CREDITS – Client: Te Wānanga o Raukawa / Architect: Tennent Brown Architects / Structural Engineering: Dunning Thornton Consultants / Builder: McMillan & Lockwood Central Ltd / Product: LVL and Glulam


Red Stag TimberLab was proud to be involved in the new Pā Reo development for Te Wānanga o Raukawa. Te Wānanga o Raukawa is a Māori tertiary education provider established in 1981. 

Pā reo.jpg
Image 1: Credit - Tennent Brown Architects

The Ōtaki-based institution is a unique centre for higher learning and development, dedicated to the revitalisation of te reo Māori and the dissemination of Māori knowledge. Their aim is to produce outstanding and sought-after graduates who are Māori in the way they think, act and behave while also having the technical skills and qualifications needed to grow, inspire and uplift their whānau, hapū and iwi.

The Pā Reo project is designed and built to become a fully certified Living Building.

Pā reo indoors.jpg
Image 2: Credit - Tennent Brown Architects

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is the most advanced sustainability accreditation program currently available in our built environment. The LBC encourages developments to have a truly regenerative impact on the environment.

The rigorous green building guidelines require net-zero energy and water and strict waste and toxicity limits from the completed project. The LBC instils a philosophy of being truly regenerative, unlike other certifications that try to minimize negative environmental impacts. A Living Building should impact positively on the environment, its people, and the wider ecosystem. i.e. the world should be a better place after the development than it was previously.

The Pā Reo development consists of a new office building (Waitapu Building) and three research and educational facilities (Rangataua Buildings). The building’s structural system includes LVL portal frames for lateral bracing across the building and timber-framed walls for longitudinal bracing. Portal frames were spaced at 4.2m centres and spanned approximately 9.5m. Glulam portals were utilized at the exterior entrances where H3.2 MCA treatment was required. Portal frame joints were hidden using concealed plate connections with self-tapping mild steel dowels to achieve the architectural design intent. This connection system is an elegant option for providing a high-strength and ductile solution for exposed joints. 

3D Modelling

Rangataua - Teaching Spaces
Waitapu - Office Building


Red Stag TimberLab supplied all LVL and Glulam mass timber components and supplied all H3.2 MCA treated bearers. The LBC is made up of 20 imperatives grouped into 7 different Petals. Red Stag TimberLab products are associated with the Materials Petal (Petal 5) which aims to create a materials economy that is non-toxic, ecologically restorative, and transparent. Red Stag TimberLab was able to support the Living Building project by supplying products with the following certifications and characteristics: 

  • FSC Certification

    Red Stag TimberLab holds Chain of Custody Certification Code NC-COC-005630 for the supply of FSC® certified timber. With FSC certification, we have proof that our raw materials are obtained from sustainably managed forests.  The sourcing of the raw materials is internally monitored, and conditions connected to external monitoring by third parties are fulfilled.

  • EPD Certification

    An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a third-party verified document, which assesses environmental impact based on the product’s Life Cycle Assessment. This provides reliable information on the products’ environmental impacts such as Global Warming Potential. Because EPDs are verified by independent third parties, this allows for the comparison of products/materials across industries based on international standards.

  • Declare Certification

    Declare certification is a transparency tool created to support the LBC to declare all chemical components within products. Declare is essentially a “nutrition label” for products that become part of a publicly accessible database of building materials. Red Stag TimberLab has received Declare certification (Living Building Challenge Red List Approved) for H1.2 Glulam for interior use, and H3.2 MCA Glulam for exterior use. 

  • Waste

    All of Red Stag TimberLab’s components are 3D modelled, and CNC profiled to exact dimension and shape. This ensures that no oversupply of materials is delivered to the building site. The environmental cost associated with transporting excess material to the site and carting it away for disposal is also eliminated.

  • Carbon Sequestration

    Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow through the process of photosynthesis. This carbon is commonly referred to as embodied carbon. As designed the Pā Reo project has over 160 tonnes of embodied carbon over modules A1-A5 (cradle to practical completion).

Building and construction is one of the sectors causing the greatest impact on the environment. Mass timber is by far the most sustainable building material, making it an obvious choice for eco-conscious property developers. We are always proud to be involved in projects which have a true belief in environmental sustainability. Well done Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the wider project team. This is certainly a project for all to be proud of!  

Site images


Image credits

Image 1 Credits: Tennent Brown Architects, “Street front view of New Waitapu building” (Render), via

Image 2 Credits: Tennent Brown Architects, “Birds eye view of Redevelopment plan for Ōtaki campus” (Render), via

Quality Control

Red Stag TimberLab Ltd is a licensed manufacturer, independently audited under AS/NZS 1328.1 for glulam manufacturing (License No. 2916) and AS5068 for finger jointing (License No. 2915).

Regular in-factory quality control is carried out in conformance with these, third-party auditing carried out by Bureau Veritas.

Contact the Red Stag TimberLab team to discuss how you can include mass timber in your upcoming project.


Phone: 09 253 9349

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