Government Lead by Example: Public Schools

ECMD works with the Public School Facilities Authority (PSFA), Public Education Department, and school districts throughout the state. Since 2006, the High Performance (HiP) Schools Task Force was created and the New Mexico legislature awarded $4 million to the PSFA for public school projects that increase energy efficiency. The HiP Schools task force was created to address energy efficiency in public schools, while the PSFA has additional funds for energy efficiency activities in design, construction, and monitoring.

Executive Order 2006-001 directed a process be undertaken to address energy efficiency and green building design standards for public schools. As a result, the HiP Schools task force was created and facilitated by ECMD. A January 2007 report summarizes the work of the HiP Schools Task Force, recommending that a pilot study be done. The Task Force plans to monitor five school construction or renovation projects selected as pilot projects. PSFA will provide guidance to the selection process and criteria to be used. The pilot projects will be selected from a pool of interested school districts. The approaches may include:

• Energy reduction target;
• Energy reduction target with full commissioning;
• USGBC-certified LEED Silver.

The favorable results of the pilot projects will be used to refine and replicate high performance buildings as common practice in school districts throughout New Mexico.

Following the 2007 legislative session, $4 million was allocated by the Governor and Legislature to the Public School Capital Outlay Council (PSCOC) for energy-efficient school projects. In July 2007, the PSCOC designated these funds for award to selected school projects, with the promise of energy cost savings through sustainable design. The HiP Schools Task Force serves in an advisory capacity to monitor design processes and energy savings results through post-occupancy review.

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