Building Bulletin 98:
Briefing Framework forSecondary School Projects
incorporating secondary school revisions to
BB82: Area Guidelines for Schools
The key purpose of this document is to set out simple, realistic, non-statutory area guidelines forsecondary school buildings (Part C) and grounds (Part D) which supersede those in BuildingBulletin 82: Area Guidelines for Schools, published in 1996, and any revisions.Following draft revisions and the publication of the Exemplar Designs for Schools, therecommended gross area of secondary school buildings has been further increased to an averageof 18% above the maximum in 1996. Funding from the Department for Education and Skills(DfES) in 2005-06 and beyond, for instance in the Building Schools for the Future programme, willallow all new buildings to be built to these standards.Simple graphs and formulae can be used to check that the number, size and type of rooms inboth new designs and existing buildings are at least that recommended for six categories of usable space. These have been calculated to address the requirements, common to every school,of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities, the school workforce andcommunity use out of school hours. Similar standards are set for various categories of site area.Crucially, a further ‘float’ is also recommended to accommodate the individual priorities of eachschool: whether facilities for the specialism or limited ‘extended school’ provision. Everymainstream school is expected to need at least the total net area recommended, which includesthe ‘float’. Some schools may then have further supplementary area over and above this, forinstance for specially resourced SEN provision.However, getting the area right is only part of creating facilities which support the educational aimsand vision of each school. Design quality and appropriate specifications are also crucial. Part A of this bulletin offers a framework for every secondary school to develop a strategic masterplan,incorporating any future building project, whether major new buildings or minor refurbishments.Part B identifies the key issues that should be addressed in the brief to ensure that the design isin line with the organisation and preferences of the school. The Government’s continuing commitment to education is reflected in the recent sharp increasesin capital funding for schools. In the light of this investment, it is now all the more crucial to ensurethat any building project is in line with a long-term masterplan for the whole site. The guidance in this bulletin will assist school staff and governors, with the help of LocalEducation Authorities (LEAs), dioceses, and building professionals, to develop a masterplan and abrief to the necessary detail and ensure that the priorities of the school are clearly expressed andcan be carried through the design.