An assessment tool to help occupiers, owners and designers achieve more sustainable fit-outs has been launched by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Unlike BREEAM and LEED, the Ska Rating environmental labelling tool enables a building to be evaluated on what a developer has chosen to do in the fit-out alone rather than the base building or what has been done to the building in the past.

The assessment process has three stages: design/planning; delivery/ construction; and post-occupancy. It will enable potential occupiers to benchmark the environmental credentials of office fit-outs to compare different schemes.

The rating is based on 99 fitout measures. Between 30 and 60 of these are likely to apply to most projects, and the rating only scores on those relevant to the particular project.

Gold, silver or bronze ratings are attained by achieving 75%, 50% or 25% of the potential measures. To ensure teams do not just opt for the easiest actions, a project has to achieve a number of the highestranked measures.

Because Ska credits are ranked by what will have the biggest impact on sustainability, the system can help designers achieve the greenest outcome for a given budget.

The assessment tool is available free online to enable designers to self-assess a scheme, but RICS is also launching an accreditation scheme for Ska assessors, which will enable them to certify a scheme on behalf of a client.

The rating system was developed by various organisations including interiors contractor Skansen, Aecom, Hurleypalmerflatt, Scott Wilson and Sheppard Robson.