Accredited Building Spotlight: ClientEarth SKA Gold

By Mia Brown
News • Projects
10th November 21

This year, TSP helped ClientEarth create their most sustainable workplace yet: in full alignment with their mission and raison d’être.

What role did accreditations play in this green success?

ClientEarth’s relocation to a 10,000 sq ft warehouse office in Islington was awarded with BREEAM Excellent and a SKA Gold rating. SKA rating is an environmental assessment method, benchmark, and standard for non-domestic fit-outs, led by RICS. With an estimated 11% of UK construction expenditure on fit-outs – it’s an area worthy of rigorous assessment. 

The SKA assessment is comprised of 104 Good Practice Measures (GPM) covering CO2 emissions, waste, water, pollution, materials, transport and wellbeing. Each GPM is ranked from 1 to 104, relative to the other measures: 1 representing the greenest of the green. The process is divided into 3 stages:

  • Design and planning
  • Delivery and construction
  • Occupancy stage assessment – reviewing fit-out performance a year after completion

At the end, you are crowned Bronze, Silver, or Gold depending on your feat. 

The assessor typically charges between £2,000-£3,000 per certification, depending on project complexity. The free online SKA rating tool is also available for anyone to informally evaluate a project. 

So, how did ClientEarth achieve the enviable SKA Gold? 

The fit-out featured extensive furniture reuse, combined with recycling, reclaiming, and reworking existing materials. It included low-VOC paints, motion-activated LED lighting, and FCS-certified recycled plywood paneling throughout. Not to mention, an open plan woodland area with a natural planted canopy. 

The benefits of this accreditation are manifold. On top of improving energy and waste management, it has enabled ClientEarth to measure their sustainability impact accurately and prioritise it in a quantifiable way. It also reduced the project cost and future operating costs. 

ClientEarth’s new workplace showcases the very best nature has to offer, exuding natural beauty. Employees work very hard to protect our planet and they are now able to do so in an environment that motivates and inspires them daily. Achieving SKA Gold has undeniably enhanced occupier engagement and wellbeing.

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