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From the Resene News - issue 2/2017

Building to bed - Bealey Lodge Backpackers Hostel

Bealey Lodge Backpackers Hostel in Christchurch

Earthquake damage reduced backpacker rooms in Christchurch by over 40% putting the pressure on those remaining. Keen to build quickly, XLam CLT was chosen for the Bealey Lodge Backpackers Hostel in Christchurch as it was fast, lightweight and safe.

The new two-storey, 300 bed, Bealey Lodge Backpackers Hostel has a mix of rooms from ensuites to bunkrooms, with kitchen and lounge facilities, car and bus parking, and a swimming pool. It replaces a three storey lodge that was damaged by the earthquakes, though 20 surviving units have been brought into the new complex. Rapid assembly of CLT panels kept the build ahead of schedule and gave early access for the finishing trades.

Fire design and Fireshield has allowed much of the CLT to be exposed. The honesty of natural wood gives occupants a sense of warmth and hospitality. A straight charring rate couldn’t be relied on, as eventually the outer laminate of timber would fail, exposing fresh uncharred timber to a now ferocious fire. Full scale testing was undertaken to clarify the performance of CLT as a fire separation, and testing of fire collars for timber was expedited.

Bealey Lodge Backpackers Hostel in Christchurch

The final hurdle was surface finish. The passion to expose the timber structure was threatened by the cost of coating it to achieve a group 1-S rating. Estimates were coming in at a similar square metre rate to CLT panel itself! The fire engineer working on the project had helped develop a timber intumescent product back in Sweden some twenty years ago. Suddenly with the new MBIE guidance, they had a compliant, cost effective product that would work. Pallets of Fireshield were flown in and used to coat almost every surface in the lodge to achieve a sustainable ‘prefab’ 60 minute, group 1-S construction system.

Plasterboard ceilings throughout are finished in Resene Quarter Black White (greyed white). Colour highlights on both floors include Resene Eighth Stonehenge (muted grey), Resene Quarter Sandstone (stone sand), Resene Powder Blue (antiqued steel blue), Resene Awash (mid blue), Resene Rice Paper (sherbet green) and Resene Bouquet (lilac rose) teamed with Resene Black White (grey white).

With the efficient build process, this new hostel was able to quickly satisfy much of the shortfall for backpacker beds.

Architectural specifier: RM Designs
Building contractor: Falcon Construction
Fire engineer: Olsson Fire and Risk
Structural engineer: EngCo

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