Sustainable UCL


UCL IOE Confucius Institute achieves Ska Gold

5 October 2017

Confucius pic


We are pleased to announce that the latest refurbishment completed through the UCL Transformation Programme has achieved the SKA Gold rating for sustainability. 

RICS SKA is an environmental assessment tool for fit-outs which UCL Estates have adopted to ensure small refurbishment work is done sustainably. This helps to reduce our environmental footprint and work towards the UCL 2034 key enabler of maintaining a sustainable estate.

The Confucius Institute, which promotes Chinese language, learning and teaching, is a Grade 2 listed property. Built in 1829, it presented a number of challenges for sustainability. Firstly, the heritage status of the building meant that any visual elements to the property had to adhere to both heritage and sustainability standards. New doors and windows had to match the existing style but were still able to be procured from sustainable forestry sources and met the relevant environmental credentials required to be sustainable materials.

The heritage requirements also had a number of sustainability benefits. The overall layout remained consistent with the original Georgian townhouse and so working with the existing shell and shape meant that material use was kept to a minimum as walls and stairways were repaired and finished rather than being stripped out and replaced with new. This meant materials were salvaged and this reduced waste and removed the need to purchase new components.

Confucius 3

Elsewhere, the sustainability requirements for energy were met, including highly efficient LED lighting and efficient heating and cooling. Cycle parking and lockers were installed to facilitate easy cycle storage for building users. Lastly, the fit-out also did its bit for the local environment as some new soft landscaping and planting in the back garden has opened up a useable outdoor space for occupants.

Confucius 2

The finished product, mixing both Chinese and Western design, looks outstanding and is a sets a benchmark for construction in heritage buildings being able to meet high sustainability standards.