The University of Hull has achieved the first ever Gold SKA Rating in the region for the fit-out of its academic hub in the new Energy and Environment Institute.
Achieving the highest rating in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) environmental assessment scheme, the hub boasts 84% of the 86 strong criteria set up as part of the SKA assessment – making it officially one of the greenest educational hubs in the UK.
The SKA rating is an environmental assessment scheme that measures fit-out projects against a set of sustainability ‘good practice’ criteria. ‘Good practice’ measures cover everything from responsible sourcing of materials, reducing waste and diverting materials from landfill, to CO2 emissions, lighting design, energy efficient hand dryers and biodiversity.
The announcement also marks the first SKA Rating for Chameleon Business Interiors, which designed the hub and completed the fit-out. The project was managed by Rider Levett Bucknall UK (RLB UK). The RLB team also provided building surveying and sustainability services, as well as acting as SKA assessor; this latest project is the 12th SKA Gold rating RLB has helped clients achieve.
Amongst the environmental design elements in the project, 80% of carpet and soft floor finishes were reused/recycled, 50% of vinyl finishes were recycled through a closed-loop scheme, and 80% of the timber flooring was reused – with the remaining percentage diverted from landfill.
Paul Batchelor, Partner at RLB, said: “Delivering the SKA Gold Rated academic hub for the pioneering Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull was a fantastic project for the team at RLB to lead. Sustainability was at the very core of this project and the collaboration of the entire team was key to its success, achieving the first SKA Gold in the region is a brilliant credit to everyone involved.”
Professor Dan Parsons, Director at the Energy and Environment Institute, added: “When we secured funding to bring our multi-disciplinary team of experts under one roof on the University campus, we wanted to create a space which was both modern and stylish, but which also showcased excellence in sustainability.
It’s only right that an Institution centred on tackling the global climate crisis be based in a building which is environmentally fit for purpose. With the support of our Estates team at the University and the contractors Chameleon Business Interiors – who deserve an enormous amount of credit for this project – we have created a space which truly practices what it preaches.
This SKA Gold award is recognition of the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the refurbishment.”
Shaun Watts, Chairman of Chameleon Business Interiors, commented: “We are delighted with the Gold SKA Rating achieved for the new Energy and Environment Institute. At Chameleon, we work with sustainability front of mind on every project. It was particularly important during this project, given the nature of the hub, to showcase the building as a leader in global environmental resilience and energy sustainability.
Day-to-day, we paid careful consideration to of all the materials used and constant monitoring of onsite activities from an environmental and sustainability perspective. It was a pleasure to be part of a larger team, all of whom were dedicated to delivering a world-class, planet-friendly project.”
The Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull brings together the skills and capabilities of leading researchers to tackle global challenges related to climate change and a low carbon transition, and their consequences for society and livelihoods.
Now home to over 100 staff and PhD researchers, the Institute is leading research in some of the areas of the world most at-risk from climate change, including flood prone areas such as Vietnam’s Mekong and Red River deltas, the Congo River in Africa, as well as locations much closer to home.
For more information on Hull University’s Energy and Environment Institute click here.
The article appeared in the Building Design and Construction magazine.