Hawaii Gets New Resource to Build Healthier, Green, Schools: Nonprofit Releases 13th State High Performance School Rating Criteria

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Graphic by Emily Metcalf

The Hawaii CHPS CriteriaTM (HI-CHPS), a resource used to design and construct healthy, high performance, green, schools, has been released for public use. Hawaii becomes the 13th state to adopt a CHPS high performance school Criteria. HI-CHPS was approved by the Board of Directors of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, a national non-profit that brings local high performance school rating programs to states across the US.



“The state of Hawaii is one of the most climatically and ecologically diverse states in the union, which makes it the perfect candidate for a state-based green school rating program,” said Chip Fox, Chair of the CHPS Board of Directors. “Hawaii CHPS contains some of the most unique and state-specific credits we have seen yet. We are thrilled to have Hawaii join the ranks of states participating in the CHPS program.”


“The adoption of the HI-CHPS Criteria is the next step in our development of more eco-friendly and sustainable school facilities,” said Randy Moore, Assistant Superintendent for School Facilities and Support Services. “Sustainability is of particular importance to Hawaii as an island state, and we are delighted to have HI-CHPS Criteria that have been created specifically for Hawaii schools. These criteria will be invaluable in the development of schools and our proactive response to both the educational need for environmentally sensitive classrooms and the societal need for energy efficiency.”


The HI-CHPS Criteria can be downloaded here: https://www.chps.net/hawaii.


The HI-CHPS Criteria was developed by a committee of K-12 school stakeholders under the guidance of the Hawaii State Department of Education and CHPS. 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.


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


Projects using Hawaii CHPS and seeking recognition through CHPS will also make use of a new CHPS Plan Sheet approach, which will help project managers to communicate project goals and strategies in a streamlined plan sheet that will be a part of the project’s construction documents.


To kick-off the release of Hawaii CHPS, CHPS is holding a free training in Honolulu, HI, on July 19. More information about the training is on the CHPS website: https://www.chps.net/hawaiitraining.


The Hawaii CHPS Advisory Committee is made up of a number of stakeholders from local design, engineering, construction firms, as well as representatives from the Hawaii State Department of Education; the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; and a representative for the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools from Hawaii Preparatory Academy.


The Hawaii CHPS Advisory Committee used the CHPS National Core CriteriaTM to develop Hawaii’s state-specific high performance building rating system. States 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, thirteen states have developed rating systems for their schools, but Hawaii is only the third since the CHPS Core Criteria was made available.


HI-CHPS applies not only to the design and construction of new schools, but also to major modernizations and additions to existing school campuses.


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

Submitted by the Hawaii DOE