Select Committee on Education and Skills Minutes of Evidence

Annex 2



Government goal

  An unhealthy diet contributes to obesity and poor pupil concentration. Healthy, ethically sourced food can reverse these effects while protecting the environment and supporting local producers and suppliers.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be models of healthy, local and sustainable food and drink produced or prepared on site (where possible), with strong commitments to the environment, social responsibility and animal welfare, and with increased opportunity to involve local suppliers.

  BREEAM does not currently contribute to the "food and drink" goal.

  Possible built environment response:

    —  Space for growing food on all feasible school sites.

    —  Space and facilities for composting food, green waste and biodegradable materials and all school sites.

    —  Space for community farmers market on all feasible school grounds.

    —  All schools to have suitable facilities for preparation of fresh food.


Government goal

  Rising demand for energy and water is storing up problems for future generations. Energy and water conservation can tackle this problem while saving schools money.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be models of energy efficiency and renewable energy, showcasing wind, solar and bio-fuel sources in their communities, and maximising their use of rainwater and wastewater resources.

  BREEAM creates a framework to encourage designers to implement energy and water efficient design features. CO2 emissions should be minimised, and energy management is recognised. Low water use fittings, rainwater/greywater recycling and water management technologies are encouraged. BREEAM does not define a carbon emissions goal for school buildings. However importantly, the energy standards for refurbished schools are the same as for new schools, which sets a challenging requirement.

  Possible built environment response:

    —  Construction phase of all new buildings/refurbishments carbon neutral.

    —  All school buildings carbon neutral in operation by 2020.

    —  All schools carbon emissions (direct and indirect) reduced by 30% over 1990 levels by 2020.

    —  All schools showcase renewable energy (with technologies safely accessible where possible) for use as a learning resource and community focus.

    —  All schools optimise rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, with a target to reduce mains water consumption by 25% on 2004 levels by 2020. Consider setting a water consumption target of m3 per person/year

    —  All schools to have interactive displays about heat, power, water usage and weather conditions.

  (These goals should be achieved despite the changes in building use anticipated through extended schools.)


Government goal

  Rising vehicle use adds to congestion, road accidents and pollution. Car-sharing and public transportation help ease these concerns, while walking and cycling also boost fitness and well-being.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be models of sustainable travel where vehicles are used only when absolutely necessary and facilities for healthier, less polluting or less dangerous modes of transport are exemplary.

  BREEAM rewards designs for site selection for good public transport facilities, good cyclist facilities, and safe and secure pedestrian and cycle access routes. BREEAM does not have high aspirations for delivering cycle/pedestrian travel—a maximum of cycle spaces for 10% of pupils is rewarded.

  Possible built environment response:

    —  All schools to have cycling facilities for 100% of pupils that have the option to cycle to school.

    —  All schools to be located on designated cycle routes, or appropriate cycle routes to be established if they do not exist. Infrastructure requirements for the creation of safe walking and cycling routes and public transport within the school catchment to be an integral part of the planning application and construction costs for new schools and major refurbishments

    —  All schools to have well defined safe walking routes within at least a 1.5 km radius of the school. Infrastructure requirements to deter the school run (eg to encourage parking away from the school and provision for safe walking the last 1.5 km) to be an integral part of the planning application and construction costs for new schools and major refurbishments.


Government goal

  Waste, and the throw-away culture that encourages it, can be addressed through sustainable consumption. Schools can reduce costs and support markets for ethical goods and services at the same time.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be models of resource efficiency, using low impact goods that minimise (or eliminate) disposable packaging from local suppliers with high environmental and ethical standards, and recycling, repairing and reusing as much as possible.

  BREEAM encourages use of construction materials with a low life cycle environmental impact and reuse/recycling of construction materials as well as encouraging provision of facilities for recycling of consumables in use.

  Possible built environment response:

    —  Diversion of 80% of construction waste from landfill.

    —  All schools to reduce their waste arisings by 25% by 2020, relative to 2004-05 levels.

    —  All schools to recycle 75% of their waste arisings by 2020, with goal of zero waste to landfill by 2050.

    —  All schools to include combined school and community recycling facilities.

    —  All schools to have live interactive displays about recycling progress, material flows for use in learning.

    —  All schools to have repair workshops to recondition equipment or prepare for reuse or charitable giving.


Government goal

  Good design of school buildings and grounds can translate into improved staff morale, pupil behaviour and achievement, as well as opportunities for food growing and nature conservation.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be regarded as living, learning places where pupils see what a sustainable lifestyle means through their involvement in the improvement of school buildings, grounds and the natural environment.

  BREEAM recognises good design practice in:

    —  engaging the community: to involve the local community and building users, flexibility in the design to enable the building to be used as a shared facility with the local community and reducing the opportunity for crime;

    —  design for good management: enabling building users to understand and operate the building efficiently, buildings that can be easily maintained during lifecycle; and

    —  learning dimension: the building and school site to be a learning resource.

  However, these elements are not prioritised within the BREEAM tool. This means they are not weighted heavily in the scoring in comparison to other elements.

  Possible built environment response:

    —  All schools increase the ecological value of their estate by 50% over 2004 levels by 2020.

    —  All sustainable design features to be revealed and interpreted as learning resources.

    —  All schools to engage stakeholders in design of buildings and grounds.


Government goal

  Schools can promote a sense of community by providing an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere that values everyone's participation and contribution, and challenges prejudice and injustice in all its forms.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be models of social inclusion, enabling all pupils to participate fully in school life while instilling a long-lasting respect for human rights, freedoms and creative expression.

  BREEAM does not promote design of accessible environments for visually or mobility impaired users. It recognises involvement of the local community and building users in the design process in order to increase local "ownership".

  Possible built environment response:

    —  Accessible, flexible, adaptable design of building and grounds for all.

    —  Quality space for display of school work and ethos to community.

    —  Facilities to allow monitoring of performance of the school environment to promote learning about the building.

    —  Meaningful consultation in school design involving pupils, staff and local community (including feeder schools).

    —  Quiet areas for thought and prayer.


Government goal

  With their central locations and extensive facilities, schools can act as hubs of learning and change in their local communities, contributing to the environment and quality of life while strengthening key relationships.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be models of good corporate citizenship within their local areas, enriching their educational mission with active support for the well-being of the local community and environment.

  BREEAM recognises involvement of the local community and building users in the design process in order to increase local "ownership" and accommodate a range of travel options for building users.

  Possible built environment response:

    —  All schools to include facilities and flexibility to act as extended schools, including child care, adult learning and other community use.

    —  All schools to showcase sustainable design features and technologies to the local community, such as renewable energy systems and water/energy efficiency devices.


Government goal

  Growing interdependence between countries changes the way we view the world, including our own culture. Schools can respond by developing a responsible, international outlook among young people, based upon an appreciation of the impact of their personal values, choices and behaviours on global challenges.

  By 2020 we would like all schools to be models of good global citizenship, enriching their educational mission with active support for the well-being of the global environment and community.

  BREEAM recognises the specification of responsibly sourced materials in construction.

  Possible built environment response:

    —  All timber used in building projects to be obtained from certified sustainable sources.

    —  All materials used to have country of origin recorded.

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