First gold Ska rating for London

The new UK headquarters for Westpac Banking Corporation has been awarded the first Gold Ska Rating for a building in the City of London.

Coordinated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Ska Rating is an assessment process to help organisations achieve more sustainable fit-outs.

Ska assessor Richard Hollis, a senior sustainability consultant based in AECOM’s London office assessed and accredited the fit-out of Westpac’s new offices called Camomile Court. Hollis commented: “The project’s success lay in the client’s prioritisation of sustainability as the main objective for the design team. It made a real difference to the final score of the development.”

The fit-out pushed the boundaries of the design team. For example the architect HLW International undertook research to find furniture that met the Ska requirements and that worked aesthetically well with the design.

“The great thing about Ska is that the process asks questions of the industry that have not been asked before, for example raising questions about measuring the lifecycle impact of furniture and whether products are listed on the Energy Technology List,” said Hollis.

“Using this method has resulted in a high-quality office space. The furniture has been selected based upon the manufacturers analysis of lifecycle impact and products with high recycled content (kitchen worktops, pin boards, notice boards etc.) have been used, existing materials have been re-used (suspended ceiling panels, workstation chairs etc.), and 100% of the timber originates from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) sources. This was all completed to a tight construction timeframe, with 99% of the waste diverted from landfill.”

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