Tips To Build Affordable Student Housing

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 project size.

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.

3D Printing

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.

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