News & Comment

Design and create a garden to boost biodiversity at UCL

The Sustainability Team and UCL IoE Gardening Project are offering staff and students the chance to design and create one of four biodiversity-boosting raised beds in Sarah's Garden on the roof terrace at the UCL Institute of Education.

Published: Mar 31, 2015 2:26:00 PM

Cruciform Hub awarded Gold for green credentials

The recently-refurbished Cruciform Hub has received a RICS Ska Gold award for its environmental credentials, which include energy efficient lighting throughout, use of sustainable timber and 99% of all waste generated by the project avoiding landfill. More...

Published: Mar 25, 2015 1:01:00 PM

UCL student a finalist in Mayor of London's Low Carbon competition

Louis's 'Gaia Gallery' project is based in a heritage canal boat and aims to create the UK’s first entirely off-grid touring event space. The project is volunteer-led and has been shaped by a carbon neutral design that incorporates alternative technologies, reclaimed materials and natural building methods. The barge is also currently being converted to operate on recycled vegetable oil, further improving the impact of the project. More...

Published: Mar 18, 2015 1:17:00 PM

Free cycle tours of London (bikes provided!)

After the success of our first rides, we're running more guided cycle tours around London for UCL students. All abilities are welcome, whether you're a cycling fanatic or a total beginner. Even if you don't have a bike, don't worry; we can provide one.

Published: Mar 16, 2015 10:04:00 AM


UCL is committed to the sustainable development of our estate. Our Sustainable Design Specification commits our building and refurbishment projects to meeting strict environmental standards. This may be through BREEAM for our larger projects or Ska for refurbishments. The projects use the methodology most appropriate to the work being carried out and the Sustainability Team plays an active role in supporting these to achieve the best performance. 

Ongoing construction projects at UCL

Methodology used Number of ongoing projects Case study
Carbon Appraisal 5  
Ska 30 Refurbishment of 31 Tavistock Square
Mini Ska 38  
Other 21  

This list was last updated on 28/08/14 and is updated on a monthly basis. 

Carbon Appraisal

The UCL Carbon Appraisal Methodology was developed to capture the lifecycle cost and carbon impacts of our building projects and equipment choices.

This allows different options to be evaluated against each other to determine which, over time, will cost the most and use the most energy (result in the greatest carbon emissions). For example, if you are buying a new fridge for your department, it can be used to help you choose between the different product options. Often you can find that the cheapest option might cost you more in the long term as it wastes energy or needs to be replaced more frequently. The same principle is used for building works but can be on a larger scale, involving lots of different components. UCL have also developed a spreadsheet which helps you put the Carbon Appraisal Methodology into practice. All you need is a) how much energy your options use, b) how much they cost, and c) (if you really want to get into the detail) when each option would need replacing. 

Mini Ska

The RICS Ska methodology has been adopted by UCL for use on refurbishment projects. For some projects however, we are simply not changing enough individual items to make this possible. We might just be changing the lighting for example. For these smaller projects, UCL have adopted the principles of the Ska Good Practice Measures into a simple to follow spreadsheet of requirements. This ensures that we are ensuring best practice is followed on projects even where a formal methodology like Ska or BREEAM is not possible. Users are expected to meet the criteria of all items which are included in their project.

Construction resources

Sustainable Design Specification

This document details UCL’s strategy for the delivery of sustainable estate. 

Download as pdf.

Project Sustainability Assessment Procedure

This document outlines the process by which sustainability assessments for construction and refurbishment projects will be carried out at UCL. 

Download as pdf

Carbon Appraisal Methodology

This document uses the BISRIA whole life costing methodology and a carbon calculation to determine the best solutions for UCL, both financially and in terms of carbon. 

Download as pdf

Carbon Appraisal Tool

This tool supports teams in the application of the UCL Carbon Appraisal Methodology. This enables users to calculate the carbon implications of decisions using a few simple figures. 

Download as Excel file

Sustainability Code of Practice for Contractors

This document details the expectations of contractors working on the UCL site or on behalf of UCL with regard to the environment and local communities. 

Download as pdf.  

Mini Ska Tool

This is a cut down version of the RICS Ska methodology which has been adapted for UCL use on small projects. 

Download as Excel file