Summary of County’s Efforts in Green Building


School Division Design Strategies for

Renovations and New Construction


Environmental Quality Strategies

·          Water Efficient Toilets and Shower Heads – We have a replacement schedule for all non-compliant fixtures that will be completed next year.

·          Carpet – We only use closed cell foam in carpets and only carpet libraries and offices, to help reduce indoor air quality issues.  All other spaces are tiled.

·          We are currently investigating the feasibility of expanding our use of “green” cleaning and floor finish supplies.


Energy Efficiency – Day Lighting Strategies

·          Day Lighting – All new classrooms will have a significant amount of lighting furnished by the sun through low-E energy efficient windows and roof monitors.

·          HVAC Systems – Variable speed fan and pump motors are used.  Gas fired condensing boilers and heat (wheel) recovery systems are used in new and replacement installations.

·          Reduce the lighting levels in halls.

·          Replace all incandescent exit signs with LED fixtures.

·          Light Fixtures – Energy efficient fixtures and lamps are always used.  We have a replacement schedule that will be completed in three years.

·          Energy Controls – Direct Digital Controls (DDC) are used to limit energy usage, cycle equipment, and control hall and exterior lights.  We are upgrading all existing controls that are not DDC and that upgrade should be completed in three years.  All but four of our facilities are accessed through the WAN.

·          Bio Filters – Whenever possible, we use biofilters to improve the quality of the water that leaves our sites.

·          Increased Roof Insulation – Roof replacement projects and new construction requires an R-30 insulation rating.

·          Low VOC Paint – All interior paint in new construction and remodels is required to be low VOC.


Sustainable And Green Building Design is a major part of the school division’s overall Environmental Strategy.  The second major component is a commitment to implement a system-wide Environmental Management System (EMS).  In doing so, the school system became the first school division in the state to be accepted as a participant in the DEQ's Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP). VEEP provides positive recognition and other incentives to facilities actively implementing pollution prevention based EMS. The school division has committed to developing and maintaining an ongoing system for improving its overall environmental performance.  The School Board officially adopted an Environmental Management Policy in January, 2006 that includes a commitment to compliance with environmental requirements, pollution prevention and continuous overall environmental improvement. As part of its EMS, the school division has developed an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program, a Chemical Hygiene Plan for Instructional Areas, a refrigerant management plan, and a number of standard operating procedures and training programs that aid in ensuring compliance and pollution prevention.  Attached is a summary of our EMS, which shows how this will blend with and enhance our ongoing desire to become an environmental leader in our community.


Energy management is the third area of concentration using the strategies listed above, the school division has been able to control our energy consumption even though our building use has increased.  Virtually every school now has summer school and building rental usage throughout the year, which was not the case five years ago.  As an illustration of  this success, consider the following: The schools consumed less natural gas and fuel oil, per SF in 2005 than in 2000, and experienced a modest increase of 1 KWH of electricity, per square foot, during the same time frame.  Schools accomplished this by using the strategies noted above and with the use of energy audits, which involved nighttime building inspections by encouraging the building occupants to conserve energy. With student, faculty, and staff assistance, the 2005/06 over-all energy consumption was less than in 2004/05, even though we made several changes to buildings, including constructing a new, large gym at Hollymead, an addition at Henley, and an auxiliary gym at Monticello High School.


Environmental Management System (EMS)


Albemarle County Public Schools has developed and implemented a School Division-wide Environmental Management System (EMS) that is recognized by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP) at the Environmental Enterprise “E2” level.  In January of 2006, the School Board officially adopted an Environmental Management Policy that clearly states a commitment to compliance, pollution prevention, and continual overall environmental improvement. The EMS incorporates compliance and pollution prevention-initiatives into its goals, objectives, and targets.  An EMS Steering Committee has been established, which guides the overall EMS effort, as well as an EMS Core Team, which is responsible for EMS implementation.


Below is a summary of some of the compliance and pollution prevention initiatives and programs that have been developed and implemented as part of the EMS:




This compliance program ensures that School Division maintenance personnel follow the strict ozone-depleting substance EPA requirements listed in 40 CFR Part 82


The “Small Quantity Generator (SQG)” Status of hazardous waste for Building Services and for the Vehicle Maintenance Facility have been changed to the appropriate generator status for both sites, which is “Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG)”.  Though there are fewer and less strict requirements for CESQGs, all storage drums are labeled and stored with secondary containment as a best management practice, and all hazardous wastes, including PCB ballasts, oil-based paint, and parts washer fluids, are disposed of properly.

·         Asbestos Management

An asbestos management program has been developed and implemented, which ensures that all Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requirements are followed, including the required training for all maintenance and custodial staff.

The implementation of the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC Plan) has begun.  Signs containing a standard operating procedure (SOP) for what to do in the case of a fuel spill have been made and are to be posted at each fuel site. In addition, all affected sites have been equipped with adequate spill equipment.  Further training and implementation of the plan’s procedures are scheduled for the Fall of 2006.

·         Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) for Instructional Areas

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all school laboratories to have a written plan containing procedures for handling, storing, and disposing of hazardous substances.  Albemarle County Public Schools has developed a CHP, which is now fully implemented in all science laboratories where potentially hazardous chemicals are stored and handled.

·         Drinking Water Management

A program has been developed to manage the drinking water at our 7 schools that are on wells.  A contaminant-sampling database has been created to track testing required by the Virginia Department of Health; this database includes a sampling calendar that goes to 2009, as well as a spreadsheet used to track weekly chemical monitoring, measurement, and monthly meter readings and water usage.


Pollution Prevention

·         Electronic Waste (e-Waste) Recycling

In April of 2006, Albemarle County Public Schools partnered with Computer Recycling of Virginia (CRVA) to recycle roughly 26 tons of electronic equipment that was slated for disposal, including CPUs, monitors, TVs, and printers.  Recycling all of this equipment came at no cost ($0.00) to the School Division, and ensured that this equipment, some of which is considered toxic, did not end up in a landfill.  Our plan is to continue to partner with CRVA to recycle electronic equipment in the future.

·         Hazardous Chemical Clean-Out

In June of 2005, a certified hazardous waste specialist was hired to inspect all middle and high school chemical storage areas and to remove all chemicals that are not recommended for use by the Virginia Department of Education.  The certified hazardous waste specialist reuses the chemicals they acquire by selling them as reagents, so these chemicals are effectively recycled rather than being incinerated.  Approximately 800 lbs of potentially-hazardous chemicals were removed from the schools, at a cost nearly half of what most vendors charge for this type of service.  The Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) procedures will help ensure that these chemicals do not re-enter the school laboratories.

·         Mercury-Containing Lamp Recycling

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for ensuring that all fluorescent light bulbs in the schools are recycled, rather than disposed of with the general trash, has been implemented. All employees who handle these mercury-containing bulbs have been trained.

·         Rechargeable Battery Recycling

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for ensuring that all rechargeable batteries in the schools are recycled, rather than disposed of with the general trash, has been implemented. All employees who handle these batteries have been trained.

·         Stormwater Pollution Prevention Training

In May of 2006, stormwater pollution prevention training was conducted for all custodians, maintenance, Food Services, and Transportation staff, with a focus on the importance of never dumping any potentially toxic or hazardous substance in a parking lot, or in an area where the substance could be expected to reach a storm drain.

·         Biodiesel Testing in School Buses

In February 2006, Albemarle County Public Schools used biodiesel (B20 blend) in several of its school buses in order to evaluate potential operational and environmental benefits of using this alternative to regular diesel fuel.  The Transportation Department is currently reviewing the results of the 60-day test, along with researching engine manufacturers’ support for biodiesel with respect to honoring warranties.












General Services Green Building

and Sustainability Strategies


General Services has made “Green” qualifications a requirement when hiring A/E firms to design new buildings or major renovations.


General Services has recently hired an Environmental Compliance Manger who will participate in the selection of “green” qualified A/E firms and review designs for environmental impacts.


The Department maintenance crew is actively replacing lighting with energy efficient fixtures.


The hybrid vehicles recently purchased are being closely monitored for fuel/emission efficiency to determine if it is practical to replace other vehicles in the pool fleet.


Our Water Resource Division is aggressively pursuing Low Impact Development (LID) and Best Management Practice (BMP) as they pertain to storm water management.


General Services has set a goal in the Copy Center of reducing the number of copies produced by 5% this current fiscal year, and an additional 5% for each of the next two fiscal years.  We are doing this through educating our customers, close scheduling of the maintenance of the equipment, and encouraging double sided copying when feasible.


Our Grounds Maintenance Supervisor has implemented a program of allowing longer grasses at County buildings and roadside mowing, and longer vegetation and tree growth in the storm water ponds creating more of the “meadow and forest” effect instead of the traditional “golf course” look.


We closely monitor our underground storage tanks and immediately replace those that may be close to becoming “leakers”.  Several have been removed from service this past year.


The Custodial Supervisor has researched various vendors to provide environmental friendly, non-aerosol cleansers.


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