Up on the roof – Topping Out moment for healthy living at the council’s new senior living village

Up on the roof - Topping Out moment for healthy living at the council’s new senior living village

A memorable topping-out ceremony was held yesterday, Tuesday 1 August, to celebrate the £55 million Senior Living Village in Flitwick, as the independent living apartment blocks reached its highest point.

The event brought together a cheerful crowd on the roof, including Executive Member Cllr. Mark Smith who inaugurated the planting of the rooftop gardens. These gardens are not only expected to provide an oasis of peace for residents but also offer environmental benefits.  

This topping-out ceremony signifies a significant construction milestone for the low energy development, which includes a 72-bed care home, 88 independent living apartments, and an 8-bed short stay unit, all set to open in Summer 2024.  

Emphasising its commitment to sustainability and community welfare, our construction partner Farrans is also providing local social value support, including learning opportunities in schools and various employment opportunities for the local community.  

Designed to meet Passivhaus standards, the development aims to offer older people an opportunity to maintain an independent lifestyle while providing a ‘home-for-life’ with varying levels of care and support when needed. The Passivhaus design ensures optimal internal conditions, a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment, while significantly reducing energy, emissions and operational costs.   

After the ceremony, guests were joined by several residents from Ferndale Care Home and enjoyed a post-ceremony tea at the Rufus Centre.  

Cllr. Steven Watkins, Executive Member for Business, Housing, and Public Affairs said, “This was a fantastic day to reflect on everything that has been achieved so far and to celebrate the significant social impact this project is already having on the local community.”  

Cllr. Mark Smith, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, emphasised the health benefits of the rooftop gardens, stating, “Gardens bring significant health benefits, and the rooftop gardens will provide an oasis of peace and calm with space for people to come together and an opportunity for those who enjoy gardening to get involved.”  

“The Senior Living Village will not only offer first-class care and accommodation in the care home but also provide independent living apartments, allowing residents to enjoy an active and independent lifestyle with excellent facilities right on their doorstep.”  

Cathal Montague, Regional Director for Farrans Construction, said: “The topping out of Steppingley Road Senior Living Village marks another stage in the progress of this important project for Central Bedfordshire Council. This building is ahead of the curve in its drive for Passivhaus accreditation and it will be an example of what can be delivered in this new frontier in sustainable care homes.

“We strive to have a positive lasting impact in the communities that we work and since starting on site we have had 13 apprentices join our team, we have had over 280 local people working on our site and we have created nine full time positions for previously long term unemployed. We have partnered with local schools to deliver workshops and site visits, participated in litter picks and volunteered at community events.

“Our social value work will continue until the end of the project and coming up we have four community biodiversity workshops scheduled for August, several volunteering and litter picking sessions in the diary and teacher insight days to provide more information about career and work experience opportunities within the construction industry.”  

To visualise the care home, its community garden and the independent living accommodation with roof garden, you can view the CGI fly-through video showing a vision of the building.   

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BDC 308 : Sep 2023