News & Comment

UCL's People & Planet University League 2015 score

Compiled by student campaigning organisation People & Planet, the University League is an independent ranking of UK universities on their environmental and ethical performance.  More...

Published: Jan 20, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Pop-up cycling cafes from London By Cycle

Never ridden a bike before but want to try? Got a new bike and looking for advice on good routes? Ride a little but wish you were more confident? Just want a free coffee and to chat about bikes? More...

Published: Jan 12, 2015 11:08:00 AM

The Christmas Switch Off: your impact

Congratulations to everyone who joined in with the Christmas Switch Off. The savings you’ve helped make really is proof that we can all play a part in improving UCL’s environmental impact.  More...

Published: Jan 9, 2015 9:50:00 AM

Free environmental auditor training for students and staff

The Sustainability Team is running free environmental auditor training sessions to cover the basics of how to undertake an audit, and to give an opportunity to conduct an audit of a UCL building.  More...

Published: Jan 8, 2015 11:53:00 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