Dorset Homelessness Oct 2013

Progress at Pilsdon Community Project

Set in the heart of Dorset, CRASH has been assisting The Pilsdon Community Trust for a number of years.

The need

The site consists of a house, a courtyard of farm buildings and a recently renovated barn.

Phase II, otherwise known as ‘The Loose Boxes’, is now under way. This project involves converting an existing stable block into short-term accommodation for people who have been sleeping rough.

The solution

Marking Phase I of their redevelopment plans, the barn restoration was supported by CRASH patrons. CRASH also pledged a cash grant of £50,000.

How patrons helped

AECOM and EC Harris provided professional expertise. BAM also undertook a Community Challenge to paint the barn’s interior while Hanson, Knauf Insulation and Travis Perkins provided materials free of charge.

EC Harris has already undertaken a huge amount of pro bono work on phase II of this project as well as donating £15,000 towards the funding as part of the company’s Legacy Project.

Working alongside them is fellow CRASH patron BAM who is tapping into its supply chain to secure materials free of charge or at greatly reduced rates. BAM and EC Harris have also brought in Arup and NVB Architects to assist on the project.

Below is a progress report from September and October written by BAM’s Construction Director Nick Goff:

“Over the next few months we will be dismantling the existing loose boxes accommodation units and stables then constructing a new shell to provide space for future fit-out works of new accommodation units, multi-purpose space and a food preparation area. We will also be constructing new stables for the cattle.

“The structure of the new building will be constructed from timber and the materials used on the envelope and roof will be sourced to provide a similar appearance to the existing building form. This will provide a structurally sound building to develop whilst keeping the charm of the courtyard area.

During September we completed the following works:

  • Remove existing roof slates
  • Stripping the interior of the loose boxes
  • Removing the existing timber cladding, doors and windows
  • Dismantling the roof structure
  • Dismantling the timber wall structure
  • Remove the existing concrete slab
  • Construct new foundations
  • Install new drainage

We have also made safe the existing plumbing and electrical services that are in the loose boxes and re-wired the fire alarm to ensure that the building is safe to dismantle whilst still providing water, heating, power, lighting and a fire alarm to the surrounding buildings.

Scaffold has also been erected along the stone wall to the rear of the loose boxes to provide safe access to the roof. Our site office and welfare cabin will have been delivered to the rear of Phase 1 accommodation.

During October we will be doing the following works:

  • Complete reinforced concrete slab
  • Complete underground drainage
  • Commence erection of timber frame and roof

We are very happy with the successful way in which the loose boxes were carefully and safely dismantled. All of the roof slates were removed and examined with the better ones being kept for future use.”

The social impact

Pilsdon is a small farming community which offers accommodation and work to homeless people. Homeless People come to the community from all walks of life, always at a time of crisis, recovering from family breakdown, mental illness, addiction or coping with bereavement.

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