Project of the Month | Bright Delight

This innovative student accommodation, with its bright colours and strong engineered timber frame, is one of the largest timber-framed buildings in the land. Students at Otago Polytechnic are loving life in the new village.

With exposed timber beams, ambient spaces and playful design elements, the building is a versatile high achiever that took home a Merit in the Multi-Unit Residential category and an Excellence in the Green Building category at the 2018 Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards.

Otago Polytechnic's vision to create a cost-effective, sustainable building guided the choice of structural materials. The frame is cross-laminated timber with laminated veneer columns and the building includes a five-storey timber lift shaft.

Te Pā Tauira student accommodation, a mixed development, spans 6000 square metres and includes 231 beds in single dormitory-style, self-contained four-bedroom apartments and self-contained studio apartments.

The village was built on the shore of reclaimed land from Lake Logan and required careful and thoughtful planning. Rammed aggregate piles were used to provide stabilisation in the soft soils.

The project aspired to the philosophies, advocacy and public education goals outlined in the Living Building Challenge (LBC) 3, a green-building certification and sustainable design framework.

The design by Mason and Wales Architects is focused on a highly efficient building envelope in conjunction with energy recovery ventilation, natural ventilation and good daylight levels to every room. Lighting, water fixtures and appliances are also highly efficient.

The extensive use of XLam pre-fabricated Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels was key to meeting LBC requirements for sustainable materials. It also meant that construction company Naylor Love could assemble the building on-site like a giant jigsaw. The fast-track construction method required meticulous planning, with entire floors erected in days.

With its challenging reclaimed site, ambitious environmental goals and innovative materials, close collaboration between Mason and Wales, Otago Polytechnic and Naylor Love was essential to the success of this project, with the project team working together from the design stage.

With Education for Sustainability being a core mission of the design and operation of the village, the buildings are arranged in two separate wings, connected by a translucent circulation link at the main entrance. The Logan Park Wing is oriented east-west, providing apartment and studio accommodation over four levels. The Harbour Terrace Wing is oriented north-south and provides dormitory accommodation over five levels, as well as amenities and common areas. The result is not just functional and sustainable, but fun, engaging and educational.



Te Pā Tauira - Otago Polytechnic Student Village

180 - 190 Union Street, Dunedin

Owner Otago Polytechnic

Construction Naylor Love

Architect Mason and Wales

Services Engineer MacLeod and Associates

Structural Engineer Kirk Roberts Consulting Engineers

Mechanical Engineer MacLeod and Associates / AirComm

Quantity Surveyor Flanders Marlow

Project Manager Logic Group NZ

Other Consultants Tricia Love Consultants, Mitchell Daysh


This article was originally published in the 2018 Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards Magazine.