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Government needs a lesson in BREEAM

You might think deciding whether schools should be energy efficient and sustainable would be as easy as ABC - or in this case as BREEAM - but it seems the government has other ideas.

As Construction News reveals this week, ministers are considering scrapping the requirement for new schools to be built to the BREEAM Very Good standard or higher.

It’s one thing to tighten up the procurement process - efficiency is essential, duplication of processes and effort is a waste of time and money, and Building Schools for the Future undoubtedly could have shed a few pounds - but when it comes to respected, externally assessed environmental standards, requiring them to be adhered to is the only way to guarantee they are met.

According to the UK Green Buildings Council, getting an Excellent BREEAM rating adds just 0.7 per cent to the capital costs and can yield potentially 25 per cent savings in operational energy costs.

This is not about ticking boxes, it’s about benchmarking. Ultimately, of course, it’s about reducing carbon consumption in both the construction and the lifecycle of new buildings.

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