Report casts doubt on cost-effectiveness of building zero carbon schools as part of review of BSF programme

Proposals to build zero carbon schools have been dealt a blow by a government report published today.

In its official response to a select committee inquiry into the Building Schools for the Future initiative, the government said that although it was investigating the possibility of zero carbon school buildings, initial research indicated that “the level of capital investment would exceed any potential savings in school running costs.”

The report added that site constraints meant zero carbon schools could not be achieved in all cases.

The government also acknowledged criticism of the procurement process for BSF, which has suffered a series of delays. The government said that it was reviewing the operation of forthcoming waves of BSF, and would launch a consultation on measures shortly. It said that this would mean that by summer 2008 there would be a clear revised national programme for BSF.

The response follows the publication of a report by the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee called ‘Sustainable Schools: Are we building schools for the future?’ which was published in August.