SLATERPAULL attends Green Schools Summit 2013

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Ara Massey, LEED AP BD+C
Sustainable Design Manager


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Inside Scoop on Designing Flexible Space, Presented by Brianne Smith - RB+B Architects: This session focused on the greenest spaces being those that only get built once.  Flexibly of space was the key component noted that make great schools now that are also great schools in 50 years.  One of the lessons learned shared by Brianne was that ease of classroom layout change is critical; operable partitions are cumbersome to move (and create acoustical issues) and furniture children can move themselves boosts self-esteem in age groups that have limited ability to impact their environment. Changing atmosphere in the classroom also helps keeps students engaged.  A School Flexibility Survey conducted by RB+B of 12 Colorado Front Range schools reveled many insights such as classroom use patterns and a preference for shared small group learning spaces with large doors so the classrooms can be made larger as needed. View the full study at:

Achieving Intended Performance from School Buildings, Presented byJarrel Wenger – Engineering Economics & Jim Bagrowski – Engineering Economics: The benefits of LEED Fundamental and Enhanced as well as Retro and Ongoing Commissioning were covered in this session.  The presenters covered the history of commissioning from its inception on Navy battle ships to the 1990’s when it started become protocol for Laboratory design.  The complexity of buildings today, essentially making each one a prototype, would benefit from commissioning to ensure reliability and longevity of the buildings systems.  Just as cars have on-board diagnostics, the industry is moving towards ongoing, monitor based commissioning to address performance degradation over time. Some notable takeaways were that approximately 75% of the commissioning process is spent on controls coordination and that while the LEED Enhanced Commissioning point requires a systems manual, systems training should be added to ensure the building operators have a level of comfort with the controllability of their building.