Jason Palmer wrote nine of the 12 case studies in this collection of leading edge sustainable schools, focusing on carbon emissions, water use, materials and other aspects of sustainability. The book was commissioned by the Government’s Department of Education (previously the Department for Education and Skills).
The case studies revealed a significant ‘performance gap’ between the expected carbon emissions for many of the schools and the actual carbon emissions from gas and electricity use. In summary, although nearly all these schools had relatively low gas use for heating, they were using far more electricity than past generations of schools. This was partly because of higher lighting loads, more ICT use, and more plug-in appliances.
Did the new technology and greater electricity use mean the schools achieved better education outcomes? We could not be sure from the evidence available.