The Onderstepoort Student Housing development at the University of Pretoria was recently extended.

The job entailed designing three new 4 storey residence blocks for undergraduate students, with a total of 96 units, identical to the first phase which was successfully completed in 2011.

MEG Architects was commissioned to deliver the second phase, and architect Tienie van Rooyen noted that although no two projects are alike the core design principles remained the same with a few tweaks made from the lessons learnt during the first phase.

The initial phase of the Onderstepoort Student Housing development stands boasting the exquisite Corobrik Country Classic Satin face brick.

The red brick with a hint of blue is complimented by the lush green environment of the Veterinarian Campus grounds during the summer months, while still responding positively to the dryer, pale winters.

Low maintenance and energy efficient

Apart from the University of Pretoria’s mandate for low maintenance student housing the same Corobrik Country Classic Satin face brick was specified as the majority facade finish to strengthen the ties with the first phase.

The SANS 10400 Building Regulations requires that building envelopes perform with a minimum thermal resistance of that of an un-plastered 230mm thick clay brick wall. The thermal benefits of such wall construction have been known for many years.

“The northern cavity walls of the residences are built with a 230mm wide cavity and filled with fly ash for further insulation, the large cavity creating a passive sunshade during the summer, providing further lag and extending the time in the thermal comfort zone. The other exterior walls are built with a conventional 50mm wide cavity and high density polystyrene was added in the cavity for further insulation,” explains van Rooyen.

The combination of thermal capacity [from the bricks] and thermal resistance [from the bricks, the air in the cavity and insulation material applied], provides a wall CR Product that contributes to a comfortable temperature within the respective blocks both during the hot summer months and the cold winter months.