Transform celebrates women in construction on International Women's day

On International Women's Day and during Women in Construction Week, Transform’s all-women project team confirms single mothers will shortly be moving into new eco-friendly flats

At a time when the housing crisis casts a long shadow and vulnerable individuals struggle to secure stable accommodation, Transform Housing & Support’s innovative, almost net-zero carbon Mitchell Place project has emerged as a beacon of hope. Scheduled for completion shortly, this eight-flat modular development is designed to provide homes for single mothers with babies and young people with support needs.

Mitchell Place, named after former Transform Chief Executive Paul Mitchell, will not only offer shelter to homeless single mothers with infants but is also dedicated to sustainable living practices.

What makes Mitchell Place especially remarkable, however, is its all-women planning and consultant project team. From conception to execution, seven women have been at the forefront, bringing their expertise to every aspect of the development process. This underscores the power of female leadership in driving positive change, challenging traditional gender norms within the construction industry and setting a precedent for future projects.

“This collaboration exemplifies what can be achieved when compassion, innovation, and sustainability converge" 

These principles align perfectly with the ethos both of Women in Construction Week – with the 2024 theme for Women in Construction week being 'Keys to the Future', celebrating the strength and knowledge of women and the vital role they play in shaping the future of the construction industry and International Women's Day – the 2024 theme of which is to ‘Inspire Inclusion’.

Central to Mitchell Place's ethos is empowerment. Transform recognises the distinct challenges faced by single mothers, especially those with very young children, and has crafted a supportive community within the development. These purpose-built flats, specifically tailored to the residents’ needs, aim to alleviate the burdens these mothers face, providing a stable foundation for brighter futures for themselves and their children.

Head of Development at Transform Suzanne Edwards said the long-standing collaboration between Transform and construction design consultants Playle & Partners, spanning over 25 years, reflected a deep commitment to addressing homelessness and supporting vulnerable people. "There's a natural synergy that comes from years of collaboration and this is especially beneficial on projects where we’re working outside of our normal practices," she added. "This particular scheme is our first modular development and we're delighted with the quality and spaciousness of the flats.”

Sustainability lies at the heart of Mitchell Place, with a focus on achieving an Energy Performance Certificate rating of A. The development incorporates photovoltaic solar panels and an innovative fire suppression misting system, aligning with efforts to combat climate change. Modular construction further enhances efficiency and affordability, reducing waste and ensuring precise quality control.

Partner & Architect at Playle & Partners LLP, Hayley Poynter, said the company was proud to be carrying out this scheme with Transform Housing & Support and that seeing the modular elements come together in the factory had been truly fascinating. "The flats have been meticulously planned to cater to clients’ needs and as a mother of a young child myself, I can appreciate the layout challenges and what would and would not work,” she said. “They have been designed to accommodate the demands of raising children while also affording parents their own space. I can’t wait for the moment the families move in.”

From ample living spaces to thoughtfully designed amenities, every aspect of the development reflects a commitment to creating a nurturing environment for its residents. The flats would meet or exceed both the London Housing Design Guide and National Housing standards, Hayley explained. “This collaboration exemplifies what can be achieved when compassion, innovation, and sustainability converge,” she added.

Transform has received support from a number of different organisations for Mitchell Place. Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Homes England, and charitable foundations like the Wolfson Foundation and the Peter Harrison Foundation have all contributed funding to the project.

“We are very excited about the use of renewable energy and other efficient measures on the scheme, which will benefit Transform clients directly,” Suzanne said. “I am looking forward to the moment when we can hand these homes over to their new residents.”

Transform Housing & Support's Mitchell Place sets a standard for impactful collaboration and transformative housing solutions, paving the way for a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Pictured
(left to right) Five of the seven members of the all-women Mitchell Place project team: Suzanne – Head of Development for Transform, Hayley – Partner and Architect at Playle & Partners, Sarah – Architectural & Interior Designer & Assistant at Playle & Partners, Pelin – Quantity Surveyor at Playle & Partners and Natalie – Head of Housing & Support at Transform

More News

Transform is delighted to announce that the first Client-led Blog has officially been published.
In a major stride forward in its green journey, Transform Housing & Support has become Carbon Neutral by contributing to four, UN and UK-verified carbon offsetting projects. Carbon offsetting is when an organisation compensates for the environmental harm its emissions have caused. 
In a move which further bolsters its activity in Dorking, Transform Housing & Support has taken over a small housing association in the area.
Transform has welcomed a new strategic leader to its ranks. Ollie Smedley – formerly the Deputy Chair of Transform’s Board – has stepped up into the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees following Mark Austen’s recent retirement after six years in the role.