International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

June 2011

 

Building philosophy

High-performance schools

Taking a systems approach to managing energy in buildings is not restricted only to the devices and installations. The US (United States) has come up with the notion of High Performance Schools that improve the learning environment while saving energy, resources, and money in order to provide a well-designed facility that, it is said, can enhance performance and make education a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Part of the environmental protection agency programme

A high performance school is a connotation developed by the US as part of its EPA (environmental protection agency) programme. It is one in which the physical facility, both the school building and its grounds, has been designed from the outset taking a "whole building" approach. The design process considers the key systems and technologies, including recycling and life cycles of all the elements, right from the beginning. It takes account of lighting, air temperature, humidity and noise levels, the environment, energy efficiency, and resources, optimizing them on the basis of their combined impact on the comfort and productivity of students and teachers.

 

The philosophy behind a high performance school is that where good teachers and motivated students can overcome inadequate facilities and perform at a high level almost anywhere, a well-designed facility can truly enhance performance and make education a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Reduced Operating Expenses

If high performance schools cost less to operate, since they spend less for electricity, maintenance, and other ongoing facility operating costs, the result is that they have more money available for salaries, books, teaching supplies and other items which provides them with a more immediate link to the true mission of schools namely to educate students.

Whole building approach

Once achieved, the benefits are positive for all parties and can impact an entire district, from the classroom itself out to the boardroom. Pupils are likely to get better results in exams and show less absenteeism, the schools lower their operational costs, teachers have greater job satisfaction and tend to stay longer in their posts, there's decreased liability, and reduced environmental impacts.

 

  • Making education a more enjoyable experience.
  • Westwood Elementary SchoolWestwood Primary School, Minnesota, is designed as a two-story prototype high-performance school.
    © greathorsegroup.com
  • Gray Middle School, Tacoma, Washington is a sustainable building.
    Photo: Architype Review

 

 

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