The SDA is committed to delivering high performance school facilities which are efficient, easy to maintain and operate, and which function as effective learning environments both now, and in the future. SDA has implemented the following initiatives in order to ensure that every school facility project achieves this goal.
- Collaborative Planning and Design Process – All projects begin by working closely with the school district and the New Jersey Department of Education to fully and completely understand the needs which each project must address. This includes a review of current enrollment projections and capacities, a review of the district’s Long Range Facilities Plan, facilities conditions evaluations, and consideration of the broadest possible range of solutions for addressing both current and future district needs.
- Design Standards – SDA’s Design Standards serve as the foundation for designing high performing school facilities. SDA recognizes that the needs and capabilities of each school district are unique and therefore considers variance from those standards when appropriate.
- LEED Certification – As an added measure to ensure sustainable facility designs, SDA requires that all new schools and additions are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. SDA works closely with school districts and design consultants to achieve the highest possible level of certification based upon the unique opportunities presented by each project.
- Commissioning – In order to help ensure that schools are constructed to achieve performance goals, SDA requires commissioning of mechanical and electrical systems and components in accordance with LEED and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers commissioning standards.
- Post-Occupancy Evaluations – To help ensure that schools will continue to perform efficiently and effectively, SDA requires an 11th month walk-through of each completed school facility. SDA also undertakes “lessons learned” evaluations of each project in order to identify areas for future improvements.