Collaborative for High Performance Schools

In February 2009 the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education passed a Resolution to implement sustainable, environmentally responsible, and energy efficient practices on all construction projects to the maximum extent possible.  The resolution calls for staff to make every effort to design projects to criteria developed by CHPS and the USGBC illustrated through LEED standards.  Because CHPS criteria are designed specifically for schools, the Facilities Planning and Construction Services Department has chosen to focus on this program for the majority of our current projects.

High Performance Schools are defined as being healthy, comfortable, energy and material efficient, easy to maintain and operate, commissioned (ensures mechanical and electrical systems are installed and calibrated properly for maximum efficiency), on environmentally sustainable sites,  are buildings that ”teach” with sustainable educational displays, safe and secure, a community resource, include stimulating architecture, and are adaptable to changing needs.  In order to achieve this complex definition, CHPS has created a scorecard with a maximum possible of 85 points (and a minimum of 25 to still achieve CHPS status) broken into five (5) categories, each with its own sub-categories including Site, Water, Energy, Materials, Indoor Environmental Quality.


New Construction and Modernization Highlights


Examples of Categories Implemented in Various Projects


Centrally located site (50 % of planned enrollment is within walking distance and/or public transportation); bike racks for 15% of student population; and cool roofs (conserve energy); light colored paving to reduce heat island effect; minimize and treat storm water runoff on site


High efficiency irrigation technology, sensors to prevent overwatering, dual flush toilets, and waterless urinals (decreasing water usage 20-30%)


Operable windows and doors (allowing natural ventilation); 3rd party oversight of installation and calibration of new systems to ensure maximum efficiency; and sensors on classroom doors that will shut off air conditioning if doors are propped open; solar water heating, PV panels; energy management system (links and monitors various systems to maximize efficiency and control remotely as necessary)


Diverting at least 50% of construction waste from landfills; and dedicated recycling bins on site once school is operational; use recycled/renewable materials (i.e. wheatboard cabinets, recycled asphalt); use of certified wood

Indoor Environmental Quality

Use of products that produce low volumes of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) materials such as paint, ceiling tiles, carpet, adhesive, etc.; pollutant source control such as walk off mats at entryways and air exhaust at select locations to prevent dust and chemicals from storage areas polluting inside air; classrooms will have improved acoustical performance by installing sound tack boards in addition to temperature and lighting controls in each classrooms; enhanced daylighting (i.e. solar tubes, skylights); high efficiency air filters