The Department for Education appears to be in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water
I read with concern last week that BREEAM ratings for schools are still under review. We all agree that BREEAM isn’t perfect, but it is a well understood standard that allows the sustainability of school buildings to be assessed. Yet, the Department for Education appears to be in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
At a time when the construction industry is balancing both cost and energy efficiency, as well as navigating a wide range of regulations, schemes, initiatives and labels, the last thing we really need is further change and complexity.
There has been a significant amount of investment into BREEAM and, while parts of it may be “burdensome”, there is little doubt that it has had a positive impact in improving the energy efficiency and sustainable construction of new schools.
Rather than questioning the standard, perhaps the government should be looking to improve the cost efficiency of the assessment by introducing a choice of assessors and creating some market competition, as they did with the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Steve Hemmings, sustainability & compliance manager, Lafarge Plasterboard