Blog: SECBE Awards 2022 finalist - RBLI Gavin Astor House Care Home

06 April 2022

Residential Project of the Year

RBLI Gavin Astor House Care Home (submitted by BBS Construction Ltd) 

Residential Project of the Year Constructing Excellence SECBE Award 2022 Finalist

In 2019, Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) had completed the first part of their two-phase plan to provide exceptional modern care facilities. The Appleton Lodge project, a new build adjacent to Gavin Astor House was completed and subsequently opened by Her Majesty the Queen. Appleton Lodge was built to be a sister property to Gavin Astor House and its completion marked the beginning of phase two of the plan - to redevelop Gavin Astor. The plan, upon completion of Gavin Astor, was to enable a seamless experience for residents between the two properties.

In early 2020, the project team started working on the plans for the redevelopment of the property, developing plans, phasing and decanting, undertaking surveys and getting ready to commence work. Then, as March 2020 came around, the project had to navigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. The care home went into total lockdown. The client was keen to continue with the project though and BBS Construction continued design development remotely, taking to Teams for meetings, with very few visits to site. This inevitably led to a short delay to starting on site as it took longer than originally planned to get to the construction phase. However, BBS Construction's time was well spent during these early phases by redeveloping the phasing plans (from five down to just two) and working through the specialist interior design for the project.

Once on site in September 2020 and heading towards the first ‘Covid Winter’, the site team worked extremely hard to develop multiple Covid safe protocols, not only in line with construction needs, but with the requirements of the care home too, as the half not being refurbished remained in occupancy throughout. This proved an ever-changing challenge, with regulations sometimes changing daily.
As it can be imagined, working through a care home during the pandemic had moments that were particularly tricky and very emotive. On several occasions, residents living in the occupied section sadly passed away due to Covid-19. Although the team didn’t personally know the residents, they had connected with the staff and RBLI team who were dealing with this incredibly tough situation. BBS Construction constantly worked to make the project as painless as possible for them, including providing temporary facilities where needed to enable the safe delivery of care.

The outcome of the project is a fantastic, bespoke care home that offers 50 beds across two distinct floors. One floor is a specialist dementia suite that offers a beautiful, safe and secure space where residents can move around with dignity. The other floor provides end of life supported living and palliative care. The design of the building, by Catalyst Interiors, is aligned with Appleton Lodge in colour and style to provide consistent and friendly spaces in which all residents can interact.

Gavin Astor is a true example of how a team can come together and deliver results, even in the worst of crises, and because of this, the project ended up becoming a truly personal and emotive project.


Key achievements:

  • Careful and sensitive refurbishment at the height of the pandemic around extremely vulnerable residents.

  • Bespoke dementia interiors that enable the client to provide specialist care during later life.

  • True collaboration of the project team to deliver the second phase of the client’s masterplan.


Client: RBLI

Project Partners: B&M, OSG Architecture


Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Ceremony on Thurs 30th June 2022.


About the Residential Project of the Year (sponsored by SCF): 

This award recognises developments that provide a desirable and sustainable place to live that demonstrate creative approaches from concept to delivery.  More info.


>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards finalists here

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