New schools could do better on electricity use according to Buro Happold study

City Academies are struggling to perform to energy performance standards, according to a new report.

A new study by Buro Happold, reported this week in the BSRIA website, found that none of the schools hit the good practice benchmark set by the Department for Education and Skills (DFES), but were better than average.

The BSRIA City Academy report looked at five schools including the Kingsmead Primary School in London and the John Cabot City Technology College in Bristol. It found that while gas consumption was “quite good” there was an overuse of electricity. The Kingsmead and John Cabot schools were using 65 kWh/m2, while two of the schools studied were using nearly double that.

The study found that control of lighting was crucial, the study found. “The simple use of Passive Infra red saved 30-40% compared with manual switching,” the study said.

The schools with large connected atriums had the highest lighting energy consumption, Buro Happold found.

The study concluded that facilities management staff needed to be better trained in suing the buildings and that designed needed to “advise clients on the likely operational and maintenance implications of the schools they are designing”.

“The facilities managers often felt they were not well prepared to operate the building management system. If these buildings are to perform as intended, provision of training and suitable documentation must be improved,” it said.

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