Sustainable UCL


Sustainable refurbishment of 31 Tavistock Square

Built in 1826, 31 Tavistock Square is a Grade 2* listed building, situated in the Bloomsbury conservation area. Previously used as a domestic dwelling, this refurbishment project used the Ska Rating system to transform the space into offices with sector-leading environmental performance, all while respecting the heritage of the building

1 July 2019

The Ska Rating is designed to help organisations achieve more sustainable fit-out projects. It’s an approach that can be used to guide improvements in environmental performance, carry out assessments and benchmark performance against similar projects.

High efficiency lighting and sensor controls to determine occupancy and daylight levels were used throughout the building to ensure low energy usage. Waste minimisation was also a priority, with 100% of non-hazardous wastes diverted from landfill as part of the project.

Original building features such as plaster cornicing were repaired and restored, and where elements for the refurbishment were not already available on site, these were sustainably sourced by the team. This included all timber, furniture, doors, and window treatments. The design of the building also used a polished concrete floor to remove the need for potentially harmful polishes and varnishes in its finishing.

Energy-efficient boilers, hand-dryers and improved insulation were all also installed, helping to further reduce energy usage.  

This project shows the value of the Ska Rating system and the improvements in performance that it can drive. It represents an approach that will be emulated in all new refurbishment projects across the estate. 

tavistock square kitchen

Images: the frontage of 31 Tavistock Square, and the new kitchen area.