PreFAB is Fabulous!

CHPS PreFAB was a pilot program in California for pre-approval of modular or relocatable units under the CHPS Criteria. Manufacturers could earn the PreFAB or PreFAB Leader designation for their products to streamline the process for schools that wished to use them in a high performance project.

Classrooms built with products that earned this designation met stringent standards related to indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency, materials, waste management, and other sustainable attributes that help students learn and thrive while lowering operating costs.

CHPS PreFAB Pre-Approval was available for individual buildings that are single or multiple classrooms, one or more stories, permanent construction or relocatable, and have independent HVAC systems, are pre-wired and, if applicable, are pre-plumbed.

While modular classrooms remain an important option for many districts and schools, CHPS has determined that pre-approving units does not significantly streamline the process for schools. The Pilot Program ended in 2019 with one modular product, Gen7, approved under the 2016 CHPS Criteria, and one alternative to modular--a pre-designed and partially pre-constructed school--under review as a test case. We thank the modular manufacturers that participated to help us design the program and test out the reviews.

Schools in California may still use the Gen7 product to meet the CA-CHPS v1.02 Criteria until the 2019 updated Criteria become effective, date to be posted when available (anticipated for early 2020).

Archived Information

Program Benefits

The program has benefits for both manufacturers and purchasers/leasers of prefabricated modular classrooms.                 

  • For Prefabricated Modular Classroom Manufacturers - CHPS PreFAB is an opportunity to obtain pre-approval of prefabricated modular units meeting CHPS Criteria. Units that meet the CHPS requirements will be listed in the CHPS High Performance Product Database and have a CHPS PreFAB or CHPS PreFAB Leader product label.
  • For School Districts and Individual Schools - CHPS PreFAB provides assurance that the classrooms being purchased or leased incorporate a significant number of high performance characteristics. CHPS PreFAB units can be installed in isolation or as part of a CHPS project and can help achieve CHPS Designed™, CHPS Verified™, or CHPS Verified Leader™ recognition for your project.  

Using a CHPS PreFAB unit as part of your CHPS project can reduce the school-required input to a minimal number of site-related prerequisites and credits, thus reducing verification time and cost.

National Programs with Regional Options

CHPS PreFAB is based on the 2014 US-CHPS Criteria applicable in all 50 states where there is not already a regional criteria. 158 of the 250 possible US-CHPS points are applicable to CHPS PreFAB buildings.

For regional approval, in addition to the US-CHPS requirements, all regional CHPS Criteria prerequisites and credit requirements must be met. Regional approvals will be indicated on the chain of custody that accompanies the CHPS PreFAB classroom.

Two Levels of Qualifications

  • CHPS PreFAB™ - CHPS pre-approved prefabricated modular building. All relevant US-CHPS prerequisites have been met and minimum of 70 out of a possible 158 points have been earned.
  • CHPS PreFAB Leader™ - CHPS pre-approved higher tier prefabricated modular building. All relevant US-CHPS prerequisites have been met and minimum of 100 out of a possible 158 points have been earned.

For both levels of qualification, validated demonstration through chain of custody and supporting documentation via review by an independent third-party is required. The Chain of Custody provides information on items the manufacturer has completed in the factory and those that must be completed at the time of delivery and installation in order to deliver a high performance classroom. Items in the chain of custody include commissioning, acoustics, and construction site waste management, among other prerequisites and credits.

Get Started

Manufacturers interested in receiving the CHPS PreFAB designation for their high performance classroom models should register their products with the program.

Find Pre-Approved Classrooms on the CHPS High Performance Product Database. Information about pre-approved CHPS PreFAB classrooms, including downloadable scorecards, can be found on the CHPS High Performance Products Database.

Related Materials and Programs