Submit Comments on the new Hawaii CHPS Criteria

Stakeholders invited to participate in public review of new high performance school building rating program for Hawaii

January 3, 2012 (Sacramento, CA) The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) is asking stakeholders to give feedback on a new assessment tool for healthy, environmentally sustainable schools in Hawaii. The Hawaii CHPS Criteria (HI-CHPS) creates a standard for the design and construction of high performance school buildings specific to the building owners, climate, and needs of K-12 schools in Hawaii.

"CHPS is excited to offer a new high performance school resource to the state of Hawaii, one of the most climatically and ecologically diverse states in the union. Hawaii is a perfect example of how state-based green school resources can better respond to the needs of our stakeholders,” said Jim Ogden of 3QC, Inc. and Chair of the Technical Committee of CHPS. "We invite all of the K-12 design and building community to participate in making this tool the best it can be by submitting comments during the public review period.”

“We are pleased to offer a criteria document that can help guide the process of achieving and maintaining healthy and sustainable learning environments for our schools, both old and new,” said Randolph G. Moore, Assistant Superintendent, Office of School Facilities and Support Services, Department of Education, State of Hawaii. “This document has been created for the unique environment that is Hawaii, with the input of our local educational, design and construction communities.”

The HI-CHPS Criteria can be downloaded and commented on by visiting: This is the first public review period, lasting 45 days, and comments are due by February 17, 2012. Hawaii schools will be able to use begin using HI-CHPS after the public review period has been completed and the HI-CHPS Criteria is approved by the CHPS Board of Directors.

Hawaii's unique climate posed the largest challenge for the advisory committee’s work, including creating prerequisites and credits appropriate to the year-round temperatures, rain and wind patterns, and humidity of the islands. The committee developed a new prerequisite for analyzing the site's microclimate to inform design decisions. In addition, more distinct requirements, compliance pathways, and an extra credit, were developed for naturally-ventilated and conditioned classrooms to ensure that air quality and comfort were equivalently valued and achieved compared to those mechanically ventilated and conditioned.

In addition to the climate challenges, there are also unique administrative characteristics to Hawaii. The state has only one public school district, which means district decision-making is a centralized process. As a result, requirements that fall under the purview of the district are found in a single, new, category, District Planning, Operations and Maintenance, to clearly identify the responsibilities of the district.

HI-CHPS is the first CHPS Criteria to have a prerequisite and credit for use of the CHPS Operations Report Card (ORC) – an program that allows schools to benchmark the performance of existing schools - to ensure that the school is performing as intended 18 months after construction. The committee also developed entirely new credits not seen in any other state adaptation for electric vehicles, outdoor classrooms, tree protection and preservation, and culturally responsive designs.

The Hawaii CHPS Advisory Committee is made up of a number of stakeholders from local design, engineering, construction and maintenance firms, as well as representatives from the Hawaii Department of Education, which oversees all of the state’s public and charter schools, the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, and a local private school, Hawaii Preparatory Academy. The committee developed a CHPS Criteria to the unique codes and regulations, climates, opportunities, and local priorities of the state. The committee was also charged to ensure that the spirit and stringency of the CHPS standard was upheld.

The Hawaii CHPS Advisory Committee used the CHPS Core Criteria to develop Hawaii’s state-specific high performance building rating system. CHPS has 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, eleven states have developed rating systems for their schools, but Hawaii is only the second since the CHPS Core Criteria was made available. When the HI-CHPS Criteria is considered for approval by the CHPS Board of Directors, they will approve it as consistent with the CHPS National Core Criteria.

HI-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 HI-CHPS will be supported by CHPS throughout the design and construction process.

CHPS is a 501c(3) non-profit headquartered in Sacramento, CA. For more information about CHPS, visit

January 3, 2012 (Sacramento, CA) CHPS made a new assessment tool for healthy, environmentally sustainable schools in Hawaii available for public review today. ~order=2012-02-17
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