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High Performance Certification Program (HPCP)

What is a high performance building?

A high performance building is energy efficient, has low short-term and long-term life-cycle costs, is a healthy place for its occupants, and has a relatively low impact on the environment. High performance buildings use key resources, such as energy, water, materials, and land, much more efficiently than buildings simply built to code or through a standard design process. If you are planning on applying for a BEST grant and asking for more than twenty-five percent of the total funding for your project to come from the State, you may be required to comply with the High Performance Certification Program (HPCP) per 24-30-1305.5 C.R.S.

High Performance Certification Program (HPCP)

24-30-1305.5 C.R.S. states that: A facility that is substantially renovated, designed or constructed with state moneys or with moneys guaranteed or insured by a state agency or state institution of higher education and such money constitutes at least twenty-five percent of the project cost must comply with the High Performance Certification Program (HPCP) policy adopted by the Office of the State Architect (OSA) if the following applies:

  • The new facility, addition, or renovation project contains 5,000 or more of building square feet, and;
  • The project includes an HVAC system, and;
  • If a building undergoing substantial renovation cannot achieve high performance due to either the historical nature of the building or because the increased costs of renovating the building cannot be recouped from decreased operational costs within 15 years, an accredited professional shall assert in writing that, as much as possible, the substantial renovation has been consistent with the high performance standard certification program;
    • "Substantial renovation" means any renovation with a cost that exceeds twenty-five percent of the value of the building

High Performance Certification Program Requires:

  • The Department of Personnel and Administration, Office of the State Architect has determined the following three guidelines as meeting the High Performance Certification Program (HPCP) requirements per C.R.S.24-30-1305.5; the U.S. Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - New Construction (USGBC LEEDTM-NC) guideline with Gold as the targeted certification level; and the Green Building Initiative (GBI), Green Globes guideline with Three Globes the targeted certification level; and for the Colorado Department of Education, K-12 construction, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (US-CHPS) is an optional guideline with Verified Leader as the targeted certification level.

Additional information:

  • Projects are strongly encouraged to meet OSA's Sustainable Priorities.
  • If the increased costs incurred by the HPCP exceed 5% of the total cost of the project, a BEST Regional Program Manager will be required to review it.
  • If the project qualifies for the HPCP, then the design team is required to have a qualified sustainability consultant included. Ensure your project budget can cover this cost.
  • In all cases high performance design, scope, and cost must be considered in all grant applications.
  • Please contact the Regional Program Manager if there is uncertainty about conforming with the HPCP.

How do you design a high performing school?

The design process starts with cooperation among building owners, facility managers, users, designers, and construction professionals through a collaborative team approach. Each design decision regarding site orientation, window location and treatments, lighting, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, insulation, material selection, and controls must be integrated throughout the design, construction, and operation in order to create a high performance building.

  • The project considers the true cost of a building through the life-cycle assessment of each individual building component
  • The project is developed to minimize demolition and construction wastes
  • The project will use products that minimize waste in their production or disposal
  • The building can be easily reconfigured and reused as the use of the building changes
  • The process will educate building occupants and users to the philosophies, strategies, and controls included in the design, construction, and maintenance of the project

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