We have had a very busy week with several meetings and workshops. It feels great to get some momentum behind the project again, we hope we can maintain it now!

What we’ve done this week

  • On Monday we met with Dinah Roake who has recently joined RUSS as the Operations Director. We introduced the community hub project to her and talked about how we can support each other going forward. It’s great to have her on board!
  • On Tuesday we held a design workshop to talk about what performance levels we want the building to achive. This is a decision we still need to make. Making this decision will inform the level of insulation we need in the walls and roof and the wall thicknesses (informed in turn by the u-values we are trying to achieve), and the air tightness of the structure. The performance of our hub must meet the levels prescribed by building regulations as a minimum, but we are trying to see if we can achieve a higher standard whilst keeping things as simple as possible e.g. Passivhaus, Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard. Some members of the team have taken on the task of doing some research on this subject so we can make a decision next week.
  • On Wednesday we held our first logistics workshop. We covered things like site clearance, vehicle access and how to prepare for laying the foundations.
  • We have received permission from Lewisham Council to prune the trees near the site where the hub will be built. Some of the trees on the Church Grove site are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) which means we have to get permission to do any work to the trees or near the roots of the trees.
  • On Saturday, a group of us went for another site visit, to assess the effort needed to clear the site and make it ready for vehicles to access it. We also took a spade along and assessed whether we will be able to dig the foundation holes ourselves, or whether we will need a contractor to do this for us.
  • On Saturday we held our weekly drop in again at our workspace in Deptford. Thanks Anais, Alice, Arturo and Seyi for dropping by, great to have you all on board!
  • And finally, a couple of us went on a site visit to Bold Tendencies in Peckham. They have a cob building on the roof of the multi-storey carpark, and it was great to chat to Tom about how they built the structure. It’s definitely worth popping down (or up!) there if you are interested in building with cob. The installation will be there until the 22nd September.


What we are focussing on next week

  • We have our bi-weekly team meeting on Tuesday evening. We will be getting updates from everyone who is working on tasks to see how they are getting on and if they need any help. We are also hoping to make a decision on the performance of the building so we can finalise the design drawings.
  • On Wednesday we are meeting to talk about health and safety. We need to understand more about our obligations under the Construction Design and Management regulations (CDM). CDM defines how construction projects are planned and run safely. This is crucial for us, as we will have unskilled volunteers working on our site.
  • As a whole team we are busy working on our Building Control submission. This is a big undertaking as it involves finalising all of the drawings and working with our structural engineer to make sure that the building we have designed won’t fall down!  We are working on this in the background all the time.

Something we have learned this week

Post-it notes are very handy in workshops, helping to keep track of tasks and more importantly, who is going to do them!