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SKA HE rating - consultation openFollowing a lengthy but solid research and development stage for the new SKA scheme for Higher Education spaces and laboratories, it is now available as a draft to review for comments.

On behalf of the Technical Committee, the wider research and development teams of which we are part of, we would like to invite you to the consultation site to review and comment at this link – it is open until March 4th.

Please do also share it with colleagues, clients and other team or industry parties who are involved or contribute to an assessment process on fit-out or refurbishment projects. The more feedback we obtain in advance the better each scheme is.

The HE scheme is the biggest scheme to date with a proposed 131 GPMs; this is due to the wider variety of spaces and specialist areas found in HE estates and their interior spaces. Some of the larger proposed scheme changes and developments include the following:

  • Overall ranking reflects the push of good practice in the industry to conduct occupancy evaluations and apply the Soft Landings framework.
  • Simplifying the inclusion of recycled, renewable and timber contents in the Materials measures
  • Waste strategy and approach in general has moved a step forwards with the inclusion of pre-construction surveys, RMPs instead of SWMPs and, most notably the targets of the individual waste measures; thses are incentivising the re-use of materials/products of the existing space, if available, with the rest all measured under D09 target for diversion.
  • All categories include items reflecting main specialist items and equipment found in HE spaces such as specialist worktops, exhibition areas, laboratory and estate travel.
  • Passive issues for energy are introduced that also acknowledge the restrictions to either heritage or listed town centre properties.
  • A number of updates on most measures, picking up issues raised over the last year and aiming at clarifying either scoping issues or criteria.

The overall direction of the materials, waste and passive measures is also anticipated to drive the forthcoming update of the SKA Retail scheme. You can be updated when this is kicking off, just let me know. It was anticipated to commence in 2015 but as the HE scheme development took longer than planned, it will start this year.