A government drive to make all new schools 'zero carbon' by 2016 was called into question at the end of 2008, when tests revealed CO2 levels in some new classrooms had exceeded recommended average levels by up to 3.5 times. Professor Derek Clements-Croome, leader of the group conducting the research, went on to claim that 'There is no point pushing for energy reduction if kids are falling asleep'. But is there really a contradiction between a healthy ventilation management system, energy efficiency and learning environments? This programme takes a look at the current state of ventilation in schools. It provides the official framework – explaining Building Bulletin 101 (BB101) 'Ventilation in Schools' and showing how it relates to Building Regulations Approved Document F 'Ventilation' – as well as showing the main sources of carbon emissions from schools and discussing permissible levels of CO2. Controllable ventilation rates in schools are examined in detail, while the practicality of natural ventilation is considered. Methods of modelling ventilation systems are also investigated.

About the contributors

Paddy Conaghan is a partner at Hoare Lea Consulting Engineers.

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald was a senior researcher at the BP Institute in Cambridge and the Cambridge-MIT Institute.

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