Matipo Street - Fabric | ArchiPro

Matipo Street

Project description

This project came from a long time client who wanted to develop a block of town houses to help alleviate the student accommodation shortage in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.

The client had a 1400m2 site close to the University and Riccarton Mall and wanted to maximise the use of the site.

After many options where explored it was decided to divide the student rooms into eight townhouses with five ensuite bedrooms in each. Each townhouse would have a large shared living and dining area and double sized kitchen all accessing a private northern courtyard.

Sustainability and low energy use were at the forefront of all decisions which culminated in the development being New Zealand’s first 8 Homestar rated multi-unit development.

Health and comfort of the tenants were ensured with thermal modelling being used to determine the most efficient window placements. Passive ventilation was used with the help of an electric opening skylight on a sensor over the light well of the stairs. This skylight ventilates the building using stack effect. All mechanical ventilation is wired with sensors to come on at required times.

To make the best use of space, due to the large amount of tenants, some cleaver space saving solutions needed to be used. These include covered hanging bike racks, built in beds that stow away to create desks and no wasted space in the floor plan. This space saving is evident with five bedrooms, five ensuites, generous kitchen, living and dining room all fitting into just 135m2.

Design features and creative solutions

Energy use is minimised by a combination of systems including passive ventilation with stack effect, passive thermal solar gain and thicker concrete slabs providing heat sinks, LED lights throughout, heat pump fixed at 22 degrees with cooling disabled and low energy use appliances.

Water heating energy use is minimised with the use of low flow, 3.1 litre per minute, showerheads and a shower waste water heat exchanger. The heat exchanger works by extracting heat left in the waste water and transferring it to the shower head water feed.

The maximum amount of insulation was installed in all locations including interior walls, as well as PIR insulation to the foundation perimeter.

The structure is timber frame with 50mm AAC panel, chosen for its lightweight characteristics and therefore less foundation requirements for the low bearing capacity soil. This cladding is hung off the frames and is not sitting on any foundation to allow it to move independently from the structure with minimal cracking in the event of an earthquake. Likewise, a lightweight roofing material is used, with a profile to accentuate the straight gable to gable forms of the roof. Cedar features where introduced to add some warmth to the exterior while also cladding the northern sun shades.

Durable landscaping construction was worked around the existing trees onsite. Further planting is a combination of fruit bearing trees, shrubs and oak trees to provide shading in the summer. Space for communal vegetable gardens was also provided to the tenants.

Photography Credit: Steven Goodenough

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