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How can Blinds help achieve a Ska Rating? Part 2: Window Coverings & Treatments
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By: Mandy Biggs

In Part 1 of How can Blinds help achieve a Ska Rating, we looked at the benefits to businesses and the criteria of Daylight Glare Control.  In Part 2 we look at the assessment of window coverings and treatments.

The Ska Rating is the RICS’ environmental assessment method and sustainability award body.  Launched in 2009, it helps landlords and tenants evaluate, rate and benchmark fit out projects against a set of sustainability good practice criteria, known as Good Practice Measures (GPM).

The Ska guidance notes for Window Coverings states

  • The manufacture of window coverings and their materials should not contribute to resource depletion or persist in the environment if disposed of (eg to landfill).  This aspect is covered by good practice measures relating to material selection.  However, for blinds and particularly fabric blinds, the material selection for reasons of wellbeing and its physical and environmental performance are closely linked and should be considered together in any process of specification.  For example, fabric blinds should meet the Eco-tex 100 Standard.
  • Roller blinds with Solar Protective Coating (SPC) or Energy Solar Protective Coating (ESP) reduce solar heat gain to improve staff comfort, concentration and productivity, while eliminating the harmful UV radiation.  While providing solar and UV protection, they allow some natural light through.
  • Reducing the solar heat gain in the office gives staff a comfortable and productive workplace, eliminating the fatigue and loss of concentration caused by high temperatures and solar glare.
  • Solar protective fabric can give 1% to 15% in annual energy savings by reducing the air conditioning.

Window Treatments are an important measure in the Ska Rating.  All window treatments must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • They are reused.
  • If new, they are manufactured with at least 80% recycled content (measured by mass) and 100% recycled content (designed for deconstruction with components that can be recycled).
  • If new, they have a Cradle to Cradle Silver or higher certificate.
  • They are supplied with an environmental product declaration, written in accordance with ISO 14025 standards, or
  • They are supplied with environmental product declarations for the materials used.
  • If they are timber or containing timber components, the timber must meet the criteria of good practice measure D20 Timber.
  • Any recycled and recyclable content claims must comply with ISO 14021:2016 and state IAQ emissions.

Scoping for window treatments applies if they are specified or installed.  The criteria applies to the main shading material of blinds, drapes and curtains.

Notes on Asssessment of Window Treatments

  • At Design Stage: Check specifications explicitly reference at least one of the above criteria or specify a product that meets the criteria.
  • At Handover Stage: Collage delivery notes or invoices and manufacturer’s take back scheme agreement where relevant, for all installed products responding to the criteria and/or obtain a statement of reuse for all relevant products/materials.
  • At Occupancy Stage: If window treatments have been changed or added, carry out the handover stage assessment.  If this measure was achieved at handover stage and window treatments have not been changed or added, this measure will be achieved by default.

These criteria highlight the need for high-performance blind fabrics in offices, in order to achieve best retention of views whilst providing optimum glare control.  This can only be achieved with screen fabrics with a metallised backing, with Cradle to Cradle certification of Silver.

Waverley can help with provision of blinds with this fabric.

Source: rics.org/ska

About the author

Mandy Biggs Marketing Manager