Polytech’s Student Village national award-winner

Te Pa Tauira-Otago Polytechnic Student Village manager Andy Thompson and Otago Polytechnic...
Te Pa Tauira-Otago Polytechnic Student Village manager Andy Thompson and Otago Polytechnic capital works and facilities manager Tracey Howell admire the village complex. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Otago Polytechnic’s recently-completed and record-setting Student Village has won two national awards, including a "green building" excellence prize.

Also known as Te Pa Tauira, the $22million student village is 6000sqm in size, and is the largest timber-framed structured building by height and volume in New Zealand.

It was also the first student accommodation complex of its size to use pre-fabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, which are up to 80% lighter than concrete and 100% sustainable, polytechnic officials said. The village recently won an Award of Excellence, the Resene Green Building Property Award, and an Award of Merit, the Arrow Multi-Unit Residential Property Award.

These annual awards were won at the Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards 2018, and were recently announced at a gala dinner in Auckland.

Constructed with the environment in mind, Te Pa Tauira uses sustainable materials throughout, including laminated timber within its unique wooden structural frame, project officials said. Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker was delighted to receive the awards in person, and praised the high standard of workmanship, outstanding design and sustainable principles of the student village.

"We are very proud of Te Pa Tauira," he said.

The innovative complex rivalled "the best student accommodation" in New Zealand and Australia, as well as "other enduring, high-quality accommodation", he said.

Te Pa Tauira opened in February and has a 231 bed capacity, reflecting a mixture of dorm rooms, studios and apartments.

Lead architect Hamish Muir, of Dunedin-based Mason & Wales, was "delighted" that the combined efforts of the client, consultants and contractors over a number of years had been nationally recognised.

"We are proud to have been involved in a project of such significant scale, quality and innovation in our home town," Mr Muir said.

Mr Muir also praised Mr Ker and polytechnic chief operating officer Philip Cullen of having the "original vision", and said they had " raised the bar for student accommodation at a local, national and international level". Director, Naylor Love Dunedin Ian McKie, said the award was "fantastic recognition" for the team involved in this "innovative and challenging project". There was also very low waste, Mr McKie noted, adding the CLT structure had to satisfy sustainability criteria without adding extra costs.

Project manager Sam Cadden, of Logic Group, says Otago Polytechnic’s driving philosophy was to create a sustainable student accommodation block.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

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