With the UK declaring a state of climate and environment emergency in 2019, sustainability measures are increasingly front of mind for both landlords and tenants.
Prioritising sustainability in your commercial fit out has both a positive environmental and financial impact, from lower construction and operational costs, to higher asset value and occupancy rates. A sustainable build also reinforces a company’s Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategy – something stakeholders are paying an increasing amount of attention to.
The SKA rating is a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit outs. It helps landlords and tenants assess fit out projects against a set of sustainability good practice criteria known as good practice measures (GPM). The SKA rating is one of the many accreditation schemes established to help businesses prioritise sustainability in a quantifiable way.
The SKA rating was developed in light of industry feedback that previously available tools for assessing buildings weren’t always suitable for fit out projects. So, a team of designers, contractors, occupiers, agents and consultants were involved in the creation of a new assessment: the SKA rating.
The SKA guide documents over 100 GPM that the project team can implement – some measures have a higher sustainability impact than others, and are ranked accordingly. To ensure teams target an appropriate range of measures, each project must achieve a certain number of the highest-ranked GPM in order to be scored. These measures are referred to as gateway measures and are the key to achieving certification.
Projects can achieve a SKA Bronze, Silver or Gold rating.
The GPM that make up the SKA assessment criteria cover 8 different categories:
A BREEAM assessment is another tool for certifying the environmental qualities of a construction project. Depending upon an organisation’s sustainability objectives, a SKA rating or a BREEAM assessment may be better suited to their project. The following comparison between the two is designed to give businesses a rough idea of which accreditation scheme they’d like to pursue.
Our in-house sustainability team works with clients to make sure their projects achieve all desired certifications. For every project with a sustainability objective, our Sustainability and Compliance Manager, Dieuwertje Kingma, works with the project team to align the design with all necessary scoring criteria.
To learn more about rating schemes for sustainability and occupant wellbeing – including step-by-step breakdowns of the assessment processes – download our free guide.download now