The Phase 3 Building Project: Our July Update (We’re Back Home!)
We are delighted to announce that on 31st July 2020 we officially moved back to our 404 Camden Road building!! There were some building delays due to the Covid-19 Pandemic as can be expected, but seeing the building now looking so wonderful we all know that the extra efforts involved in the relocation were all worth it!
Thursday 30th and Friday 31st saw our teams packing up and moving back to our fabulously renovated and refurbished building with more space for our service users, their families and our staff and volunteers to enjoy.
So a huge thank you to our moving team, some of which pictured below!
CEO Linda McGowan: There are some wonderful new spaces for training, meetings and a new staff kitchenette. So, all workers whether you are based in the offices or at our housing and outreach projects should benefit from the upgraded training and meeting rooms.
Below you can see the beautiful new staff kitchenette as well as one of the several brand new fresh coffee machines that all staff will be able to benefit from when visiting or conducting training in the building.
All the toilets have also had a refresh as well as some news ones being built as pictured below, which is always nice!
Below you can see our beautiful hall that was kindly gifted to us from the Nurtman family has had a refresh ready for some of clubs and groups to restart in September. The hall has also been insulated to better heat the room and make it more comfortable for our service users. The main downstairs kitchen has also been completely modernised, which again will be enjoyed by our clubs and groups and our Day Opportunities Service.
CEO Linda McGowan: The front of the building has finally got its makeover so will no longer be looking shabby and will be more accessible for our minibuses and staff bicycles. We have also invested in reducing our carbon footprint with a new heating system, solar panels and improved insulation to the roof, walls and windows. These upgrades should ensure the building is more comfortable during changes of weather and will also help to considerably lower our bills.
As pictured below, you can see that the front of the building really does look glorious! Our building and community “heart centre” is now future proofed as a space for our service users and families to connect, learn and thrive.
Below you can clearly see the changes in the before and after, pictured from the back of the building with all the additional extensions providing vital extra spaces for our service users, staff and volunteers. The garden needs a bit of work to restore it to it’s former glory, so we eagerly await the return of our Garden Group volunteers to help us with this once it is safe to do so! We know they can’t wait to come back either! :o)
Below you can see our beautiful new board room and meeting room, which have the most wonderful natural lighting and view out onto the garden. This is the new extension above the garden room that you can see to the front in the before and after pictures above. We really love the copper and green combination, an interior design stroke of genius from our CEO Linda, aimed at matching the natural colours of our garden.
We also have the brand new training room, which is above the housing office and is the extension pictured to the right in the before and after pictures above. This is on the same floor as the the new staff kitchenette, coffee station and toilets pictured further up the page. Below you can see the inside of the room, and although still to be unpacked you can see what a useful space this is going to provide for staff and volunteer training. You can also see (still in the box) our brand new smart board, which will enable us to provide more interactive and engaging training and presentations to our staff, service users and volunteers, hurrah!
So all in all a we have a fabulous newly refurbished and renovated building that has so far exceeded everyone’s expectations. We can’t wait for more people to see it and enjoy it!
Outside: Encouraging Biodiversity, Sustainable Travel and Environmentally Friendly Green Spaces
- Raised flower beds and rain garden to home an abundance of seasonal plants and shrubs, that will attract different wildlife throughout the year
- Climbing plants and honeysuckle that add texture, encourage invertebrates and obscure less aesthetic areas such as waste bins; concealing them from the sight of passers-by
- Terrace drain spout and rain chain to water rain garden
- 1000 ltr. Water Butt to collect rain water which will act as an overflow system and feed the plants
- Shed Storage with Green Sedum Roof to increase vegetation and enhance air quality
- Porous Resin Bound Gravel for drainage and to naturally filter rain water into the ground to feed the Horse Chestnut and Dogwood Trees – improved irrigation
- Increased and improved bicycle storage to encourage environmentally friendly employee travel
- LED lights to demarcate parking and reduce energy use
- Designated space for a new electric car to be used for transporting service users with high needs and complex disabilities, allowing them to access our services whilst reducing our carbon emissions.
- Electrical Vehicle Charging Point (EVCP) soon to be installed
- Bug Hotels to encourage wildlife and in particular invertebrates, to increase biodiversity (soon to be completed)
Inside: Focus on Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy Sources and Sustainable Materials
- Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)
- Solar panels
- Eco friendly paint used inside the building
- Natural content of new carpet tiles
- Natural rubber (grey stair case)
- Bamboo flooring in new rooms
- Hand driers to reduce the use of paper (and ultimately reduce the amount of deliveries so impact on the supply chain and carbon footprint)
- Drinkable water tap (impact also on the chain of supply and less plastic bottles used)
- Energy efficient appliances (all above A rating)
- Washing machine (cleaning materials can be washed instead of discarded, towels in kitchen instead of paper)
- Introduction of eco-friendly cleaning supplies and toilet paper
- Double glazing on existing windows to reduce heat and energy loss
- Light sensors
- Gas now only used for the cooker
- Recycling stations soon to be installed
- Electricity and gas supply to be moved to 100% renewable energy within the next 3 months