A new system which will rate the environmental impact of office fit-outs, an area that accounts for 10% of the £64.5 billion (approx. €72.3 billion) spent on construction in the UK, has been launched by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).
With pressure growing from all fronts for property occupiers and owners to improve the sustainability of existing stock as well as new buildings, RICS has led the development of Ska Rating, a new assessment scheme that focuses 100% on fit-outs.
Ska Rating comprises 99 good practice measures across Energy & CO2, Waste, Water, Pollution, Transport, Materials and Wellbeing. Depending on the number of measures achieved, and the significance of these from a sustainability perspective, a fit-out is then awarded either Gold, Silver or Bronze ranking.
A key feature of the Ska Rating is that it has been designed to be accessible even for the smallest organization. All the information about the rating method, criteria and best practice guidance is available free via the web. Use of the online assessment tool is also free for those who want to self-assess their fit-out. However those companies looking to obtain a quality-assured certificate will also be able to commission a formal assessment from a qualified Ska Rating assessor.
The launch saw the awarding of the first accredited Ska Rating certificate to RFIB Group by RICS President Max Crofts.
Tim Robinson, RICS Director of Strategic Business Development commented: "In the current economic climate occupiers are now more likely to refurbish their offices, rather than looking to move into new premises, and as a result it is important that sustainable measures are embedded into these fit-outs. The uniqueness of the Ska Rating is that it allows occupiers to do just that. By providing best practice guidance developers will be able to use Ska Rating or employ the services of Ska Rating assessor to guide the project from the outset."