Blackett-Ord Court – Retirement Living Scheme

R G Carter were appointed by Housing & Care 21 to expand their existing sheltered housing scheme in Royston providing an additional 17 units for over 55’s. These units a combination of one and two-bedroom flats in line with Housing & Care 21’s own design specification.

The project was split across two sections. An extension to the existing residence hosting 11 new units and a smaller standalone block to the south of the site containing six units to create a semi enclosed arrival court bookended by the existing building. The existing residence remained live throughout the construction period.

The accommodation was designed to:

  • be self-contained and designed to facilitate independent living
  • provide an environment which meets present and future needs and expectations of older people
  • designed to offer flexibility
  • create a highly desirable, safe and secure supported environment.

Project challenges and constraints
As part of the delivery we were required to connect into the existing facility whilst the adjacent rooms remained occupied. We utilised a manual breakthrough method to create the linking corridor between the new and old building. This method allowed us to minimise disruption to the neighbours as well as reducing dust on-site. The works were effectively segregated and regularly communication with the building users was maintained.

site itself was tight and bounded on all sides with no parking available. As the works were being carried out on either end of the existing building with no space to manoeuvre materials, we utilised a mobile forklift to distribute materials around the site. This included safely using the pedestrian footpaths to move from one side of the site to the other. This was carefully managed by our dedicated Logistics Manager.

Community engagement
As part of our commitment to engaging with the on-site residents we held fortnightly meetings to discuss upcoming works including noisy and disruptive activities. This was supported by monthly project newsletters issued by our site team. We also undertook a scheme presentation during the planning phase to notify all stakeholders of the proposed development and answer any questions they may have had about the project. Additionally, the project is registered under the Considerate Contractors Scheme and received an overall score of 39/45 which is a fantastic score given the sites constraints.

Prior to the works completing we worked with Housing & Care 21 to host an open day to showcase the new flats ahead of the official opening to allow them to market them. To facilitate this we completed the standalone block early to allow two of the new units to be prepared for viewing 2 months before the targeted completion date. In collaboration with Housing & Care 21, we chose this location for the showflats due to their location at the front of the building for accessibility.

Housing & Care
Royton, Hertfordshire
Saunders Boston Architects
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