Things to know about Student Housing Architecture
Student housing design and architecture standards are more complex and demanding than ever. Staying on top of these standards can be a steep hill to climb, primarily because the student housing market caters to a smart, savvy, and extremely young as well as constantly changing demographic.
However, considering how vital a housing block is in the lives of first-semester freshmen living on their own for the first time, it is crucial to understand these standards and hire DBA architects to implement them in your next student housing project.
What is the importance of student housing design standards?
College and university administrators know that student housing is the heart of campus culture.
When an on-campus residential unit is designed with modern student housing design and architecture standards in mind, it attracts more students and gets them excited to start their campus lives. Believe it or not, when choosing a college and university, the look and feel of the campus accommodation is a major consideration!
Even for private housing developers, attracting students who will live off-campus is made easier with these standards.
Students have an abundance of choices when choosing an off-campus housing complex. With a thoughtfully planned and well-built student accommodation building that caters to the students’ needs, you can get a competitive edge in the current student housing market plagued by grim pile ’em high slabs.
What does ideal student housing look like?
On and off-campus student housing has changed dramatically in the past decade. Bunk beds and ergonomic desks in every room of a multi-story residence hall is not enough anymore. Today’s typical college student is looking for more than a building with some amenitized functions. They are looking for a sense of place.
Therefore, the most critical student housing design and architecture standard is to create a space that feels like a home away from home. This means that student residential units should not only be comfortable to live in, but it should also offer a laundry list of amenities that makes the space feel like a home, even if the student is thousands of miles away from family.
While student housing should feel like a home away from home, it should not look like a typical apartment complex either. In other words, it should also strike the perfect balance between personal and communal space. It should give the students private spaces to sleep, study and relax, while also offering them a real sense of social vitality; an opportunity to collaborate and be in a shared environment, where they can hang out with friends or study as a group.
To sum it up, ideal student housing should have all of the basics for living, such as bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and cozy furniture. On top of that, though, it should include communal spaces such as fully-outfitted common rooms, outdoor seating areas, recreation rooms, fitness centers and gyms, community gardens, project collaboration zones, and more. Technological convenience and connectivity (plenty of power outlets and USB ports throughout the space and good Wi-Fi) is yet another significant functionality standard that should be incorporated in any student housing design.
Of course, the space also has to look great. No matter how jam-packed with amenities, if the housing provides cramped cells that look directly onto a concrete wall, no student will want to live there. Some natural daylight and artistic design elements (e.g., mood lighting) can make all the difference!
What is the role of sustainability in student housing design?
Today’s students are more environmentally-conscious than ever. And if they find a student residential unit that aligns with their values (in other words, includes sustainability in design), they would prefer it over others. This means that everything in a student housing complex — from the building infrastructure and mechanical systems to interior lighting choices and energy usage — should be designed with sustainability in mind. Using recycled materials, wherever possible, is another smart idea that can attract students in tandem.
Student housing design standards have indeed matured, as the focus has shifted from plastering college colors and logos everywhere to incorporating cozy, comfortable, and community-oriented elements into the space.
Tossing out the traditional notions of what constitutes student housing and keeping up with these standards will make your housing complex the most sought-after place to live on or off-campus.
DBA Architects creates spaces that enhance the student living
Are you ready to design an innovative and inviting student housing complex where students can interact, collaborate, live, study, and grow? If you live anywhere in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Dallas-Ft Worth, Texas, or Northwest Florida, get in touch with DBA architects today. With over 30 years of experience designing residential units (both single-family and multifamily), we can help!
Following a detailed set of modern student housing design standards, we can design a community-centered space that includes every amenity a student could possibly need or want when they are away from home. We offer a wide range of architectural services – from planning and program development, through design and construction documents, to construction administration.
If you have questions about our design process or would like to know more about how we can help you with the smooth execution of your student housing project, call us at (866) 976-4049 now. And don’t forget to visit our blog for additional architectural input.