Hatfield Square student accommodation

Hatfield Square student accommodation

By Rory Macnamara

Located directly outside the University of Pretoria, Hatfield Square is in a prime position to succeed as a mixed-use student accommodation development. Phase One of Respublica Hatfield Square was completed at the end of 2016 with 641 beds, with 2 331 beds available for the 2019 academic year once all phases were built. The developers are Respublica Developments for Respublica Student Living and Redefine Properties.

Plumbing Africa spoke to Wynand Fourie, Director of Respublica.

Pretoria’s Hatfield precinct is a mixed-use district that offers residential and retail components, and provides the perfect backdrop for the live, work and play theme that echoes across all Respublica residences in Pretoria, Midrand, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town.

Hatfield was originally home to a variety of commercial and retail stores which evolved over time to be a less-than-desirable-social-hotspot, with the area suffering from overcrowding and disinterested landlords. However, Respublica and Redefine rejuvenated the area, appointing Paragon Architects to create a new living space and lifestyle for students at the University of Pretoria and other tertiary institutions in the area – and Respublica Hatfield Square emerged.

The four phases of Hatfield Square began with excavation to provide four levels of underground parking – a commodity always in short supply at student accommodation. With construction of the four phases taking just four years, the tallest phases rise 16 stories and stands proud as a landmark in the Hatfield precinct.

Respublica designs its student accommodation to respond to students’ needs, including the need for public spaces for social interaction, private residence spaces, and quiet environments for studying. A variety of options is available across the company’s characteristic apartment approach, including modern studios, shared apartments, and other bedroom types. Students have access to all communal facilities, regardless of what type of sleeping accommodation they choose.

Hatfield Square – like all Respublica residences – offers free Wi-Fi, laundry, parking, and bedroom cleaning services, with the intention of taking all the stress and distraction out of student life and making it easier for students to focus on their studies.

Respublica Hatfield Square is designed to stimulate engagement and movement between the four buildings, with social areas and a swimming pool further encouraging downtime between studies. Access to the buildings is via a biometric system, and once admitted, students can have full run of all the facilities, further encouraging social interaction across the complex.

With the buildings taking up the full extent of the site, the architects had to be innovative in creating these social areas and made clever use of roof areas. These spaces are home to the gym and exercise area, braai areas, and the laundry.

Designing the plumbing and reticulation for this neighbourhood of student accommodation posed an interesting challenge for appointed engineers Ingplan Mechanical, who in turn appointed contractors Plumbcon.


©Plumbing Africa – Rory Macnamara

Tasked with sustainable design, the professional team had to consider students' demand cycle, and heat pumps situated in a central heat farm were identified as the most appropriate response. This design enables the residence to cater to peak times and save energy during low times. 

Water leaves the central storage tanks at 60 degrees in peak and returns during low demand times to be heated again and placed back in storage. An intelligent system manages all the equipment situated in the two separate heat farms.

The Geberit Mepla system was used for water reticulation. 

Sanitaryware was largely supplied by Plumblink. Tekniheat supplied and installed the central heat farms.

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