The Ska Rating is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) environmental assessment method and sustainability award body. Launched in 2009, it helps landlords and tenants evaluate, rate and benchmark fit out projects against a set of sustainability good practice criteria, known as Good Practice Measures (GPM).
There are many benefits to businesses achieving a Ska rating, including:
- Reduced Costs and Carbon: Office buildings tend to be large consumers of energy and water, and also produce a sizeable proportion of greenhouse gases. By adhering to environmental good practice, occupiers benefit from reduced operating costs, increased efficiency, carbon and energy savings, and even potential tax benefits such as Enhanced Capital Allowances.
- A Healthier Workplace: One of the assessment criteria of Ska is a healthy office environment which supports employee wellbeing. Research has shown that this approach can help reduce staff absenteeism and increase motivation.
- Staff Recruitment and Retention: By demonstrating their dedication to the environment, a business can inspire their staff and potential employees, and foster trust and company values.
- Brand Image Reinforcement: When a company considers their social and environmental impact, this leads to positive brand awareness and an enhanced reputation.
- Links to other Standards: A Ska Rating certificate helps ensure that a fit out project is rated accurately and can also be used to support management systems such as ISO 14001.
- Customer, Investor & Stakeholder Perception: A Ska certificate shows that the occupier understands the importance of sustainability and demonstrates the achievement of a high standard in the property. This can be shared in annual reports, in the company environmental policy and displayed in the building.
Daylight Glare Control is an important element of Ska. For office, meeting, lab and all general teaching spaces, all of the following criteria must be met:
- ‘Occupant-controlled window coverings’ (blinds or screens) are fitted to external windows and atria that receive sunlight directly or indirectly.
- Coverings are designed to provide optimum glare control and allow best possible retention of views with the coverings drawn closed.
- Fabric screens, where specified, have a visual light transmittance (VLT) of less than 10% (excluding occasions that require blackout blinds), and have solar protective coating (SPC) or energy solar protective coating (ESP).
These criteria highlight the need for high-performance blind fabrics in offices, in order to achieve best retention of views whilst providing optimum glare control. This can only be achieved with screen fabrics with a metallised backing, with Cradle to Cradle certification of Silver.
Waverley can help with provision of blinds with this fabric.
See Part 2 for details on the assessment of Window Coverings & Treatments