Glamis Road Development
New houses which aim to transform the lives of people with disabilities have been completed in Dundee. Six pioneering properties have been built and designed by The Blackwood Group to help people with disabilities live and complete day-to-day activities in the home as anyone would.
Speaking to Premier Construction magazine, Simon Fitzpatrick, Strategic Development Developer at The Blackwood Group spoke about the importance of the development.
He said: “The Blackwood Group is a charity that is aimed at providing homes and care to people with disabilities and about 4 years ago we began a journey to start building again and as part of that journey we wanted to look at what it was that we wanted to build. We came up with 4 key things; accessible, affordable, connected and beautiful homes and our ethos behind that was that we wanted to build a home that anyone regardless of their tenure, income, physical or learning disability would be happy to live in.
“The place where we have built the development is the site of our very first development from when Blackwood was a charity in 1976. The flats that were there have been demolished for about 10 years now and we wanted a kind of legacy and wanted to build our new style of properties on that site to signal what we are now about in terms of providing homes for people with varying disabilities.”
The new properties are full of the latest technology and set a new standard of accessibility including moveable fixtures and fittings in the kitchen, sliding doors and the integration of The Blackwood Group’s CleverCogs system, a digitally enhanced care system with a purpose to keep people independent and in control in their home.
Simon continued: “The development used off site construction and a new, innovative floor plan layout. So rather than a traditional corridor with rooms coming off, the kitchen and the bathroom in each of the flats are back to back in a core S shape with everything else flowing around the outside of that core shape. It therefore minimises the halls and corridors and maximises the amount of useable space.
“There is fairly high level technology throughout the homes as well so all of the doors are pocket sliding doors, all of the kitchen units are able to be moved hydraulically and electronically so high level cupboards at the touch of a button will come down to a lower level. For example, a wheelchair user can easily access their storage rather than having lots of unsightly storage on a lower level.”
The concept for the project began in 2013 with teams starting on site in September 2016. The flats are now fully occupied and have received positive feedback from those living in them.
“The tenants are delighted and we are already seeing customers doing more for themselves,” said Simon. “One of the biggest things is that the combination between the technology, the design and flow around the house is really helping massively with day to day, independent tasks, so people who couldn’t make a cup of tea can make a cup of tea and people who were running into furniture now breeze through the property.”
Following the success of Glamis Road, The Blackwood Group already have plans to develop 24 Blackwood homes in Glasgow and will be on site in late autumn and have plans to build a further 100-150 homes over the next three to four years.
Commenting on the importance of the project, Simon concluded: “Firstly, it has been a massive team effort and I have had the best possible team I could of asked for around me but for me, personally, it builds a vision that me and the Blackwood board had four years ago so from that perspective it is life changing for me and Blackwood, so it is a hugely significant project.”