Government warned not to drop Breeam standards for schools

UK Green Building Council has written to education secretary Michael Gove asking him not to drop sustainability requirements for schools.

Paul King, chief executive of UKGBC, teamed up with environmental campaigners to respond to plans outlined by Gove which would see the Breeam standard dropped for new-build and refurbished schools. Under the previous government’s Building Schools for the Future programme schools were required to meet a Breeam “very good” standard.

The letter, which was also sent to David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, along with five other cabinet ministers, said the proposal was “deeply concerning”.

It said: “Breeam is well understood and widely recognised by the construction industry. Removing it would introduce enormous complexity for non-expert construction clients, arguably increasing bureaucracy and thereby causing delay in the design process and driving up costs.

“Reneging on the commitment would also send a terrible message to the UK industry which frequently builds to Breeam “excellent” standards in commercial developments so they can be occupied by a public sector anchor-tenant.”

The Department for Education is considering the future of Breeam standards as part of the recommendations made in the James Review.

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