2016 Green Schools Summit | U.S. Green Building Council
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2016 Green Schools Summit

Starts On - November 4, 2016 - 7:30am
Ends On - November 4, 2016 - 6:00pm
6901 Wadsworth Boulevard
Arvada , CO 80003

The Green Schools Summit is an annual education and networking event hosted by USGBC Colorado and organized by a dedicated group of volunteers from the Green Schools Initiative.

It is Colorado's only conference dedicated to convening green building industry professionals, school decision makers, educators and parents. The event provides a truly unique opportunity for open and productive dialogue on how to create better learning environments for our kids.

Online ticket sales have ended. There will be limited registration at the door. Please arrive early to assure a pass will be available.

Summit Theme: "Beyond the Walls"

In addition to their positive environmental attributes, green schools support the health (physical, social, intellectual) of students, teachers, and staff by providing a healthy, safe, comfortable, and functional physical environment.

The Summit will explore how to think outside the box, or Beyond the Walls, through making connections beyond the classroom, beyond the school building, beyond the district, beyond physical and virtual borders, and beyond convention.

Time Beyond the Classroom Beyond the Big District Beyond the Basics
7:30-8:30 a.m.
Registration open/Continental breakfast/Visit with exhibitors
8:30-9 a.m.
Welcome & Opening Plenary: Introducing Jim Owens, Director of Capital Construction for CDE
9-9:30 a.m. Checking in with new Schools in Colorado: A Few Years Later (B.E.S.T.) Cracking the Code: Deciphering the 2015 IECC
9:30-10 a.m. Thermal Ice Storage Technology: Fossil Ridge High School Case Study
10-10:15 a.m.
Break/Visit with exhibitors
10:15-10:45 a.m. Building for Student Success in BVSD: You've Got to See It to Believe it Do Green Schools Teach? Achieving High Energy Savings in K-12: An Analysis of Data in over 55 Schools
10:45-11:15 a.m. Teaching a New Dog Old Tricks: Learning from Historic Schools
11:15-11:45 a.m.
Break/Visit with exhibitors
11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
12:15-12:45 p.m.
Awards Celebration
12:45-1:15 p.m.
Break/Visit with exhibitors
1:15-2:15 p.m. Wellness and Sustainability in Curriculum Getting Energy Projects Done in Rural Schools - The Colorado Energy Office Savings for Schools Program Racing to the Finish: Fast-tracking School Design and Construction
2:15-2:30 p.m.
Break/Visit with exhibitors
2:30-3 p.m. Joe Shoemaker Expeditionary School Constraints as Opportunities for Transformation: Peri-urban India The Resilience - Sustainability Nexus: Complexity and Contradiction
3-3:30 p.m. Green Your School by Following Your Yellow Brick Road Enriching the Nontraditional Classroom: Renaissance Charter School
3:30-4:15 p.m.
Closing Keynote: "The Path Forward" - Senator Mike Johnston
4:15-6:15 p.m.
Happy Hour/Visit with exhibitors

Session Descriptions

Opening Plenary: Introducing Jim Owens, Director of Capital Construction for CDE
Jim has led Teams engaged in facilities planning, design, construction, maintenance and disposal for public and private sector owners around the world for the past 35 years. As a commissioned U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer, he led Team based organizations engaged in planning, designing and constructing/modernizing facilities such as hospitals, schools, housing, food service, transportation, aviation support, utilities, runways, road, rail & waterfront structures. In July 2016, Jim joined the Colorado Department of Education as Director of Capital Construction. In this capacity he works with a dynamic team managing the states competitive grant programs for capital improvements across 178 school districts.

Checking in with new Schools in Colorado: A Few Years Later (B.E.S.T.)
Speakers: John McHugh, Delta County; Steve Wilson, Big Sandy 100J School District; Frank Reeves, Former Genoa-Hugo superintendent; Kim Walter, Eagle County Charter Academy, Eagle County

  • This will be a panel discussion between 4 schools (3) rural and a charter school after the completion of a BEST grant for new school construction. The panel will discuss the process after the grant was awarded from design, construction and the targeting of LEED gold status. The panel has developed talking points which will be identified and then the panelists will discuss how the particular talking point impacted their project.

Cracking the Code: Deciphering the 2015 IECC
Speakers: Jim Dent, Weifield Group Contracting; Kevin Perri, Ambient Energy

  • For the first time the 2015 IECC requires inspection of the energy related systems in buildings. Our presentation discusses the enforcement strategies of several of the jurisdictions in Colorado. Our presentation provides insight on the impact the required commissioning will have on project closeout. Our presentation also highlights the most salient changes in the Code as they relate to specific mechanical, electrical and envelope systems.

Thermal Ice Storage Technology: Fossil Ridge High School Case Study
Speaker: Terry Andrews, CALMAC; Mike Levison, TRANE

  • This session is a technical presentation case study regarding Ice Storage Technology as a means of cooling in Poudre School District, and how it can be used to save energy and money. Ideally it would be a joint presentation on this technology with Terry Andrews, a representative from CALMAC, and somebody from Poudre Schools. This presentation would offer two perspectives, one from the equipment manufacture, and one from the end users of the technology. Jerry Garretson, the Building Maintenance Manager from Poudre has been contacted by David Mickey to line up a qualified speaker.

Building for Student Success in BVSD: You've Got to See It to Believe It
Speakers: Phillip Saieg, McKinstry; Kiffany Lychock, Boulder Valley School District; Ghita L. Carroll, Boulder Valley School District

  • The Boulder Valley School District has embarked on a unique journey that has focused High Performing, Innovative and Sustainable Building Design as a way to bridge the Bond program work (Building for Student Success) with the District's Strategic plan, The Success Effect. This session will showcase how building environments are impacting teaching and learning and how we are improving building performance through data visualization tools in real-time.

Do Green Schools Teach?
Speakers: Cassie White, Colorado State University; Laura Malinin, Colorado State University

  • Students learn from their teachers, peers, and through engagement in physical settings. Green schools have an opportunity to function as “third teachers” to improve eco-literacy, foster environmental stewardship, and promote environmentally sustainable behaviors of their occupants. But how effective are school buildings and grounds at teaching these concepts? And do they align with the school’s mission and curriculum? We present an analysis of LEED accredited schools to identify design strategies commonly employed as “teaching tools.” Case examples are introduced to highlight best practices and illustrate areas where research is needed to more effectively use green schools as “third teachers.”

Teaching a New Dog Old Tricks: Learning from Historic Schools
Speakers: Jane Crisler, Humphries Poli Architects; Natalie Lord, Humphries Poli Architects

  • Schools designed before central cooling have many inherent green characteristics out of necessity. Today we are trying to re-learn those lessons and combine them with modern technologies and building systems. Older buildings have a reputation for poor energy performance and comfort, however this is often an issue of bad alterations and a lack of understanding of the original operational strategies. The presenters will use project case studies to compare and contrast their work on historic school buildings with new school construction and what "old tricks" can be implemented in our new schools to create a more resilient learning environment.

Achieving High Energy Savings in K-12: An Analysis of Data in over 55 Schools
Speakers: Ryan Meyer, The Weidt Group; Julia Gauthier, The Weidt Group

  • Colorado schools are achieving high levels of energy savings. This presentation reviews the real-world application of strategies in over 55 Colorado schools and how schools are working to meet energy efficiency goals with practical solutions. School types reviewed include elementary, middle and high school buildings for new construction, additions, and major renovations—projects totaling nearly five million square feet. Trends to meet efficiency goals and shifting energy code requirements are also highlighted with construction completions from 2002 to 2015. A case study will explore how designs have progressed in response to codes and higher school district efficiency goals.

Wellness and Sustainability in Curriculum
Speakers: Ara Massey, Hord Coplan Macht; Gargi Argarwala, Author; Kathy Croasdale, Center for Resource Conservation; Sarah Spencer-Workman, Norescot

  • Studies show that when students are actively engaged while learning, more of their brains are involved, which helps them learn a concept or skill faster and more thoroughly, retain it longer, and recall it more quickly. This panel will discuss the following variety of strategies used to actively engage students while teaching the value of environmental stewardship and wellness: LEED Innovation In Design: School as a Teaching Tool achieved at Weld 6 Prairie Heights Middle School; Yoga Curriculum Developed at Aurora Public Schools Moseley and Vista Peak; ReNew Our Schools Energy Conservation Competition (various school districts)

Getting Energy Projects Done in Rural Schools - The Colorado Energy Office Savings for Schools Program
Speaker: Michael Turner, Colorado Energy Office; Susan Blythe, Brendle Group; Kurt Naber with Legacy Academy; Marty Foster, Weld REJ5 School District

  • This session will explore the barriers and solutions that rural schools are facing when trying to implement energy and water projects. Experiences from the first year of the Energy Savings for Schools Program will be used to illustrate common issues that arise when trying to get projects started and how they can be addressed. In addition, resources for schools and those helping schools will be discussed, including an online energy management forum and free technical assistance.

Racing to the Finish: Fast-tracking School Design and Construction
Speakers: Sam Miller, Denver Public Schools; Jessica Blanford, MOA Architecture; Tom Stone, Adolfsen and Petersen Construction; Charlie Hager, JVA Inc.

  • With over $4 billion in school bonds on the 2016 ballot and State population growth at an all-time high, the race to build new schools is faster than ever before. School districts, designers and builders are all working together to find solutions to speed up project delivery without sacrificing quality while staying within budget. Come hear a panel discussion using Denver Public Schools’ FNE Campus 28 as a case study. This $35 million K-8 is slated to open in August of 2017 and expected to take 18 months from the beginning of design to project completion.

Joe Shoemaker Expeditionary School
Speaker: Cathy Bellem, Anderson Mason Dale; Susan Martini, Denver Public Schools

  • Before opening as the Joe Shoemaker School in August of 2015, four years of planning, design and construction took place for a school site known as Hampden Heights. The project was mired in heated public controversy over land use, bisected by a significant public storm system improvement, and designed in a vacuum -years away from the selection of the school administration who would live in the building and create a vision for the educational community. Propelled by the rare advantage of a site on Cherry Creek, the project turned negative obstacles into driving opportunities; attracting municipal and non-profit partnerships as well as expeditionary experts to climb on board in realizing an exceptional expeditionary school facility.

Green Your School by Following Your Yellow Brick Road
Speakers: Lee Smit, McKinstry; LeeAnn Westfall, Douglas County School District; Courtney Kuntz, Douglas County School District; Michael Cservenak, Pueblo City Schools

  • Declaring a target, an ideal, for becoming green helps provide the pathways for an organization to start becoming "green." That target can vary greatly, depending on many factors such as: where the organization is beginning, who's on board, what obstacles are lurking along the way, and what resources are available to aid in the journey. Building the right pathways, with solid and realistic goals, gives an organization the opportunity to succeed and continue growing into true green. But what does this really mean? What does it take to get there? And where can we find the answers to all the challenges we may face along the way? Count on the visionaries of the past to provide a wonderful guide to our future!

Constraints as Opportunities for Transformation: Peri-urban India
Speaker: Shubhra Raje, shubhra raje_built environments

  • Using the case study of the Aparna School in rural/urban (“rur-ban”) town of Jharsuguda in central India, the talk will outline an approach to sustainability and local empowerment where the limitations in site, material, labor and infrastructure resulted in: 1) building without waste (frugality) 2) doing more with less (multivalence) 3) seeking regional precedence to respond to immediate site and broader climatic conditions (typology) 4) transforming the construction process into a learning lab for both the builders and the users (building as learning)

Enriching the Nontraditional Classroom: Renaissance Charter School
Speakers: Peter Ewers, Ewers Architecture; Rachel Scarborough, Mundus Bishop Design; Ryan Stuart, Renaissance Secondary School Board President

  • Renaissance Charter School is an expeditionary, project based school with a new middle school under construction. This presentation and panel discussion will provide an intimate look at the design process that was used to create a building that responds to the school’s mission. The architect, landscape architect, administrator and board president will present the goals, achievements and difficulties of the design process, with emphasis placed on energy efficiency and other sustainability goals, plus creation of an indoor/outdoor education environment to ensure students regularly step beyond the walls, all within a limited budget and a short schedule.

The Resilience - Sustainability Nexus: Complexity and Contradiction
Speakers: Paul C. Hutton, Cuningham Group; Kari-elin Mock, Cuningham Group; Valerie Walsh, Walsh Sustainability Group; Brian Lamer, St. Vrain Valley School District

  • In recent years there has been a growing emphasis on Resilient Design. In the realm of Green Schools, resilience focuses on student safety from violent threats and storm sheltering. It may also include thinking of a school as a community shelter. Designing these features into green schools comes at a cost. Now more than ever school design and construction budgets are stretched to the breaking point. How will we balance the competition for budgetary and design resources between Resilient Design and traditional Sustainable objectives such as energy, water, and material efficiency, or student wellness?

Closing Keynote: "The Path Forward" - Senator Mike Johnston
Despite some hard earned victories in both energy and education, the climb ahead of us still feels daunting. How can we build an ambitious clean energy future for Colorado while also securing sustainable sources of education funding? Johnston makes the case that lessons from our past can inform a hopeful path for our future.

"Maker Space" Tours & Opening Reception

New in 2016, maker space tours and an opening reception will be held the day before the Summit on Thursday, Nov. 3.

Tickets: Tickets can be added to the conference registration. Tickets only for the opening reception are $20. Maker space tour tickets are $35 and include a ticket to the opening reception.

Maker Space Tours

  • Time: 1-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3

Sharing the 2016 Green Schools Summit theme of "Beyond the Walls", these "maker spaces" tours will show a variety of programs that strive to remove barriers to creativity and encourage design thinking for learners of all ages.

Travel details: A hybrid tour bus, provided by Douglas County School District, will depart at 1 p.m and take tour participants to all locations. We'll announce parking information and the pickup location soon.

Tour participants will be dropped off at their vehicles. We encourage participants to attend the Opening Reception following the tours. Garage parking is available at the Opening Reception.

Please note that all tour participants must take the bus, since there will not be an option to drive yourself to each site.


Roots Elementary School and Vickers Boys & Girls Club

On a site very important to the surrounding community, Roots Elementary is a charter school that states it will "knock down the walls of the traditional classroom" through it personalized learning approach. Their new facility features a centralized area called "The Grove" where students can focus on individual projects. Next door is the Vickers Boys & Girls Club, which has a variety of spaces that flexibly support learning and exploration beyond the school day.



Located in a beautifully renovated former Safeway grocery building, ARTGYM is a unique place that offers creative workspace on a subscription basis to practicing adult artists. ARTGYM demonstrates how a wide variety of arts such as culinary, dance, painting, photography, printmaking, painting, jewelry and more can successfully coexist in one place, while not in a traditional educational institution setting.


Corkins Center at Graland Country Day School

As one of just two schools in the country that competes in the Gates Invention and Innovation Competition, Graland is deeply committed to this program for their middle school students, carrying the motto "Tinker, create, innovate." The new Corkins Center provides a prominent new lab space for the Gates program, while also creating a new campus main entry, library, media lab, and other educational spaces.


Inworks at CU Denver

A new initiative for the University of Colorado, InWorks seeks to foster interdisciplinary innovation and design thinking in order for students to begin creatively solving the most challenging problems that face our world. Inworks is located in a renovated and open ground floor space with a variety of specialized equipment and workspaces to support project-based exploration, such as 3D printers, a laser cutter, an electrical lab, a biology lab, and a sophisticated and interactive video conference room. (This portion of the tour is planned to include a hands-on activity for attendees!)

Opening Reception

  • Hosted by USGBC Colorado and Teknion
  • Time: 5-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3
  • Location: Citron Workspaces Showroom - 3001 Brighton Blvd. #468, Denver, CO 80216

Join the Green Schools Summit Committee and conferencegoers for an evening of drinks, small dishes, creative desserts and information about Maker Spaces in the Denver area.

Show Your Support for Sustainable Schools

At this year's summit, network with industry professionals and school leaders as an exhibitor or demonstrate your commitment to healthy, sustainable schools as a sponsor.

Learn more about how to become an exhibitor or sponsor. Questions? Please email Dannie Miller.

Gold Sponsors

mkk zurn

Silver Sponsors

dryvit group14 haselden mohawk mep nv5 sage-glass security-grade shamrock shaw-contract-logo tandus view-glass

Certified Sponsors

anderson-mason-dale-logo fci hord humphries interface jva-consulting-logo lighting-agency-logo mckinstry rbb recreation rk-water solar-green treanor wave-engineering weidt we-oneil

Supporting Sponsors

  • Creative Learning Systems
  • Conserve-A-Watt Lighting, Inc.
  • DLR Group
  • Kumar & Associates
  • OfficeScapes
  • 2WR Architects
  • Wave Engineering
  • YR&G