This project was not just about providing a bed, it was about creating a student community.

Project details:

Client: University of Stellenbosch (Tygerberg Medical Campus)
Date completed: January 2013
Cost of construction: R26 million
Materials used: Innovative Building Technology (IBT) – Lightweight Steel and Versapanel
Number of student beds: 160

The University of Stellenbosch and STAG African worked together to address the student accommodation needs of the Tygerberg Medical Campus. We used a 21st Century approach to provide a cost- and time-effective solution.


  • Lower cost
  • Speed
  • Quality
  • Low combustibility
  • Lower maintenance
  • Lightweight
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Good sound insulation
  • Excellent thermal characteristics
  • Durable and ‘student-proof’

Architectual design criteria:

  • Based on the ‘Listening, Learning, Living’ concept
  • Places the student at the centre of the design process
  • Creates a student community
  • Eight-pod, single & double bed design

Innovative product:

  • Lightweight Steel Structure
  • German manufactured Versapanel cladding

Dramatic cost reduction through:

  • Product innovation
  • Optimal architectural design

Seven month construction timeline

  • July 2012 – construction begins
  • August 2012 – foundations dug
  • September 2012 – first floor constructed
  • October 2012 – second floor constructed
  • November 2012 – third floor constructed
  • December 2012 – final cladding applied
  • January 2013 – project completion

Environmental considerations

  • Building is re-usable
  • Reduced construction waste
  • Lower construction impact
  • Energy Savings:
    • Thermal Qualities
    • Electrical Consumption:
      • LED lights
      • Solar energy or heat pumps
      • Five-amp circuit breaker
      • Time switch to shower
      • Natural ventilation


  • Putting the student at the centre of the design process optimises student performance
  • Students, by their nature, are pioneers
  • Pioneering the solution to the South african student accommodation crisis

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us”

– Winston Churchill