The weeks are flying by, and sometimes it feels like we are getting nowhere. So it’s been really useful to write these blog posts to look back and remind ourselves what we have achieved. Once again, we’ve been quite busy!

What we’ve done this week:

  • A few of us went on a site visit to assess a section of elevated hard standing which is very close to the protected trees. We need to remove the hard standing but are only allowed to use hand tools so as not to risk damaging the tree roots. The team took some tools to see how easy this would be to do. And it turns out that with a bit of muscle power and the right type of tools it shouldn’t be too difficult!


  • We had our bi-weekly team meeting on Tuesday. It’s always good to get the team together to see how we are all getting on. We had some more discussions about the building performance (see last week’s blog). There are so many design implications that hinge off it, coming to a decision is not as easy as it sounds. We are getting there!
  • We had a really useful meeting on Wednesday to talk about our health & safety liabilities now that we are about to engage a groundworks contractor. Of course we want the work to be carried out safely, that is our primary concern. What do we need to ensure and provide in terms of facilities, documentation, working conditions etc and what will the ground worker cover him / herself? How does our health and safety strategy fit in with the wider RUSS health & safety policy? These are the sort of questions we are working through now.
  • A group of us met with Jon Broome again (at his beautiful self built home!) on Friday evening. Even though we feel like we have come away with more questions than answer, that’s kind of the point really! It’s making us think about our design and where there is room for improvement and simplification. We always find these design review sessions really useful, so thank you Jon!
  • On Saturday a few of us worked out of our great workspace again at the Artworks on Creekside. One of our volunteers Will Walker, who works for Power to Change, came to talk to us about community energy options for the hub. We already met with SELCE recently, and we talked about the two organisations potentially collaborating to help us submit an application for the London Community Energy Fund. It’s all still in its early stages at the moment, but it would be great to make something happen, so watch this space!

What we are focussing on next week:

  • There is a chance that the only sewer connection available to us is located too far from the hub. We still have to do further investigations. The Environmental Agency (EA) has already told us we can’t have a compost loo with a soak away as the site sits on top of a drinking water aquifer. We are currently researching other options e.g. compost toilets that don’t have a soak away, cesspits, septic tanks etc in case we have to find an alternative.
  • We’re having a meeting on Thursday to talk about the budget again. As we are going to start spending money shortly, we need to make sure we are tracking everything correctly. We also need to work with the wider RUSS finance processes for this.
  • We are drawing up a brief for the ground worker to work to. This will include making sure that he / she has all the site surveys and site plans, and a detailed scope of the work we need done so that we are on the same page.
  • We are looking to potentially hire a hiab with driver to collect a 10ft container, some adobe bricks and some timber. We have had some unexpectedly high quotes (approx £650 for one day)! If anyone knows of a company who may be able to offer us some more competitive rates, please drop us an email on Thanks!

Something we have learnt this week:

We’ve talked a lot about health and safety this week, so we’ve had to reference the CDM (Construction Design and Management regulations). The CDM regulations are intended to ensure that health and safety is properly considered during a project’s development. It requires that any project where the construction is likely to take longer than 30 days must notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE is a national, independent regulator of work-related health, safety and illness. In construction speak you say that the project is “notifiable”. You have to use a form called the F10 to do this.