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What is the SKA rating of a building?

April 3, 2024

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

SKA rating is another way to prove the energy efficiency of your building. Read our latest blog to find out more.

Since the UK declared a state of climate emergency in 2019, the construction industry has been tackling a countrywide endeavour to hit net zero by 2050. Here at Buildpass, we’ve talked many times about the role that the built environment plays in laying the building blocks for a more sustainable world; however, today we’re sharing what SKA rating is and how this can have an impact on our ability to deliver low carbon construction projects.


While adding in a sustainable focus to your building project can feel like another thing to add to your agenda, the benefits are tenfold.  The impact is not only environmental; it’s financial, too. There’s a lot of evidence to show that environmentally-conscious buildings cost 2% more to build on average, but save 14% – 19% in operational expenditures. 

But, where do SKA ratings come into it all? Read on to find out.

What is the SKA rating?

The SKA rating is a nationally recognised sustainability assessment and certification method which focuses on commercial properties in the UK. designed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), it’s an environmental benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit outs. It works by helping landlords and tenants assess fit out projects by putting them up against a set of sustainability ‘good practice’ measures. These measures fit into categories, which include:

All fit out projects are unique: because of this, the SKA rating score will only reflect the measures that are relevant to the project in hand. On average, you’ll find between 30 and 60 measures applying to a project – the result of these enables commercial property owners to utilise important information about their building’s environmental performance, as well as core areas to build upon.

How does the SKA rating work in practice? 

The SKA Guide outlines over 100 good practice measures (GPM) that a project team can put into place. Each GPM has its own level of sustainability impact – these are, as such, ranked in order of ‘importance’.

When it comes to your SKA rating, you must achieve a certain number of the highest-ranking GPM in order to be scored: these are your gateway measures, and are paramount for certification. 

Your SKA rating will either be Bronze, Silver or Gold. Benefits of securing a good SKA rating are massive, and include:

What is the process for getting your SKA rating?

The process for achieving your SKA rating can be broken down into four steps.

1. Scope.

Your SKA assessor will start off by reviewing the full scope of all relevant assessment criteria and make a decision on which measures they will apply to your project with a bespoke scorecard.

2. Design stage assessment.

They will then work with you during the design stage. Here, your assessor will help you put into place as many ‘in-scope’ measures as possible. They will then complete a design stage assessment so that you can see a current rating for the project.

3. Handover assessment.

Throughout the construction stage, your assessor will still be on hand, bringing together lots of evidence and information that showcases how the chosen measures have been followed and implemented. They will then provide a final assessment.

4. Certification.

And here comes the best bit – once the assessment has been submitted, the assessor can provide you with your much-awaited certification. From here, your construction project is officially certified and you can well and truly shout about it!

Does Buildpass provide SKA rating assessments?

The Buildpass team are qualified SKA rating assessors, so you can come to us for all of your SKA rating needs.

However, if you aren’t sure whether SKA assessments are the best route for your project – well, that’s what we’re here for! Don’t ever hold back from contacting us. We love to help and we LOVE to talk about all things sustainable construction. Book in a call and we’ll arrange a free consultation.


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