offers High Performance Workshops. This two-day workshop targets both the school discussion-maker community (school board members, superintendents, business officers, etc.) and the A&E community. Cost of the workshops varies.
PROGRAM: DesignLights™ Consortium
A number of utilities and other entities operating conservation programs in the Northeast have cooperated to develop a series of lighting design guidelines for common spaces. The guidelines, collectively called the "knowhowTM" series, integrate the best technologies with the best lighting designs to insure that best design practices produce lighting that both saves energy and optimizes the tasks at hand.
Among the publications are: the knowhowTM Guide for Classroom Lighting, as well as a number of real-world case studies showing the recommended applications in place in classrooms in elementary schools, high schools and colleges.
The DesignLights Consortium is coordinated by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, a not-for-profit organization based in Lexington, Mass.
PROGRAM: The Daylighting Collaborative
The Energy Center of Wisconsin produces a large variety of publications and training programs including:
Daylighting Goes Mainstream – How to Daylight Every Office Building and School: This is a one-day workshop that targets A&E and lighting design professionals. The program is American Institute of Architects (AIA) accredited.
Daylighting Goes Mainstream – Advanced Tools and Techniques of Cool Daylighting: This one-day workshop focuses on advanced daylighting techniques through the use of software tools. It is also accredited by the AIA.
The US Department of Energy's EnergySmart Schools Initiative is a part of the DOEÍs broader Rebuild America Program. EnergySmart Schools can provide general information that is some value to communities planning to build new schools or renovate existing ones.
Of particular interest are the seven Energy Design Guidelines High Performance Schools – each one tailored to one of the seven major climatic regions in the US. New Jersey is considered a "Cool and Humid" region, so select that specific Guideline.
DOE also publishes a National Best Practices Manual for Building High-Performance Schools, which provides more detailed guidance to architects and engineers.
There are also three School decision makers brochures available which address the value of high performance schools for three distinct lay school constituencies:
All these materials are downloadable from the EnergySmart Schools web site.
ENERGY STAR is an initiative of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Among the tools and publications they offer are the following:
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager: This is an Internet-based tool for developing, tracking and evaluating an energy reduction strategy for buildings. It is designed to manage energy data for multiple properties.
Energy Benchmarking Tool: This tool allows a school facility manager to compare the energy performance of the building over time as different energy saving strategies are introduced.
Energy Management Planning Assistance: This is a how-to guide to assist in developing a strategic energy management plan.
ENERGY STAR Buildings Manual: This technical manual provides a comprehensive systems approach to undertaking a facility upgrade.
The NJHEPS is an organization of over 30 colleges, universities and other higher education institutions sharing a common mission - to be an agent of transformation so that New Jersey campuses might become models and messengers of sustainability in our society and the world.
Read about their goals for supporting environmental sustainability by accessing their website at:
The NJ Sustainable Schools Network is a consortium of schools and other organizations committed to promoting education for a sustainable future in New Jersey's schools.
PROGRAM: New Jersey School Boards Association
A federation of local boards of education, the mission of the NJSBA is to encourage and assist all movements for the improvement of public school education for the children of our state.