Public School Standards & Guidelines For New School

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Public School Standards & Guidelines For New School

Transcript Of Public School Standards & Guidelines For New School





I. Design Process Principles


II. High Performance Principles


III. School Safety + Security


IV. Site Planning


V. Building Exterior Envelope


VI. Interior: Design + Principles


Interior: Equipment + Furnishings


VII. HVAC + Plumbing Systems


VIII. Electrical + Data/Technology Systems


IX. Codes + References




This document has been developed by the Department of Education (DOE) with assistance from practicing design professionals to assist school units and their architects in public school design. Under the Essential Programs and Services Model, the State will typically participate in much of the debt service cost for Major Capital Construction and Renovation that has received State Board of Education approval. However, high valuation units may need to contribute to debt service. Thus, each school system should review their individual status with the State’s finance division prior to beginning the Major Capital process. With this deep financial involvement by the State, the Department of Education has a responsibility to assure that projects meet certain criteria including durability, economy, and quality.
It has become very evident that although the State has declining enrollments, there is still an extensive need for new and renovated school facilities. Many of the older schools in Maine do not meet the program needs of today’s complex curricula. The older schools tend to be costly to maintain, very energy inefficient, and noncode-compliant. There are also many safety issues within and outside of older school buildings.
One of the major objectives of the State is to address as many projects as possible within the limited financial resources at both the State and local levels. To this end the State wants to avoid unnecessarily expensive designs, unapproved assemblies, and products that carry premium costs.
Objectives that were considered in preparing this document include, but are not limited to, operating costs, future expansion, flexibility, maintenance costs, and capital renewal costs.
The State recognizes that school buildings will differ because of each school system’s educational program and internal organization. The design of the building will also be determined by the school site, traffic patterns, and other external factors. Although the one-design-fits-all approach is not acceptable, the following document attempts to standardize quality considerations and design simplicity (indicated as Required OR Recommended). Local units that wish to exceed the State’s size standards shall do so at local expense, paying a percentage of the impacted line items throughout the budget that reflect the “local only” square footage share of the total project. Also, school units that wish to incorporate architectural elements that exceed these standards (indicated as premium) shall do so at local expense without State subsidy support.
The State has a commitment to the development of quality educational spaces that will meet the educational needs of students in Maine schools. Spaces and buildings should be flexible in order that present and future programs can be housed appropriately to meet the needs of an ever-changing public school curriculum.
These standards and guidelines will be used by state officials when reviewing school designs and drawings. The State further recognizes that some of the premium elements in this booklet cannot be incorporated into a school without additional local funding beyond the limited state construction budget.

This document is intended to stimulate discussion. We hope these discussions will lead to the inclusion of the most appropriate elements that meet the unique needs of a specific project.
The State recognizes that there will be constant modifications to this document as new technologies and products enter the construction market. Design professionals are encouraged to discuss new approaches, technologies, and materials with State officials.
Many design decisions should be based on a “life-cycle analysis” that considers energy use, first cost, operational cost, equipment life, and replacement cost. In addition, consideration should be given to materials that can be recycled and are not hazardous to the environment. The Department hopes this document assists in the development of quality school projects that are both highperforming and affordable. For further information contact the Director of School Facilities at the Department of Education.


State-funded major capital improvement projects must have a pre-design conference with the Department of Education that is attended by representatives from the school unit, their architect and engineers, and the Department of Education’s School Facilities Team. The pre-design conference must be completed prior to beginning any educational programming design work.
The Department of Education encourages an integrated design process that combines the owner’s project requirements with the Department of Education’s Standards and Guidelines to provide the design team with greater clarity as to the needs of both the owner and Department of Education. This pre-design conference will bring the various stakeholders together at the beginning of the process and will stress the importance of maintaining collaboration and Department of Education’s oversight throughout.
The Department of Education recognizes that development of the plans and specifications for a new school is a partnership between the State of Maine and officials at the local level led by their architects of record. Either party making decisions without the involvement of the other will lead to misunderstandings, conflicts and possibly to a project that becomes delayed or rejected. A cooperative approach will ensure a smooth process.
A pre-design conference with the Department of Education (DOE) can only be held after the owner has completed all of the requirements that will allow the Department of Education to understand the school unit’s goals and allow the owner to understand DOE’s project requirements.
Prior to the pre-design conference, the school unit should have completed the following items: •• Held an initial introductory meeting with the Department of Education •• Appointed a local building committee •• Selected an architect •• Completed a ten-year enrollment study •• Developed detailed educational specifications •• Reviewed the Department’s Capital Project publications
The pre-design conference agenda will include: •• Review the educational goals outlined in the owner’s educational specifications. •• Review and establish the grade levels and enrollment target for the project. •• Review DOE’s Building Standards and Guidelines for New Construction. •• Review and answer questions regarding DOE’s process. •• Review and answer questions regarding the State’s timeline and schedule. •• Discuss and identify potential “State/Local” and “Local Only” cost parameters and the impacts that


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those may have on the project’s ability to be approved by the State Board of Education or the local referendum process. •• Discuss general goals for energy conservation and high performance building concepts. •• Outline an integrated design approach with continuous DOE involvement, review, and approvals. •• Review possible areas for value engineering and life cycle analysis. •• Review obligations for energy modeling, life cycle analysis, detailed cost estimates, and value engineering. The owner’s architect and engineers should consider options for streamlining the design and construction process. A pre-design conference is an opportunity for the school unit and DOE to talk about methodologies that can simplify construction through the use of efficient engineering systems, designs, and realistic construction schedules.
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The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) encourages high performance schools for Maine communities. A high performance school is designed to conserve natural resources, save money, and improve the overall health and well-being of students, staff, and community. Emphasis is placed on low-impact site design, reduced impact on local infrastructure, energy efficiency, water use reduction, non-toxic materials, waste management, indoor air quality, efficient operations, and community engagement.
High performance school design principles can be broken into three general areas of emphasis: •• Integrative design process •• Human health and comfort •• Demand reduction
These principles are woven throughout this document as both required strategies and suggestions for premium strategies. Resources on high performance school design are included at the end of this section to provide further guidance to project teams.
One of the key ingredients to creating a high performance school is to require an integrative design process. The integrative design process is a collaborative approach that includes the full team in decision-making from project inception through design, construction, and operations. The process focuses on a whole systems design approach: recognition that all the components of the building work interdependently and affect the performance of one another.
A few simple steps to implementing an integrative design process include:
•• Set sustainability goals with the owner at project inception. •• Conduct a full team meeting at the beginning of each project phase. •• Include high performance design principles as an agenda item at all project meetings. •• Incorporate life cycle costs and operating costs into the project decision-making process.
Buildings are often budgeted on first costs alone. Life cycle costing takes a more integrated approach, factoring in energy savings over time, durability and reduced maintenance of systems and materials, and enhanced occupant health and productivity. High performance design principles place emphasis on looking at the building as a whole over time to minimize energy use, maximize cost savings, and create comfortable and healthy spaces for the occupants.


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Learning environments have a huge impact on student performance, health, and overall well-being. High performance schools can provide high quality indoor air and thermal, visual, and acoustical comfort. Emphasis is placed on daylight in classrooms and views to the outdoors, HVAC and lighting controls, non-toxic materials, enhanced filtration, carbon dioxide sensors, cross-contamination prevention, natural ventilation, and increased outdoor airflow rates in mechanically ventilated spaces.
Benefits of high performance schools can include improved student performance, increased student health, reduced student absentee rates, and greater staff satisfaction. Best practices include providing green spaces, open spaces, and shared community spaces in the building; reusing and recycling materials during construction and occupancy; and creating an environment that is a community teaching tool for high performance building and sustainable living.
High performance schools are designed to reduce demand on energy and natural resources, to optimize the performance of building systems, and to reduce the overall operating costs of the school. Emphasis is placed on energy efficient mechanical systems, high performance envelope design, low-flow water fixtures, renewable energy systems, lighting and daylight controls, and energy efficient equipment and appliances.
Green schools use an average of 33% less energy and 32% less water than conventionally designed schools.
—Greening America’s Schools: Costs and Benefits by Gregory Kats, 2006
As part of an integrative design process, energy modeling and commissioning will confirm that all systems and components are integrated to achieve optimum results and are installed and operated as designed. One strategy may offset another. For instance, daylight sensors may cost more up front as an individual strategy, but once energy savings and associated reduced mechanical loads are considered, the team may realize that they can save money by selecting a smaller mechanical system.
Practices to optimize systems integration and increase efficiency include energy modeling and building commissioning. Design-phase energy modeling is a tool to use early and throughout the design process to test a variety of energy efficiency measures to determine the best way to align systems and components. Commissioning also offers an opportunity to make adjustments in the field and to train occupants on how to use the systems, improving efficiency even further.
Employing high performance principles such as demand reduction, energy efficiency, and system optimization results in climate appropriate solutions, buildings that have low-to-no impact on local infrastructure, and an overall reduction in the project’s carbon footprint.
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DepartmentEducationDesign ProcessSpacesDocument