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New look Ska Rating for the New Year

04 January 2011

FM Briefing No.18: The Ska Rating for sustainable fit out and refurbishment is about to be revised to include in-use energy consumption, washroom water use and hand dryer energy efficiency

Facilities managers involved in the fit out and refurbishment of office space will next year be able to use a new and improved version of the RICS’ Ska Rating to help benchmark the environmental performance of their project.
The new version of the Ska Rating is scheduled for launch early this year and comes following an industry-wide consultation into proposed updates and enhancements of
the system.
Launched at the end of 2009, the Ska Rating was developed by the UK fit out and refurbishment industry – worth a significant £7.1 bn in 2009 – as a free tool to help project teams ensure they achieve the best environmental outcome from their projects.
In its first year, Ska Rating has already proven itself particularly relevant for the FM industry, becoming widely recognised as the only environmental assessment tool that focuses purely on the performance of the fit out project in hand – regardless of the restrictions or opportunities presented by the fabric, position or performance of the building itself.
This means it can be used easily by facilities management professionals as a consistent benchmark for demonstrating good practice in fitting out or refurbishing the space they
operate, even if that space is split across a portfolio of sites or housed in different buildings offering a variety of base build qualities.
Angus D’Arcy Drake of RWE npower renewables, whose project was the first to receive a Gold rating under the system this year, commented that: “Regardless of the building, you can tailor Ska Rating to suit the projects you have”.
But, as with any assessment tool or metric, ensuring the methodology is kept right up to date is absolutely paramount to ensuring its ongoing value and credibility. With this in mind, RICS marked the Ska Ratings’ first anniversary by launching the consultation into a number of proposed revisions to the system.
Ahead of the consultation, each of the original 99 good practice measures was reviewed by the Ska Rating Technical Committee. A number of new measures were added and then put forward for consideration by the industry in November this year. The new measures focus on a range of areas including guidance to help reduce in-use energy consumption, lowering WC water consumption, specifying energy efficient hand drying methods and the re-use or recycling of internal doors.
The changes are all subject to feedback gathered during the consultation period but, if they’re accepted, there will be a total of 106 good practice measures in the new version
launched early next year, as well as a new occupancy stage evaluation to measure the impact and effectiveness of the project 12 months after being handed over to the client.
For more information on the Ska
Rating go to www.rics.org/ska


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