SKA Higher Education Scheme Launch

RICS_Big-Ben_web_sizeStrong growth and greater familiarity of sustainable practice within the interior fit-out arena has seen new sectors look at adopting the SKA rating assessment method; SKA rating for Higher Education (SKA HE) is the latest scheme to launch. With an increasing number of students considering a university’s sustainability and wellbeing credentials within their selection criteria – it is very timely.

Measures have been drawn from current SKA rating for office and retail schemes, but the inclusion of specialist HE areas make the scheme highly reflective of the sector and the use of spaces. Existing criteria have been adapted and new measures created to recognise the unique issues around the presence of laboratory areas or other workshop and studio spaces typically found in teaching institutions with high carbon footprint and waste. The wide array of spaces and user types that may occur in a single building or fit-out project, is also recognised and can now be assessed using the SKA rating scheme. Improvements such as the clarification of scoping and changes to the online tool have also been included.

In line with the progress of industry sustainability practices, a significant evolution within the scheme includes upgrades to the waste and material issues. A drive towards achieving a circular economy is a key focus with SKA HE, incentivising the reuse of materials in a closed-loop system. SKA HE aims to include total project resource management, bringing re-use, repair and reduction strategies stronger in the design process where it can have the biggest impact.

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Many universities are already involved, with some testing existing SKA schemes and incorporating measures into their existing working practices. The scheme is sponsored by the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), University College London (UCL), Rider Levett Bucknall, Grigoriou Interiors, Overbury and AECOM, in addition to the ongoing support of the SKA Technical Committee and a wider industry and sector research team.

We will be publishing insightful notes on a selection of new Good Practise Measures (GPMs) over the next few weeks; follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or check out our Blog to keep informed.

Elina Grigoriou, Design & Sustainability Director of Grigoriou Interiors is the Chair of the SKA Technical Committee; she is ideally placed to support you if you are looking for an expert to incorporate sustainability via SKA rating and the design into your interior project. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us on: +44 20 7580 0611 or design@grigoriou.co.uk.

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