New Book on High-Performance Schools Goes Beyond Green

July 8, 2008

WASHINGTON - Schools that have superior acoustics and lighting, accessible classrooms, safe and secure campuses, and other "high-performance" features are among the subjects of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council's (SBIC) High-Performance School Buildings Resource and Strategy Guide. The guidebook describes the characteristics and benefits of high-performance school buildings and details a process that ensures school planners get the best design possible within their budgets.

Written primarily for those who make decisions about the design and construction of K-12 schools, the 96-page guide is useful for community leaders, parents, teachers, architects, and engineers-and anyone else advocating for school buildings that are cost-effective, sustainable, healthy, and productive for students, teachers and staff.

The book is organized into three core sections. Section one provides an overview and two interrelated discussions: What Is a High-Performance School Building? and Why Is a High-Performance School Building Valuable? Section two is the Process Guide, which provides issue-specific questions for decision makers to ask their architectural/engineering teams at each stage of the design process in order to drive projects toward the highest levels of performance. Section three describes 17 key "Building Blocks" that, when integrated, result in a high-performance building.

The newly issued third edition of the High-Performance School Buildings Resource and Strategy Guide goes Beyond Green™ to address seven other key project objectives-cost effectiveness, accessibility, productivity and health, historic preservation, safety and security, functionality, and aesthetics. New in this edition is a foreword that introduces SBIC's concept of Beyond Green, a special focus area on accessibility in K-12 schools, and a Beyond Green case study of Radnor Middle School in Pennsylvania. The edition also contains new photographs, updated Web links, and extended resource sections for those looking for more detail on specific topics.

The book's principal author is Deane Evans, FAIA, director of the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Center for Architecture and Building Science Research. Evans is an accomplished architect with more than 25 years of experience in architectural design, construction technology, and building performance research. He has served as an instructor for SBIC's High-Performance School Buildings workshops and is currently serving as the Council's vice chair.

The Resource and Strategy Guide was originally published in 2000 as part of SBIC's High-Performance School Buildings Education Campaign, developed with support from SBIC member Southern California Edison, the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Education, and others. The third edition is underwritten in part the following SBIC members: BASF Corp., the International Masonry Institute, and the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Assn.

The High-Performance School Buildings Resource and Strategy Guide is available online at or by calling SBIC at (202) 628-7400. SBIC members are entitled to a 15 percent discount. Special bulk pricing is also available for those who would like to distribute the book to their constituents. The Council offers a two-day workshop based on the Resource and Strategy Guide. Contact Sophia Greenbaum for more information on how to bring a workshop to your area.

The Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC) is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to unite and inspire the buildings industry toward higher performance-through education, outreach, advocacy, and the mutual exchange of ideas. Council membership is open to private and public organizations and individuals who share this mission. For more information about the Council's products, services and members, visit or call (202) 628-7400.

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