Project Advisories 1-4, May 2010


*Please note, these advisories are from May, 2010 and the meetings referenced have already occurred.


This is to serve as a reminder to Owner’s Project Managers that the Contract for OPM Services (“OPM Contract”) requires the OPM to review District submittals – see Sections 8.2 through 8.4.. For each submittal to the MSBA, OPMs should compile and coordinate all items indicated in the Contract for Designer Services and the OPM Contract for each phase of the project (see below for further detail). The OPM also should review each District submittal, including documents prepared by the Designer, prior to their delivery to the MSBA to verify that it is complete and in conformity with MSBA requirements. As part of the review, the OPM should prepare a written summary of any issues, questions or concerns with the submittal, and include the summary with the submittal. After completing the review, the OPM shall then forward the submittal to the assigned MSBA field coordinator under a separate cover letter signed by the OPM, including a certification of review, coordination and completeness. This submittal shall be in the form of two hard copies (with half-sized drawings) and one electronic file in PDF format.

Please note that for each submittal to the MSBA, the Designer (and for select items, the Commissioning Consultant and the District) is required to submit the required materials to the OPM. Designers should not submit materials directly to the MSBA.

In addition to the Designer’s deliverables, each submittal shall include the deliverables prepared by the OPM, as detailed in the OPM Contract, including but not limited to:

  1. Reconciliation of the OPM construction cost estimates with the Designer’s estimates
  2. Current Project budgets
  3. Current Project schedules
  4. Review of Designer submissions including recommendations to the Owner regarding value engineering, technical accuracy, coordination, constructability, bid-ability and cost effectiveness
  5. Coordination of the commissioning consultants’ review

Going forward, the MSBA will not accept any submittals that have not been reviewed by the OPM or are incomplete. Partial submittals will no longer be accepted without prior approval by the MSBA. If you have any questions, please contact your MSBA project manager or field coordinator.


After completing a public review comment process earlier this year, the CHPS national organization has revised its MA-CHPS criteria from the previous 2006 edition to the new 2009 edition. The 2009 MA-CHPS edition became effective in March, 2010 and has been in a transition period. This 2009 edition of MA-CHPS emphasizes efficient energy consumption and lower operating costs by requiring a project to achieve greater quantities of points within the energy efficient category, updated operations and maintenance criteria, and distinguishes criteria for renovating an existing building to encourage Districts to renovate their existing buildings, when feasible. This edition may impact a project’s scope of work.

Please be advised that as of July 1, 2010, CHPS will only be accepting project registrations utilizing the 2009 edition and will no longer allow projects to register with the 2006 version of MA-CHPS.

In anticipation of this change, Districts, OPMs and Design teams should be aware that:

  1. It is incumbent upon the Districts and their Designers to register with CHPS. Projects that currently have a Project Scope and Budget Agreement with the MSBA based on the 2006 MA-CHPS criteria must register prior to July 1, 2010 in order for their project to be eligible for this edition. If a District and its Designer fail to register and are required by CHPS to utilize the 2009 edition, the MSBA will not revise the total maximum facilities grant as allowed in the Project Scope and Budget Agreement to accommodate any potential change in the scope of work or any potential cost increases associated with complying with the 2009 edition.

These changes were noted in the Update on Sustainable Building Design Guidelines and Policy Recommendations that was presented at the MSBA’s Board of Directors Meeting on March 31, 2010. You can access the memo on our Guidelines, Policies, and Prerequisite Forms page.

The MSBA has updated its standards requiring all MSBA-funded projects to either achieve “Verified” with 2009 MA-CHPS or “Certified” with the USGBC LEED-S system, with no added reimbursement for green / energy efficiency. To be eligible for the additional 2% incentive reimbursement points, the District must achieve at least “Leader” using MA-CHPS or “Silver” using LEED-S (refer to above link). Projects that elect to use the USGBC LEED-S criteria will use the current 2009 edition of LEED-S.

Any questions should be directed to Karl Brown, AIA


Hold the Date: The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) will be hosting a day-long free seminar on Thursday, June 24, 2010 at the Manchester-Essex Regional High School to review the new 2009 edition of MA-CHPS, and implementation of the MA-CHPS criteria.

Facilitated by CHPS staff, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), the training will provide an overview of the MA-CHPS program and resources, as well as an in-depth review of the newly updated MA-CHPS prerequisites and credits. The new edition of MA-CHPS will be required for use with the CHPS national third-party review and recognition program when the new Massachusetts energy code goes into effect this July. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour Manchester Essex Regional Middle/High School, a newly built MA-CHPS school. Further details about the training and registration will be available soon at the CHPS events page. Contact Miranda Leonard with any questions.


As many of you know, two critical services that OPMs provide to their Districts and to the MSBA are monthly reporting of project status and assisting Districts with understanding MSBA policies and guidelines, particularly those related to proposed project scope and budget. To promote a solid understanding of MSBA policies and guidelines, the MSBA is planning to host a series of OPM informational meetings.

The first OPM informational meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2010, 12:30 PM – 1:55 PM to discuss monthly status reports and MSBA evaluation of Total Project Budgets (Form 3011). Because space is limited, participation is limited to one individual per OPM firm, and RSVP is required. Seats will be reserved on a first respond basis. Any questions and all reservation requests should be directed to Marie Deslauriers.

Future advisories will be posted with schedules and agendas for the upcoming additional informational meetings targeted for either OPMs or Designers.