The government has set up a task force to ensure every new school building is zero carbon from 2016.

All schools constructed under the Building Schools for the Future programme are committed to reducing carbon emissions by 60% on 2002 levels, but the new panel will ensure the more ambitious zero-carbon target is met. One of its first tasks will be to define what makes a school zero carbon.

The 18-member task force will include building performance specialist Bill Boardass, Faber Maunsell’s Simon Burton, Buro Happold’s Andrew Cripps and Professor Andy Ford from Fulcrum Consulting. The group will be chaired by Robin Nicholson, director of Edward Cullinan Architects.

Burton, who is regional director of Faber Maunsell’s Sustainable Development Group, said meeting the target would be challenging because of the varied locations of schools. “City-centre multi-storey schools may need more sealed windows to block out noise, but that would then require more mechanical ventilation,” he said.