The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) recently introduced the Operations Report Card (ORC), an online tool that benchmarks current performance, analyzes existing conditions, and recommends environmentally preferable improvements for existing school buildings.
The new program allows both high- and low-performance schools to benchmark their current performance and receive suggestions for improvement in energy efficiency, thermal comfort, visual comfort, acoustics, and indoor air quality. ORC development was funded by a grant from the California Energy Commission. ORC combines facilities data, system and classroom measurements, and occupant surveys to generate report card scores and recommended improvements.
"The occupant survey was incredibly successful and provided us the opportunity to initiate open conversations with the classroom teachers, to listen to their concerns, and to further increase a trusting work relationship," said Steven Plaxco, director of maintenance and facilities at Yuba City Unified School District, which spearheaded the district's participation in the pilot school program.
The program had six pilot school participants over the last year, including one from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
"With the introduction of the Operations Report Card, CHPS is providing an affordable solution for improving the performance of the 130,000 existing schools in the United States," CHPS Executive Director Bill Orr said.
The cost for schools to participate in the ORC program ranges from $500 to $900 per school, depending on the number of schools that a district enrolls. It costs $900 for an individual school to participate. Recognition will be available for two classes of participants: high performers and high improvers. The program formally recognizes schools that make noticeable gains toward high performance even if they start off lower on the spectrum.