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LHS is going green

Date: 3/22/2010

An energy efficient school is planned for the new high school but there are additional incentives to the town for going "green." In January 2010, the School Building Committee (SBC) held a "green" meeting. As explained by our owner's project manager, Joslin-Lesser and Associates, and our architects from the Office of Michael Rosenfeld (OMR), the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) will incentivize Longmeadow if we build a high performance school! Furthermore, a high performance school is a healthier school, both for its inhabitants and the community.

As described by the MSBA, "a high performance green school has three distinct attributes: it is less costly to operate than a conventional school; it is designed to enhance the learning and working environment; and it conserves important resources such as energy and water. A high performance green school is designed to optimize the durability of the facility and to utilize high efficiency, 'right sized' heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment and lighting systems. A high performance green school is thermally, visually, and acoustically comfortable. High quality indoor air is another important feature of a green school. A high performance green school has an environmentally responsive site."

The MSBA created the Massachusetts High Performance Green Schools Guidelines (MA CHPS). The MSBA developed a point system where a newly designed or renovated building that meets the MA CHPS criteria increases the state's reimbursement commitment. The MSBA provides a scorecard, granting an additional 2 percent reimbursement incentive for a public school construction project that achieves certain MA CHPS point thresholds. The MA CHPS scorecard is divided into six sections: Site, Water, Energy, Materials, Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and Policy & Operations.

The completed Longmeadow High School will be designed as a community use facility, with sustainable orientation and sighting considerations to make use of solar gain and daylighting, wind protection and breezes; it will exceed the energy code requirements and have superior energy performance integrated throughout the building; it will make use of energy management systems to monitor the energy consumption; and it will have recycled, reclaimed, bio-based and certified wood materials used in construction. During construction there will be extensive site waste management systems in place for recycling and reuse, HEPA vacuuming and dust protection. Overall, energy consumption should be reduced by 20-25 percent. This commitment to energy efficiency not only makes the school a better place to be, but has a truly positive and valuable impact on you the taxpayer.

A copy of the Longmeadow MA CHPS scorecard can be found as part of the Schematic Design submission. A copy of the submission is available on the School Building Committee (SBC) Web site or in hard copy at Storrs Library.

More information about this project can be found on the SBC's Web site at and on the MSBA's website at

Robert Barkett, Co-Chair, Longmeadow SBC and OMR Architects