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Accommodation for the Homeless Completed by Powells

 

 

24th February 2021

After 10 weeks on site, working through the challenges that yet another lockdown brings, Powells have handed over five new units of accommodation to our partners at the New Forest District Council.

This is the first of many similar projects we will be delivering for the New Forest District Council through their Strategic Housing Priorities Plan that seeks to provide temporary housing for people and families that are homeless. This has, unfortunately, become an increasingly vital social requirement, both nationally and locally, and despite the economic prosperity of the New Forest the area has many of its own homeless challenges. The wonderful facility that Powells have now delivered at Blackfield helps New Forest District Council towards fulfilling the promises held within their Housing Strategy and gives the occupants the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

 

A Powells Design and Build Project

The brief for this project was to convert the former Blackfield Community Centre, situated on the Eastern edge of the New Forest National Park, into 5 units of accommodation, now called Blackfield Court. Each room is now fully furnished and equipped with an en-suite bathroom, storage cupboards, plus a fridge and microwave. The remaining internal work included the fitting of two communal kitchens, forming a storage area in the loft-space, and creating a CCTV and security office. Externally the communal garden space to the front of the building required landscaping, and to the side of the building Powells created a covered bike shed, clothes drying area and a bin store.

Being tasked with the responsibility to design and build this new facility, Powells were given an initial concept by the client, and from this developed a detailed design for the structure and fit out. Working closely with a structural engineer to design the alterations to the roof, Powells have successfully created a fully accessible loft space with a large storage area. This was a key aspect of the design enabling us to maximise the useable space within the footprint of the building. We also produced the full mechanical & electrical design for the building, collaborating with trusted sub-contractors to deliver these elements in line with the technical requirements set out by the client.

The internal layouts have been cleverly designed and the floor plans constructed so that the adjacent rooms can be linked together to form larger family rooms, should the need arise. The internal finishes were all part of Powells’ design proposals and the finished product is both practical and pleasing to the eye.

For this project, including all structural and fit out elements, Powells were given a 12-week programme to complete the contract. However, through streamlining certain aspects of the project and seeing where the build could be made more efficient, Powells successfully reduced the duration to just 10-weeks, meaning that the facility could be handed over to our client earlier than expected.

Seeing the culmination of our work and the benefits that this initiative is now providing to the people of the New Forest we can reflect on the importance of this project to the local community. We are extremely proud of the whole Powells team who have made the New Forest District Council’s vision become a reality, and we look forward to starting the next project with our new partners very soon.

For more information on the New Forest District Council homelessness schemes visit www.newforest.gov.uk/article/948/Housing-and-homelessness

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