Waitaha School, Christchurch

Waitaha School, Christchurch

Waitaha School is a special school that offers education programmes for school students with special needs aged 5 – 21 years.

Client Ministry of Education

Dates May 2017 - January 2018

More Info

Key Project Facts


The introduction of pre-fabrication technology to Ministry of Education projects was a Southbase initiative that has since brought considerable savings to the Ministry. Waitaha Special Education School is yet another example of Southbase’s ability to integrate this new technology with traditional construction in order to deliver high quality educational facilities into New Zealand communities.

Southbase’s careful planning, astute scheduling and innovative methodology combined in this project to achieve great results for the Client, and to create a Special Education school for the public to benefit from.

Challenges and Solutions

Building new learning spaces for less than $2,000 per m2 presents a number of challenges that require innovative thinking and construction solutions.  With many Ministry of Education projects succesfully delivered, Southbase was able to apply learnings and initiatives from those to the Waitaha School project.

Constructed totally from pre-made wall and roof panels, the structure uses an innovative Concision ‘warm wall/warm roof’ system that utilises high efficiency thermal insultation to separate the roof and cladding from the structure. This innovation – initiated by Southbase – once again brought significant ‘whole-of-life’ cost savings to this Ministry of Education project.

A special needs playground with an interactive bridge, a low sensory room with calming lights, and three ceiling hoist systems throughout the building all required particular attention to detail and technical construction expertise to successfully deliver within the constraints of time and budget.

Built within a live school environment, Southbase had to ensure that strict health and safety protocols were developed, implemented and enforced during the entire construction process.