This last week has been a little quieter for the community hub team. Lots of people are away so it’s been a challenge to get things moved on. We have made a little progress however and are planning a few useful sessions next week.

What we’ve done this week

  • We’ve done a little more work refining the programme of works. The programme of works is a gantt chart that will map out all the tasks on the critical path. It will also include a build schedule. As with most project plans, this is a constantly movable feast. The more we learn about what we’re doing and how to do it, the more the plans can be refined. We’re just aiming for a rough baseline plan for now.
  • We’ve done some work to baseline the budget as well. As the design hasn’t quite been finalised this is bound to change. But we’re aiming to define some high-level “work packages” (like pots of money) e.g. £5000 for foundations, in the first instance as a baseline. We have raised £25,000 through very generous donations from supporters and £30,000 from the Greater London Authority. We want to make sure we are making the best use of this money.
  • We met some more volunteers at our workspace today – thanks Mariam, Gus and Nick for dropping by! They will hopefully be getting involved with some aspects of the design and build planning.

What we’re focussing on next week

  • On Monday we are meeting with Dinah Roake, who has joined RUSS as Operations Director. We are going to introduce the project to her and see how we can best work together and support each other.
  • We’re having a design workshop on Tuesday to bottom out some final decisions. We need to agree on the final insulation thicknesses for some of the walls, where services are going to come into the building, and some other details too. These decisions will then allow us to refine the list of materials we need, and the budget.
  • We’re also having a workshop on Wednesday to talk about build planning. Questions like “how will we organise the build safely with unskilled volunteers’, “how long do we think it will take us to build?”. Answering these sorts of questions will help us to define a schedule of works.

Here’s something we learnt this week

We’ve learnt the difference between a brown, a green and a blue roof.  A brown roof is a roof with rubble on it (bricks and concrete), to replicate brownfields*. A green roof is a roof that has been deliberately planted. A blue roof is a roof that temporarily retains water in a storm and slowly releases it to prevent flooding the sewers. Who knew?

* thanks @greenroofsuk for the correction and for the information. Incidentally, Laban Dance Centre in Lewisham was the first ever brown roof, and Lewisham Council and local activists have been in the vanguard in promoting green roofs. Our community hub is designed to have a green, biodiverse roof, which is in keeping with this legacy.