Monday, November 09, 2015

Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS)

Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS)

Have you heard of the CHPS?

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) is the United States' first green building rating program especially designed for K-12 schools.[1] High performance schools are healthy, comfortable, energy efficient, resource efficient, water efficient, safe, secure, adaptable, and easy to operate and maintain.[5] These qualities help school districts assist students to achieve higher test scores, retain quality teachers and staff, reduce operating cost, increase average daily attendance, and reduce liability, while at the same time being friendly to the environment.[5] High performance design can have a positive effect on health and comfort, and design strategies such as daylighting have been shown to enhance student learning.[5] Good indoor air quality is essential for teacher and student health. Good design also produces more comfortable environments with proper lighting, air temperature, humidity, and noise levels. These factors reduce distractions and create environments where students and teachers can see clearly, hear accurately, and not feel too warm or too cold.  The CHPS criteria, published in 2002, established the nation’s first building rating program specifically intended to assist schools in designing sound, environmentally responsible learning spaces

CHPS School Districts in California include Los Angeles Unified School DistrictBurbank Unified School District, Coast Community College District, Dry Creek Joint Elementary School DistrictSan Diego Unified School DistrictSan Francisco Unified School District, San Marcos Unified School District, San Rafael City SchoolsVisalia Unified School DistrictNatomas Unified School District, New Haven Unified School District, Ukiah Unified School District, Cajon Valley Union School District, Poway Unified School DistrictPalo Alto Unified School DistrictOakland Unified School DistrictRoseland School DistrictMenlo Park City School DistrictSanta Ana Unified School DistrictWest Contra Costa Unified School District, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, Long Beach Unified School DistrictCapistrano Unified School District, and Windsor Unified School District. The CHPS Board of Directors and Technical Committee consist of national representatives from a range of sectors involved in school design, construction and operation. CHPS membership is composed of over 225 member organizations including government agencies, utility companiesschool districts, non-profit organizations and private companies. While the program started in California, it has now expanded to other states, including New YorkWashingtonMarylandRhode IslandNew HampshireMaine, and Connecticut. Soon, Texas and Colorado will also adopt CHPS standards.

From the 2014 CHPS Criteria manual, attached:

In 2000, the expert panel of the California EMF Project (scientists of the California Department of Health Services on behalf of the California Public Utilities Commission) concluded based on the then-available scientific evidence that “EMFs can cause some degree of increased risk of childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and miscarriage.”

In 2002, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF) as possibly carcinogenic (monograph volume 80).

In 2006, the IEQ Indoor Environmental Quality Project committee of the US National Institute of Building Sciences recommended to keep magnetic field exposure levels in occupied areas below 2.5 mG (250 nT), and preferably below 1 mG (100 nT).

In addition, many education technology tools such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices are sources of electromagnetic fields. When used within close range of the human body, a student’s
exposure to electromagnetic fields such as ELF magnetic and electric as well as radio-frequency electromagnetic fields may increase considerably. ELF magnetic fields were classified as possibly carcinogenic by the World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2002, and radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (including mobile phones) were classified as possibly carcinogenic by the WHO/IARC in 2011In order to reduce the potential for adverse effects due to these exposures, it is important in school environments with children to apply the precautionary principle “as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA)” by providing low-EMF classrooms, specifying low-EMF IT equipment and wired Internet access network technology, and establishing low-EMF user practices.

One of the criteria for a CHPS school is low EMF exposure.  Here are the guidelines from the CHPS manual, see pp. 104-105

15.2.1 Low EMF Best Practices for Computers
The District or equivalent governing body for a private school shall pass a resolution requiring:
  • Desktop computers, laptops, notebooks, and tablets be operated on a desk; operation of these devices on an occupant’s lap or body is prohibited; computer workstation equipment must be greater than 2 feet from occupants.
  • Desktop computers, laptops, notebooks, and tablets be TCO-certified or laboratory tested to meet TCO Criteria “Mandate A.4.2” for EMF emissions.
  • Laptops or notebooks have an Ethernet port and a physical switch to conveniently disable all wireless radios at onceand an adaptor with a 3-pin plug.
  • Only tablets that support a USB Ethernet adaptor for a wired network connection; operate tablets only in battery mode and not when plugged in.

15.2.2 Wired local area network (LAN) to reduce radio-frequency (RF) EMF
  • Install a wired local area network (LAN) for Internet access throughout the school. Provide wired network connections for desktop computers, laptops, notebooks, and tablets. All wireless transmitters shall be disabled on all Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Provide wired input devices for computer workstations.
15.2.3 Wired Phones to reduce RF EMF in classroom
  • Install easily accessible hard-wired phones for teacher and student use and prohibit installation and use of standard DECT cordless phones and cordless phones operating at 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz unless they have been laboratory tested to demonstrate that the cordless phone base station and handsets (whether placed in the charging station or not) do not emit RF EMF emissions in standby mode.
  • Prohibit the use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices in instructional areas / classrooms. Additionally, they shall be required to be powered off or be in airplane mode (sleep mode is not sufficient) except during fire-life-safety drills and incidents.
The World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified ELF magnetic fields and radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic based on scientific evidence surrounding incidence of childhood leukemia and brain cancer. Schools districts and design teams should:
1. Prohibit cell phone towers and base stations on school buildings or school property. (See siting)

2. Prohibit above ground transformers within 50ft from outdoor play, exercise and recreation areas. (See siting)

3. Run conduits for the future possibility of fiber optic connections.

4. Position electrical supply rooms and building power supply adjacent to low occupancy areas, amongother strategies.

If using a wireless local area network (WLAN) for Internet access, choose the minimum number of access points and adjust the power output of the access points to the lowest maximum level required to meet the needs. Access points shall be placed a minimum distance of 16-32 feet (5-10 m) from where students and staff spend the majority of their timeThe access points and Wi-Fi transmitters in the computer devices shall be
turned off when not in use. Clearly label access points with warning signs.

Provide a Wireless-free Zone where cell phones, cordless phones, and Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices shall not be used. Post clear signage at the door to instruct users on how to disable the wireless transmitters on their personal electronic devices (power off or airplane mode) before entering this space.

No comments:

Post a Comment