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Avison Young

SKA Rating Assessment & Consulting

Project Specs


Bilfinger GVA


4645.15 Sq Mt


65 Gresham Street




SKA Rating Assessment & Sustainability Consulting




London, UK


We were asked to assess GVA’s new environmentally friendly international London Headquarters. The headquarters would provide a contemporary, flexible and welcoming office environment for staff, clients and visitors and the space would enable GVA to retain, recruit and nurture the best talent.

The office design and delivery was to be officially certified with a SKA rating, with an initial aspiration of achieving a Silver SKA rating. The space also needed to support agile working and increased productivity, whilst also reducing environmental impacts through occupation.

The space needed to follow five sustainability aspirations:

  • Design spaces for productivity
  • Optimise the indoor environment
  • Use sustainable materials and reduce waste
  • Act to minimise energy and waste use
  • Engage to improve


Initially GVA targeted a Silver SKA rating, however this soon increased to a Gold. We were able to enhance our service to GVA by offering solutions both to the client and the design team on materials and advise on achieving SKA Gold.

We worked closely with the internal client and project manager team, appointed design consultants and engineers, providing them with SKA and sustainability guidance workshops. These were arranged to help the internal team understand the project and discuss which measures should be set as targets. They also assisted the achievement of specific SKA measures.

We initially identified 84 GPMs (Good Practice Measures, ‘measures’) in scope, 75 of these were targeted. We continually monitored and managed the scope, which was adjusted throughout the project. By the Handover Stage, 85 measures were identified in scope, 72 of these were targeted and 68 were achieved.

The ‘At Risk’ GPMs we identified in the project went up rapidly after the start of the Handover Stage. We were gradually able to reduce the risk, and with the support of the contractor team, the risk level was just above 0 by the end of the Handover Stage.

As part of a whole project work reduction strategy, we helped the client to devise a ‘reuse and recycling’ strategy for the existing furniture. The furniture would either be retained or reused by GVA, reused on another site, sold to staff for reuse, sold elsewhere for reuse, or be recycled by a third party.

SKA rating was used as a supporting framework for the project, however issues beyond this were also considered. These included decisions made on items that had long-term returns such as occupant wellbeing and brand value return. Unique actions on this project included the introduction of the CO2 and VOC meters to monitor air purity throughout occupancy.

Appointment of the contractor team was based on their knowledge of SKA rating for which we were able to assist the client and project manager. Overbury were appointed as they had the strongest team, experience and achievements on SKA projects.

GVA Gresham Street managed to achieve a Gold SKA rating. This was an incredibly proud moment as GVA Gresham Street is Grigoriou Interiors’ first Gold SKA rating! Client commitment to this goal made a massive difference and was fundamental in the achievement of the rating.​


Economic Value
  • The client achieved deeper value by working with someone as experienced as us and combining team up-skilling along the assessment journey.
  • Energy and water efficient equipment specifications included in the project, create lower energy/water running costs during operation.
  • Through supporting occupant/staff wellbeing the space also supports their performance. CO2 levels are designed to 500-600 ppm limits which is a proven level that supports human cognitive performance.
  • Up-skilled the supply chain and numerous sub-contractors in sustainability through on-site support and workshops.
  • Local sub-contractors were used.
  • Responsible sourcing through selected suppliers and their supply chains.
  • Many occupant wellbeing measures were targeted through the assessment process including VOC sensors throughout the meeting rooms and open plan areas.
  • CO2 and VOC meters were introduced to monitor air quality.
  • A high number of materials were environmentally certified or came with an EPD (What is an EPD? Read the blog here)
  • All furniture was either retained, reused, or recycled as part of a ‘reuse and recycling’ strategy to increase circularity on the project.
  • Timber elements were all certified FSC with a full Chain of Custody to the site.

“We achieved a Gold Ska Rating for our London HQ in 2015, thanks to Elina’s invaluable advisory role. Her early involvement and ongoing guidance on materials and sustainability greatly benefited the project. Elina’s expertise and commitment were commendable, delivering excellent value for money. I recommend her for teams seeking environmental and well-being integration, as she’s a true Ska Rating expert.”

Alastair Mant Head of Sustainability, Bilfinger GVA AVISON YOUNG
Alastair Mant Head of Sustainability, Bilfinger GVA AVISON YOUNG