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High Performance Student Accommodation

As any current or past University of Otago student can tell you, for all the fun social elements of flat living, winters in a cold unheated Dunedin flat can be rather unpleasant. There is now, however, one notable exception to the hundreds of cold flats out there.

This new student flat, located on Grange Street in Central Dunedin, has been designed to retain all the fun elements of flat living, without the cold and damp. This house is designed to stay warm and dry all year round with next to no heating.

Our clients for this project made the decision to demolish their old draughty student rental property and rebuild a cutting edge high performance building. The house incorporates heavily insulated walls, windows, roof and floor. The lungs and brains of the house is a German made mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. This system extracts heat from the out-going stale air (from the bathrooms and kitchen) and transfers this heat to the incoming fresh air (supplied to the bedrooms and living spaces). This ensures that even when students are out all day the flat will remain fresh, warm and dry.

While many of our projects incorporate these technologies the key challenge for this project was to build high performance on a modest a budget. To achieve this we designed a compact 5 bedroom house to maximise the potential of the site. Based on our experience with this kind of building we were able to specify a suite of economical yet high performance building systems.  We also supplied and assisted the owner to install the ventilation system themselves. Running and maintenance costs for this house will be super low. This combined with exceptional demand from tenants for this kind of high quality accommodation will ensure that this will remain a profitable and socially responsible asset for the owners well into the future.


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