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SA’s greenest residence

Using Innovative Building Technology and optimal architectural design, Stellenbosch University’s new 208-bed student residence, which is currently under construction, will help address the major accommodation shortage at the university.

The R43-million Tygerberg campus residence, which is being built by student accommodation group, STAG African, will make use of Light Steel Frame Building and incorporate energy-saving features such as LED lighting and heat pumps, which will use 50% less electricity than a standard building. The residence, which is due for completion in November 2015, has set its sights on being the greenest residence in Africa.

“Sustainability and innovation are at the forefront of our green agenda; more than being a key focus for the university, our students expect it,” Pieter Kloppers, the Director of Student Communities at the University of Stellenbosch said. “Based on the success of Ubuntu House, our first green residence developed by STAG African, we look forward to the completion of the new residence, which will go a long way in addressing the accommodation shortage at our Tygerberg medical campus.”

By focusing on the student themselves, STAG African have pioneered a cost effective, green alternative to building; “We wanted an optimal architectural design that ensured every square meter of the building was designed specifically for the needs of the student,” John Schooling, MD of STAG African said.

While campuses are expanding, taking on more students and adding new departments, the one area of university life that is lagging is the issue of student accommodation. “The cost of student accommodation is very expensive; the national norm is around R280 000 per bed – for a lot of universities, that’s unaffordable. We looked around for a building method that we could apply to the South African context and discovered a substantially cheaper solution to bricks and mortar; something that is much better,” Schooling said.

Used to build the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and the old and new World Trade Centres, Innovative Building Technology has been widely used in many developed countries. Not only does it reduce carbon footprint, it also dramatically reduces the cost and time taken to construct buildings. “Using this technology, we can reduce building time by 40% and the costs associated to it dramatically. For universities, where cost ultimately is the deciding factor, it’s an obvious choice. By default, it addresses the student’s need for a green living environment,” Schooling said.

“Accommodation for students is more than providing a place to sleep; it’s about creating communities; a listening, learning and living environment. This is crucial to the success of the housing facilities provided by the university,” Kloppers said. “Student housing, over and above providing a place to sleep, creates a sense of belonging; for many, it’s where real integration and camaraderie takes place – its importance cannot not be underestimated.”

ENDS

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Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications

Beverley Houston

Beverley@be-cause.co.za

021 447 1082 / 082 824 8617

 

On behalf of STAG African

Director: John Schooling

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