Waiparuru Hall Student Accommodation
Client: University of Auckland
Project value: NZ$150 million
786 students
Wireless e-library and a study pod on each of the 13 floors

The development of Waipārūrū Hall is part of the University of Auckland’s (UoA) wider accommodation strategy. Purpose built to accommodate 786 students, the building includes two towers atop a 2-level podium and split basement. Construction took place within a constrained site with challenging topography, significant existing utility services and easements, and restricted road access and must be completed to meet semester 1, 2020 occupation by students.

A procurement strategy, involving ECI with a design/build contract on completion of the developed design was established to respond to the at-capacity construction market and attract appropriate project contractors. TSA produced a number of procurement options that were assessed against the project drivers. The final procurement solution (a separate enabling works contract followed by a design build contract) ensured a commercial engagement was achieved as soon as possible,  giving the contractor the best opportunity to engage and provide commitment to the subcontractor market.

The TSA team provided project management services from the project’s concept design phase. This has included management of the design process and designers, as well as the establishment of a procurement strategy for the project going forward. The nature and size of the project, as well as the current construction marketplace challenges, meant the development of a robust construction procurement model was required to ensure timely delivery. The completion of the first stage of Waiparuru Hall occurred comfortably two hours ahead of the first arrival of students for Semester 1, 2020.

Waiparuru Hall is an important addition to Auckland’s urban skyline; forming a boundary to the Eastern side of the central business district against Grafton Gully. Façade treatment and the modelling of the towers has been carefully considered to mark the University’s urban presence. The activation of the Whitaker Place street frontage has been a key focus, providing a high level of visibility between the street and the activity within. The ground floor becomes an extension of the street, offering life, security and visual release from an otherwise enclosed cul-de-sac.