Collage: 3 scenes from refurbished spaces in Croydon University Hospital's Rough Sleeping Hub.


Croydon University Hospital, ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay (SSTS)’ Homeless Accommodation Hub, 2020

Refurbishment of Existing Steel-Framed Building to Create a New Accommodation Hub to Support the Rough Sleeping and Homeless Community in Croydon


  • “The success of the Croydon RSHSS refurbishment project was largely down to Fowlers’ reactive ‘can-do’ approach, which they applied from the outset. Timescales were extremely tight from day one, however Will and his team completed the project to a high standard on time and budget, whilst all the time demonstrating due regard for the health & safety of all concerned and what was a busy and challenging site.
    William Court, Philips Surveyors


Contract Value:£250k

Completion: Jan 2020

Budget: Delivered to budget

Time: Delivered on time

Safety: Zero incidents


Refurbishment of an existing steel-framed modular building to create a new accommodation hub for Croydon's Rough Sleeping & Homeless Support Service (RSHSS) supporting the Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub service, based at Croydon University Hospital. The service offers 24-hour support for the homeless and rough sleeping community 365 days a year.

A total of ten 3m x 7.5m steel modular buildings required refurbishment for the project. Internal works included structural floor repairs, followed by thermal upgrades to floors, walls and ceilings, along with new heating and plumbing services, new WCs and new shower/washroom facilities.

Key Challenges

  • Rapid Engagement: To meet the tight timescales required for this vital community project, Fowlers utilised a novel rapid deployment approach to allow works to start on-site, with all safety and welfare arrangements in place, within one week of tender submission

  • Completion on-time: The project represented a substantial quantity of works within a very small window. At tender stage we ensured suppliers and specialists could engage with out rapid deployment scheme. This allowed us to bring them together in a multidisciplinary team meeting immediately upon notice of contract award. This meeting allowed us to iron out design issues and detect clashes before they materialised, keeping the project on-programme. 

    The light fittings originally specified carried a long lead time which threatened the programme. By specifying alternative, off-the-shelf lighting solutions, we were further able to pick up and install equivalent lighting solutions without the wait.

  • NHS Hospital Setting: Working within a hospital environment presented unique challenges. Ensuring availability of services and utilities was essential, so our first task involved zoning these services and liaising with the staff regarding any necessary outages within these zones. We had to interface with their fire system to avoid potentially disruptive false alarms. And of course, with vulnerable occupants in the rest of the building, Enhanced DBS checking of staff and segregation of construction personnel from the general public was essential in ensuring the safety and well-being of those around us.

  • Budgetary Restraints: Regular cost reports kept the client apprised of the financial position of the project, and any extras were clearly costed and documented to ensure no overruns.

In The News

The project at Croydon had an immediate positive impact in the community.

Here are just some of the news articles which have covered this project and the life-changing service it provides.


Croydon ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub’ Photo Gallery

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