Otago Polytechnic

Te Pā Tauira — Otago Polytechnic Student Village has won a 2018 Property Council New Zealand Excellence Award.

The project claimed the Excellence prize in the Resene Green Building Property Award section of the annual awards, which were announced at a gala dinner at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Friday 15 June.

Te Pā Tauira also won a Merit Award in the Arrow International Multi-Unit Residential Property section.

Constructed with the environment firmly in mind, Te Pā Tauira uses sustainable materials throughout, including laminated timber within its unique structural frame. 

Phil Ker, Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic, was delighted to receive the awards at Spark Arena.

He praised the high standard of workmanship, outstanding design and sustainable principles of Te Pā Tauira.

“We are very proud of Te Pā Tauira. It rivals the best student accommodation in Australasia, as well as other enduring, high-quality accommodation.”

At 6000sq m, the $22 million Te Pā Tauira is the largest timber-framed structured building by height and volume in New Zealand.

It is 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.

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 have been recognised at a national level.

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

“Credit must go to Phil Ker and Philip Cullen [Chief Operating Officer, Otago Polytechnic] for having the original vision, combined with a genuine focus on environmentally sustainable design initiatives, and the determination to see it through.

“They have raised the bar for student accommodation at a local, national and international level.”

Ian McKie, Director, Naylor Love Dunedin, says the award is “fantastic recognition for the team involved in this innovative and challenging project”.

“It’s a project we all will be proud of for years to come.

“The building was completed following the principles of the Living Building Challenge. CLT went a long way to meeting the materials requirement.”

There was also very low waste, McKie notes, 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.

“This vision was a major contributor for the material choices made from foundations and structure to carpet and paint finishes.”

The innovative design, construction processes and building materials used in Te Pā Tauira have also been recognised with several nominations in the 2018 NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards, the winners of which will be announced in August.

The 231-bed furnished residential village opened its doors to students in February, and was officially opened by the Hon Dr David Clark on 1 June. 

Just a short walk from campus and Dunedin’s city centre, Te Pā Tauira offers fully-catered single rooms (dorms), self-catered studios (standard or deluxe) and four-bedroom apartments. 

The name Te Pā Tauira was gifted by Ōtākou Rūnaka in 2017, along with each of the names for the five floors – Hawea, Rapuwai, Waitaha, Māmoe and Tahu (these are names of the southern tribes who have migrated to the South Island over centuries).

Read the story behind the storeys

Read more about Te Pā Tauira


Published on 20 June 2018

Orderdate: 20 Jun 2018
Expiry: 31 Mar 2019