Energy and Environment Institute

Energy & Environment Institute secures prestigious SKA Gold sustainability rating

The Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull has practised what it preaches by securing a prestigious SKA Gold rating for sustainability.

The accreditation, operated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), recognises building refurbishments and fit-outs which have been completed with a truly ‘green’ focus.

Designed and fitted out by Hull-based Chameleon Business Interiors, the EEI’s home at the University of Hull was judged on criteria including biodiversity, insulation, energy efficiencies in lighting and heating, and the amount of waste the building produces.

Having passed the test, it is believed to be the first time a SKA Gold rating has been awarded to a building in Yorkshire.

Professor Dan Parsons, Director at the Energy & Environment Institute, said: “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.”

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.

Energy and Environment Institute

To achieve the SKA Gold rating, the building was also praised for its cycle storage, low-flush toilets, energy-efficient hand dryers and refrigerators, as well as the sustainability of the EEI buildings refurbishment, where waste products from the remodelling were recycled.

Stephen Dale, Director of Estates and Facilities at the University of Hull, said: “I am delighted that our prestigious Energy & Environment Institute building has been recognised as achieving one of the highest sustainability ratings.

“Last year, the University outlined a bold vision to become carbon neutral by 2027. Impressive strides towards that goal have already been made, and in the coming months, we will be sharing more information on how we plan to transition our campus into a net carbon zero estate.

“The University’s Energy & Environment Institute is at the heart of our ambitious strategy, and news of this prestigious accolade could not have come at a stronger time for Hull.”

“In line with the University’s inclusivity values, we are also well underway with phase two plans for greater accessibility standards within the building too.”

The project was managed by Rider Levett Bucknall, who also certified the project as the SKA assessor having developed the accreditation scheme with the RICS.

RLB also provided project management, building surveying and sustainability services for the University of Hull.

Paul Batchelor, Partner at RLB, said: “Delivering the SKA Gold rated academic hub for the pioneering Energy & 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.”

The EEI’s new home was designed by Chameleon Business Interiors.

Shaun Watts, Chairman at Chameleon Business Interiors, said: “We are delighted with the Gold SKA rating achieved for the University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute.

“At Chameleon we work with sustainability front of mind on every project, and this was particularly important whilst working with the University of Hull, given the nature of the hub in leading efforts to tackle global environmental resilience and energy sustainability.

“Day-to-day, we made sure to pay careful consideration to of all the materials used, as well as monitor the 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.”

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