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High Performance School Projects Recognized

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Education

Published on September 11, 2008 with No Comments

At its second annual Green Apple Awards luncheon, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) recognized four school programs for their contributions to the high performance buildings. The Green Apple Awards are being awarded this week in Sacramento, CA for the categories of climate change, high performance school policy, and existing schools.

“The commitment of these exceptional leaders to building high performance schools is creating healthier, more engaging, more environmentally friendly learning environments nationwide, and CHPS is delighted to honor their work,” said Charles Eley, executive director of CHPS. “We look forward to further collaborations with the award winners to ensure a new generation of green schools is built.”

Climate Category Winners

State Architect David Thorman was on hand to present the winners in the Climate Change Category.

The Natomas Unified School District received a Green Apple Award for excellence in reducing the district’s impact on climate change. In 2006, the Natomas Unified School District was designated a “Climate Action Leader” by the CA Climate Action Registry, making them the only K-12 School district in CA to receive this designation. The most recent school in the district, the H. Allen Hight Learning Center, is a CHPS designed elementary and middle school that will open its doors this fall. The buildings of this school showcase the latest in high performance school design, including the first green roof on a public school in Northern California.

Chevron Energy Solutions received a Green Apple in the climate change category for helping more than 80 school districts across the nation to implement alternative energy and improve the energy efficiency of their facilities. For a recent project, Chevron Energy Solutions is designing, building and maintaining 5.5 megawatts of solar photovoltaic arrays at the San Jose Unified School District. By reducing the district’s purchase of utility power, the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 37,500 tons, equivalent to planting 400 acres of trees.

School Policy Winner

The Green Apple award for high performance school policy goes to the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) High Performance Schools Exchange, a regional project based in New England working to make all new and renovated school buildings built using high performance school principles. To support and encourage construction of high performance schools, the Exchange provides training and technical assistance as well as a database of research and case studies of high performance schools. In 2007, NEEP developed a Northeast CHPS program based on the CHPS programs already in place in California, New York and Massachusetts. The Exchange collaborates with state departments, education departments, and other stakeholders in the Northeast to promote and facilitate the construction of high performance schools and has been a leading force in the NE high performance schools movement.

Existing Schools Work Winner

The Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) California Schools Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is this year’s Green Apple awardee in the category of existing school operations. The IPM program helps schools to develop a safe effective method of pest control that lowers occupant exposure to pesticides. DPR works with school districts to establish IPM policies and teaches district coordinators about IPM principles and techniques. This program, which has trained officials from approximately 70% of California’s school districts, is changing the way that schools confront pest management problems and improving the indoor environmentally quality of existing schools. IPM practices, coupled with minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals, lower the risks that pest management can pose to people, property and environmental quality.

About CHPS

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) is a green building rating program developed especially for school learning environments. The mission of CHPS is to improve the quality of education for schoolchildren by facilitating the design of a new generation of high performance schools: places of learning that are environmentally sustainable, healthy and comfortable. 

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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