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Aston University

Using the Energy Technology List to achieve gold standard SKA ratings

Aston University has used the Energy Technology List (ETL) to not only deliver energy and cost savings, but also to achieve a gold standard SKA rating for higher education (HE).

SKA rating is an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs, led and owned by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). According to RICS, it is estimated that 11% of UK construction spending is on fit-outs and that buildings may have 30-40 fit-outs during their lifecycle.

The SKA rating assesses good practice measures in a variety of categories, such as water, waste and energy. One of these categories involves the procurement of energy efficient products and organisations are required to procure equipment through either searching the ETL or sourcing equipment which meets the ETL criteria. As the products featured on the ETL are among the most energy efficient available, upgrading to these high performing products can deliver energy and cost savings.

Aston University was the second university in the UK to obtain a gold SKA HE rating and is currently working towards its third gold rating. A gold SKA rating not only allows organisations to accurately measure and report on their sustainability initiatives, but helps them manage their bottom line, comply with legislation and improve staff and stakeholder perceptions.

The SKA HE scheme is specifically designed to provide a benchmark for the interior fit out and refurbishment of learning spaces in the UK and was therefore chosen by Aston University to help drive innovation and help it achieve its energy reduction targets. All of the university’s larger projects (costing over £1 million) are assessed using the SKA HE rating.

In order to help implement sustainable construction practices throughout the campus and achieve the gold SKA rating, Aston University uses the ETL. For example, Aston University uses Thorlux’s LED lighting in all of its refurbished or new build areas. Lighting is an ‘unlisted’ category on the ETL, meaning that the products are not searchable on the list. Those looking to invest in energy efficient lighting will simply need a declaration of conformity to the ETL criteria from the manufacturer in order to claim accelerated tax relief, the Enhanced Capital Allowance.

The ETL is a strong resource to benchmark and help to adjust our standard equipment specification. In doing so, we are safe in the knowledge that all projects are energy efficient.

Andrew Bryers, Energy, Environment and Sustainability Manager

Visit the Energy Technology List website to search for eligible products.