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RICS rolls out environmental benchmarking to restaurants and retailers

RICS has extended its office fit-out, environmental rating system to retailers and restaurants

The Ska Rating for Retail methodology has been developed by RICS to measure the environmental impact of fit-outs and refurbishments, and set benchmarks for improvements.

The tool rates the environmental impact of the fit-out regardless of the base building, assessing areas such as energy consumption, CO2 emissions, waste, water and material use to award a gold, silver or bronze rating.

The tool, introduced after pilot projects in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Oxford, can be applied to projects of any size, in both existing and new buildings.

The methodology is online, with voluntary certification available via a network of accredited assessors.

Tim Robinson, Director of Information Products at RICS and chair of the Ska Rating for Retail development committee said: “Despite the fact that an estimated 11% of UK construction spending is on fit-out, until recently, assessing and improving fit-outs was a Sustainability blind spot.

“This means that the vast majority of fit-outs to buildings go unmeasured and, as a result, unimproved. As the results of the pilot projects prove, the Ska Rating for Retail enables retailers, retail banks and restaurant owners to balance business realities with the need to improve environmental performance.”

The pilots were carried out at Lush in Birmingham and Bristol, Wahaca at Bluewater shopping centre and Nationwide Building Society in Oxford.

Ruth Andrade from the Lush Wellbeing Team said: “The Ska Rating set a framework for achieving a sustainable fit-out that everyone involved in the project; the contractor, designer and project manager could work with. The framework offered structured guidance on how to implement a green fit-out and since some of the measures are not site specific it can be used for future fit-outs at our other stores.”

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