"What's seen as fit-and forget-technology, with impeccable sustainability credentials, is fit-and-manage in practice, but many schools simply don't have the facilities management expertise to run the technology," he warned.
Mike Entwhisle from Buro Happold argued that the Private Finance Initiative can solve some of these problems.
"PFI offers the opportunity, if the facilities management is robust, for biomass to work.But what PFI isn't very good at is planning ahead: putting in a large biomass boiler in order to supply heat for a housing estate that will be built in three years time."
Andrew Brookes from Scott Wilson was concerned that funding seems to be predicated on renewables.
"We need to improve airtightness and insulation - the non-sexy stuff. But when you are submitting projects or going for funding, they want to see things that signify a green school. And you are being marked in your presentations on those things. We have to get the right messages across."
Adrian Leaman of Building Use Studies agreed: "Installing complex technology in relatively simple buildings such as schools is not very sensible, long term, from an environmental point of view.
"One of the things I'm trying to get the DCSF to adopt is a model client brief for a sustainable school. It will address the problems of clients (primarily headteachers) who do not know enough to cope with the huge demands placed on them...in the design development process."
The true economics of sustainability was a major talking point. Ian Goodfellow of architect Penoyre and Prasad was worried that Partnerships for Schools and the Building Schools for the Future programme were not properly linking capital costs and running costs.
"Until that is joined together," he said, "I don't think we are going to see the efficiencies of school buildings improving."
Andrew Brookes agreed. "The PFI consortiums are really focussed on cost and benchmarking it. But local authorities working on traditional contracts are less concerned. Partnerships for Schools really needs to get cost information out so people can say what is a good [sustainable] school."
Do we need more post-occupancy evaluation, asked Ty Goddard, to get the real costs out into the public domain?