ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 83 - 11/24/2010

Virginia Becomes First State to Use Core Criteria from CHPS to Design a High-Performance Building Rating System

Virginia has become the first state to use the new Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) "core criteria" to design a high-performance building rating system.


The new Virginia CHPS Criteria (VA-CHPS) assessment tool was made available for public review Nov. 2. VA-CHPS is expected to create a benchmark for the design and construction of Virginia high performance school buildings that are "efficient, comfortable, environmentally responsible, and healthy spaces to learn."


"The Virginia CHPS Criteria is a state-specific high-performance-school standard that responds to the priorities and local conditions of Virginia's schools," said Jim Ogden of 3QC Inc. and chairperson of CHPS' Technical Committee.


CHPS identified three priorities of improving health and student performance, reducing operating costs, and mitigating environmental impacts, which are reflected in the Core Criteria. States then use the Core Criteria to build in state priorities, local climate and code issues, and other regional variations that make each state's rating system unique. Over the last five years, 10 states have developed rating systems for their schools.


A Virginia-based advisory committee, representing a range of school districts and design stakeholders, developed VA-CHPS. The committee created a CHPS Criteria to the unique codes and regulations, climates, opportunities, and local priorities of the state. The committee also was charged to ensure that the spirit and stringency of the CHPS standard was upheld.


VA-CHPS applies not only to the design and construction of new schools but also to major modernizations and additions to existing school campuses. Schools that pursue recognition using VA-CHPS will be supported by CHPS throughout the design and construction process.

The VA-CHPS Criteria can be downloaded and commented on by visiting the following webpage:


This is the first public-review period, and comments are due by Dec. 16. Virginia schools will be able to use VA-CHPS after the public-review period has been completed and the VA-Criteria is approved by the CHPS Board of Directors.


CHPS is a 501c(3) non-profit headquartered in San Francisco.




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