Sustainable Design Options

The environments created in and around buildings are where people spend the majority of their time and these environments need to be healthy, comfortable and safe.

The lifetime of a school involves a series of different stages which are illustrated in the figure below. Relevant stakeholders should be involved in each stage.

Design and build process for a sustainable school
Design and build process for a sustainable school

Resources, such as energy, water and materials, should be used at all stages efficiently and effectively, and without harming the environment. In addition to environmental factors, sustainable design should also address the social and economic factors that impact on the quality of life. In doing so, a sensible balance must be maintained between the resources used to achieve a good quality of life and the pollution and waste created as a result of using these resources. A sustainable solution must be a holistic cross discipline approach.

School Plan

When building a new school or undertaking a large or small scale refurbishment four main components of the school built environment should be considered.

The following section of the website provides a description of these four main components including information on ‘what should I do?’ with regards to sustainable design for schools.

A building should be physically sustainable in relation to energy, water and material use and can adapt to climate change. It should support a sustainable lifestyle for people and organisations.

Integral part of the built environment and provides the environmental support to maintain quality of life in and around buildings. Transport systems are important together with water, sewage treatment, waste, ‘green and blue’ structures which include vegetation and water landscape features.

Sustainable procurement involves incorporating social and environmental costs into the purchasing process. Often sustainable options are more expensive to purchase at the outset but if reduced operational costs and reduced impact on society and the environment are taken into consideration sustainable options can be more favourable.

A school should be part of a socially and economically enlivening community. It should involve all stakeholders in its design and operation.


What should I do?

Have a holistic approach to a new build or refurbishment that includes all stakeholders and all components of the built environment from the outset.

WLGA - CLILC Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru / Welsh Assembly Government