The entire worldwide student housing market
is going through changes. There are billions of dollars invested right now in
student housing every single year. However, supply simply cannot keep up with
the demand. This is a reality in so many cities all around the world.
The good news is that student housing
architects are constantly looking for new opportunities. This led to the
appearance of various approaches that can help. Some examples of those that
should seriously be considered are presented below.
Re-Using Abandoned Constructions
Whenever available, this is an option that
has to be taken into account. Obviously, architects need to consider renovation
costs. These costs have to be offset against the project’s life span in order
to determine the viability of the project.
Abandoned constructions have to be taken
into account since the option is environmentally friendly.
As an example, Zhengzhou Art School took an
abandoned train and turned it into dorms. 300 students can be accommodated
there for around $75 per month.
Student Housing On Water
It is more expensive to build something on
water but the price to buy space is really small. This is exactly what BIG
Architects from Denmark did. They actually built floating residences for
students in Copenhagen. In order to do this, they used 9 shipping containers
and added them over 2 levels. The result was a complex with 15 units.
While building housing on water is not
always possible, architects consider it whenever the project can be viable.
Using Sustainable Materials
Cost-efficient or renewable
materials automatically reduce construction costs. For instance, when wood
is used, the cost reduction possible is around 15%.
Smart architects always look for ways to
cut costs through the use of sustainable materials. This drastically reduces
costs and offers housing options that are much more affordable for students. It
is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Different architecture companies found
modular construction as a solution to the student housing problem. This is
because prefabrication is really efficient and quick. You can so easily shorten
on-site construction to just around a couple of weeks or months, all based on
The big advantage of modular construction
is that the vast majority of the project is handled off-site. This drastically
saves costs and time. In addition, material use is reduced by around half. This
happens because of better controlling waste and material flow.
Last but not least, 3D printing is used more
and more in various housing projects, including student accommodations. Even if
the technology is still in its early phases, the method is more advanced than
what many think. It is similar to modular building as it saves construction
material and time. Also, labor costs are taken down as a large part of the
project is automated.
As expected, many of the 3D projects are in
an infancy phase. However, we do have an example in France. In the city of
Nantes, a 4-bedroom house was actually printed in just 54 hours. This led to 20
percent lower costs. According to the team, the exact same house can be printed
again in around 33 hours. Also, in around 10 years, 3D printing can become up
to 50% cheaper.