High Performance School Buildings Resource & Strategy Guide


The High Performance School Buildings Resource & Strategy Guide is a simple, easy-to-use roadmap for use in creating schools that:

  • Provide better learning environments for students and teachers;
  • Cost less to operate; and
  • Help protect the environment.

According to a recent General Accounting Office report, an estimated 6,000 new schools will be built nationwide by the year 2007. The sheer scope of this undertaking makes it clear that the U.S. is faced with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the built environment in ways that will influence the lives of K-12 students for generations to come. High performance school buildings – those which incorporate the very best in today’s design strategies and building technologies – can help make the most of this remarkable opportunity. 

Designing and procuring energy- and resource-efficient schools is possible right now. All that’s needed is the vision, determination, and knowledge to make high performance the standard of performance in school facility design and construction. This Resource & Strategy Guide provides the requisite knowledge, and is intended for those with the vision and determination to put this knowledge to work in building new schools.

The Resource & Strategy Guide has been developed specifically for those who control the process by which new schools are designed and built: school superintendents, business officials, board members, and other key decision-makers. It is not intended as the sole reference for architects and other design professionals, who have their own, more technical guidance for creating high performance buildings. It is structured to meet the needs of those who hire and manage the services of these professionals, and as a guide for further research by A/Es and others engaged in school facility design. HPSB_RSG.pdf


NJ Schools Development Authority 21st Century Design Manual


The 21st Century Schools Design Manual is intended for use in the design of all New Jersey pre-K through 12 public School Facilities Projects within the NJ Schools Construction Corporation (NJSCC) Program. The Design Manual shall compliment the ‘A-Z’ Design Consultant Agreement, all other NJSCC documentation, and any and all presiding Laws, Codes, Ordinances, and requirements of Regulatory Agencies having jurisdiction over this project. 

With the Design Manual, it is NJSCC’s full intent to establish a uniform approach to School Facilities Project design such that we accomplish the following key goals:

  • Establish a means for NJSCC managed School Facilities Projects to be built in an educationally appropriate, community focused, cost effective, sustainable, energy efficient, safe, secure, clean, and environmentally friendly manner.
  • Establish a sustainable design approach as a cost effective and common sense means of constructing 21st Century Schools for New Jersey. This Design Manual raises the bar and sets forth an approach for NJSCC’s School Facilities Project design to attain such goals.

This approach will serve to establish a new design norm for pre-K through 12 school facilities, while simultaneously establishing NJSCC as the nation’s foremost resource for knowledge relative to efficient planning and implementation of projects by means of excellence reviews and lessons learned in constructing School Facilities Projects for both urban and suburban areas. NJ Schools Development Authority 21st Century Design Manual.pdf


How to: Develop Your Own Climate Change Guidance Document, Reduce Your Campus’ Energy Consumption, And Save Some Money


With the growing concern of budget constraints, a common goal of higher education departments is to save money. By reducing our energy consumption, we are ultimately reducing our energy costs. Through this document, we aim to help your institutions develop a carbon action plan, set goals to reduce energy consumption, and subsequently save your institutions/department money.

Two “sister” documents to this “How To” document are: the High Performance Design Handbook (Book I) and The High Performance Campus Design Guidelines (Book II). The Design Handbook, Book I, provides an overview, rationale and the business case for high performance design. This book is geared towards faculty, staff and higher education administrators. At the end of book one you will find a variety of different case studies that may be of interest to those affiliated with higher education institutions. Book II, The High Performance Campus Design Guidelines, is a set of building design specs to be implemented while your campus is building a new building, or renovating an existing building. Some of the appendices from that book may also be of interest to you since they refer to Executive Orders and available subsidies. Federal or state mandates may influence the decisions you make while you are in the planning process and local/state or federal incentive will change how cost effective a technology will be for your campus. One of the most important things to consider when developing a campus action plan is the payback period. 

Weatherization Assistant Training


The Weatherization Assistant is an energy audit software tool developed for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Weatherization Assistant is used by states and local weatherization agencies to identify and prioritize cost-effective weatherization measures applicable to a home. The Weatherization Assistant contains the National Energy Audit Tool (NEAT) for site-built, single-family houses and the Manufactured Home Energy Audit (MHEA) for mobile homes. In addition, the Weatherization Assistant provides expanded optional capabilities that are useful in implementing and administering weatherization programs, including a work order feature. The software may be obtained from the Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center (WAPTAC) at the following web site: www.waptac.org

Affordable Green Online Academy


CBK created an in-depth online training program on the “nuts and bolts” of how to build green affordable housing.  The Affordable Green Online Academy is targeted toward community development organizations across the country that have committed in a general way to sustainable, green development, but may not understand the nitty-gritty details of how to actually build it.  The Academy now contains over 100 short, online tutorials organized into ten full courses and three detailed case studies.  Topics covered include: foundations, floors, walls and roofs; mechanical systems; green building materials; the house as a system; and how to manage green construction. Link to the Affordable Green Academy

Certified Passive House Technical Support


The Center for Building Knowledge offers Certified Passive House Technical Support.   Christine (Bruncati) Liaukus is the first and only certified Passive House Consultant in the state of New Jersey.

"The Passive House concept represents today's highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%. A Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by an extremely small source. Avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply. The result is an impressive system that not only saves up to 90% of space heating costs, but also provides a uniquely terrific indoor air quality." (Passive House Institute, 2010)

Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking


The Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking® is an online-based program that recognizes successful completion of training and testing in minimum competencies in the use of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® tool. Across the U.S. there is growing support for benchmarking building energy and water consumption, driven both by local legislation and voluntary interest in understanding and improving building performance. The Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking® offers building industry professionals the opportunity to learn how to collect energy and water use information and successfully benchmark most types of buildings.

Affordable Housing Design Advisor


The Affordable Housing Design Advisor has been developed to help anyone involved in the production of affordable housing achieve higher design quality. It is full of useful-and useable- information that can be accessed in a variety of ways.

Browse through any time to find:

  • Information about the essential issues of design in affordable housing, especially in the What is Good Design? and Why is Design Important? sections.
  • Ideas and examples of great affordable housing, especially in Gallery which is a collection of developments all over the country with information about each project.
  • The Design Considerations Checklists where key design issues and principles- focusing specially on the special challenges of affordable housing- are discussed in detail, with a wealth of examples.
  • Mini-Lectures where experienced experts in various fields of the design and development of affordable housing give, quick targeted overviews on important  issues.

For a detailed, practical guide to the design/development process, zero in on:

  • The 20 Steps to Design Quality: a systematic, detailed procedure for making sure that excellent design is built into every step of development and that key design opportunities are taken advantage off- all firmly in the context of real-world development concerns.

When you begin working on a specific project, print out and use:

  • The Project Book, a design-focused workbook that gives you a simple, effective way to collect information you will gather through the tools and activities provided at every step of design process. When you print out and complete the forms and checklists in each step(in PDF format) and collect them into your own Customized Project Book, you will have a powerful resource for getting funding, gaining support, controlling your project, protecting design standards, managing schedule and cost, and finally operating and maintaining the final building(s).

High Performance Schools Online Academy


The U.S. Department of Energy and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities have just launched a High Performance Schools Online Academy. It offers a number of courses that on such topics as commissioning, day and electric lighting, energy modeling, and life cycle costing. Check out www.hpschoolsonlineacademy.org for details.

High Performance Campus Design Handbook, Volume II: Sustainable Design Guidelines


This handbook is designed to serve as a toolkit for higher education institutions through EPA Region 2, helping them to build more efficient buildings. EPA Region 2 consists of New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Executive Orders and Incentives are included at the beginning of the book to help institutions employ technologies of their choice, and explore what options are available to them. The designs specs laid out in the guidelines will help higher education institutions make more sustainable choices in each area of design through offering different options in materials, technologies, and policies. 


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