Bill Watts’ comments focus too much on the building and its cost, rather than its purpose.

Schools are for education. School renewables could be designed as educational resources, with solar output forecasting on the curriculum perhaps.

Schools are also public assets, so should be used to leverage long-term economic gain. This is best done when public-sector programmes provide niches where ideas, such as renewables, can progress through the stages of commercialisation.

Designers should be interpreting high (renewable) energy costs as a driver for energy efficiency in design, not as a shift of focus away from energy-saving. It’s not all pressure on designers, though. They can fight back by offering readable guides telling users what they must do if their building is to perform as designed.

Simon Reynolds