UAlberta set to unveil newest residences

(Edmonton) This weekend, 244 students will move into the University of Alberta’s newest residences, Pinecrest House and Tamarack House. Started in the fall of 2012, the new development consists of two buildings that are a mix of two- and four-bedroom furnished units.

“The new residences have been added to assist with the university's goal of increasing the number of students living on campus to 25 per cent of full-time enrolment,” explained Doug Dawson, executive director of ancillary services at the U of A. “Additionally, the new residences provide accommodation for two important student cohorts—graduate and international students.”

Pinecrest House is home to 148 bed spaces and is connected to International House to help attract international students. Tamarack House is home to 96 bed spaces, intended mainly for graduate students. Each unit has a shared common area and kitchen, large windows to allow sunlight into the units, and large social spaces on each floor. The link between Pinecrest House and International House is designed as a multi-use space for students. It features a two-sided fireplace that creates a welcoming environment for social gathering.

Building the East Campus community

Pinecrest House and Tamarack House are part of a larger redevelopment in the East Campus area, in accordance with the university’s Long Range Development Plan.

“Our goal is to have 1,500 bed spaces in East Campus Village,” said Dawson. “Research indicates that students living in on-campus, purpose-built housing experience higher rates of graduation and achieve higher grades. They also report having a more enriching experience while at school.”

Residence Services has worked hard to develop the services and sense of community in the area that sets the residents up for success.

“Our buildings are intentionally designed to promote interaction. They are staffed by resident assistants who support students in achieving their academic goals, build community amongst a diverse population and look out for the safety and wellness of students,” said Brett Zawadiuk, area co-ordinator with Residence Life.

“Our residence program also offers a variety of academic cohorts, living-learning communities and themed housing, all of which help support students as they persist through university,” said Zawadiuk. “Residents also have access to many resources and services specifically designed for them, including faculty in residence, academic in residence, and community liaison peace officers.”

In addition to the facilities themselves, East Campus Village is filled with purpose-built outdoor spaces that serve as welcoming gateways to campus, building entryways that offer places to gather and socialize, and green spaces for outdoor events and activities.

“East Campus Village is developing into a community where the students know and respect their neighbours, all while living in a more independent setting with campus resources and support services within reach,” said Zawadiuk.

Striving for sustainability

The new residences support the university’s goal of providing sustainable places to study, work and live through sustainable planning, design, construction, retrofits, and operations—as set out in the university’s Sustainability Plan.

Both buildings include a number of sustainable features, such as low-flush toilets, low-flow showers, energy-efficient lighting, high-efficiency elevators, a green housekeeping program and energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

The project is targeting a certification of Four Green Globes for the project, which is equivalent to LEED Silver, an international standard for sustainable building design and construction.