Green School NZ

The Project

The Green School is located on a picturesque farm in rural Taranaki, with stunning mountain views, regenerative bush landscape and an inspiring learning environment. The first stage of the project was construction of pods or Waka – classrooms that look and feel different to what springs to mind when you think of a classroom. The second stage is a building known as the Kina – recently being recognised with the supreme award at the NZ timber design awards. This building, is circular in shape and as the design team at Boon puts it;

“takes the concept of neuro-architecture, or designing to enhance cognitive function and emotional wellbeing, and applies it to education in a way that sets a new benchmark for learning facilities.”

For a more detailed description of the design of both of these stages of the project check out the Boon website here, Kina and Waka. For anyone interested in design, construction or education, the video about this project is well worth a watch too.

The Challenge

A key focus for the owners was on utilising locally sourced product and minimising waste, while creating a beautiful and inspiring learning environment. Again, to quote from the architects involved in the project;

Consideration has been given to longevity of the building and how it will function sustainably in the varied west coast weather environment. The design utilizes passive measures, making the most of cross ventilation, natural light and sun orientation. Alongside this the learning POD’s are equipped with high level insulation, vapor barriers and an under floor heating system to keep wakas at constant temperature.  This minimises the need for artificial heating and makes use of materials that are durable and appropriate to the environment. It’s not just about using the most organic material, but considering locale of material production and transportation of that material, plus what happens to it at the end of life. Selected materials need to perform well over time; reducing maintenance and waste from early deterioration.
All of these considerations have been taken in parallel to compliance with NZ building code, viability, accessibility and building programme.”

The Solution

PLT has been used for the floor structure in the Waka pods and also the Kina building. Utilising our CNC technology to model the project and optimise regular panels to be cut in aesthetically pleasing curves was possible thanks to the expertise of Offsite Design who completed the shop drawing work on this project.

The PLT mass timber floor also supports a piped heating system that is cast within a anhydrite floor screed. This helps contribute to a very efficient and comfortable classroom all year round.
Under PLT Floor insulation     |     Above PLT floor screed with heating system

Overall the green school structures were fast to build, are energy efficient and through offsite manufacturing and careful focus on waste, contributed 60% less to landfill.

Although Woodspan and our PLT floor system have only played a minor role in this project, it has been a pleasure to be involved and contribute alongside designers, builders and educators who are the best in their field.

Builder - Waka
Builder - Kina


A PLT Prototype House

Working with BOON, Chris Bell Construction and BTW Engineers, we supplied PLT panelling and glulam posts for a new prototype house in New Plymouth.

Industrial Units and Offices in Hobsonville

Completed in Hobsonville, Auckland, this project consists of light industrial units with mezzanine floors. We supplied mass timber panels in visual grade.

Two Storey Office Building for Silks Audit

Silks Audit required a new office building for their Taranaki team that provided open plan areas, meeting rooms and amenities. View the solution we provided.

Mary Potter

Woodspan supplied PLT floor panels for the Mary Potter Apartment project in central Wellington, comprising of 41 apartments across 5 levels.

“If we have small units requiring mezzanines we would definitely have Woodspan involved. It takes out painting and fire considerations and is good from a building, value and engineering perspective. PLT ticks all the boxes.”


Barend Davis, Macrennie Construction – Auckland, New Zealand

“It was our first PLT install and it went super well. I hope to see more of this in the future“


Cameron Duffy – Site Supervisor, Pepper Construction – Taranaki, New Zealand