Grand Rapids Public Schools & USGBC West Michigan Chapter Design and Construction Hack-A-Thon

On February 12, 2016 nearly 50 professionals from the following backgrounds; architects, engineers of all types, construction managers, facility planning and managers, landscape designers, and interior designers, gathered together to brainstorm at a hosted hack-a-thon about healthy spaces for students to learn, specifically for students of Grand Rapids Public Schools.

In November of 2015, a $175 million bond proposal was passed for Grand Rapids Public Schools.  The bond plan was created based upon the work of the 2008 Building Improvement Plan Phase II steering committee, the Transformation Plan and input from district leaders.  As there will be a number of construction projects and more hard work ahead.  The intent of the hack-a-thon was to provide ideas and input from the green building community.

A Hack-a-thon follows a specific process which will be used to identify options for GRPS to consider.  The group was split up into seven teams who were assigned one of seven school buildings that GRPS will be renovating or constructing.  Carefully chosen facilitators lead each team through several rounds of brainstorming starting with a vision of what green schools may look like 100 years from now.  Each round they brought the ideas closer to reality, closer to what they may look like tomorrow or next year.

The goal for GRPS was to not only glean ideas from the day about green schools but have the hope of integrating some of them into their design and construction policies.

Please view our video summarizing the day: