The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) believes kids learn better in schools with good lighting, clean air, and comfortable classrooms. That’s why CHPS works with schools and experts to make changes to ensure that every child has the best possible learning environment with the smallest impact on the planet.

The mission of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools is to nationally foster well-designed, operated, and maintained K-12 educational facilities that enhance student performance; positively impact student, teacher, and staff health and wellness; make education more enjoyable and rewarding; and promote positive environmental stewardship.

Our history

CHPS was founded in 1999 as a collaboration of California’s major utilities to address energy efficiency in schools. The program was developed specifically to reduce energy consumption in California’s K-12 educational facilities as a means of reducing operating costs. Soon after, CHPS quickly expanded to address all aspects of school design, construction, and operation.  

Since its humble beginnings as an informal partnership in California focused on energy use reduction in schools, CHPS has grown into a national organization concerned with all aspects of high performance. For more than 15 years, CHPS has been on a mission to nationally foster well-designed, operated, and maintained K-12 educational facilities that enhance student performance; positively impact student, teacher, and staff health and wellness; make education more enjoyable and rewarding; and promote positive environmental stewardship... and we are just getting started!

Our priorities 

CHPS helps facilitate and inspire change in our educational system. The goals of CHPS are to fundamentally change the design, construction, and operation of schools to:

  • Protect student and staff health and enhance the learning environments of school children everywhere.
  • Conserve energy, water, and other natural resources.
  • Reduce waste, pollution, and environmental degradation.

Our work

CHPS provides resources – in many cases, free resources – to schools, school districts, and professionals about all aspects of high performance school design, construction, and operation. CHPS develops tools that help make schools energy, water and material efficient, well-lit, thermally comfortable, acoustically sound, safe, healthy, and easy to operate. These resources include a well-respected six-volume best practices manual, training and conferences, a high performance building rating and recognition program, and other tools for creating healthy, green schools.

Our impact

  • There are over 300 completed CHPS schools across America.
  • There are approximately another 300 schools underway in the U.S. seeking CHPS recognition.
  • 41 school districts, with over 1.6 million total students enrolled, have committed to building new schools or modernizing to the CHPS high performance building standard or using CHPS resources.
  • Twelve states have state or region-specific high performance school building Criteria, including California, Washington, New York, the Northeast States (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine), Texas, Virginia, and Hawaii. Colorado has adopted the national US-CHPS Criteria.

Our responsibility

CHPS believes in the collaborative approach for the development of all of its resources. To this end, our Board of Directors and Technical Committee are made up of representatives from all aspects of school design, construction, and operation. All of CHPS resources are subject to two public reviews before they are released for public use.