The vertical footprint of apartment complexes makes them attractive to building owners — getting the most metaphorical bang for your buck — but a problem has emerged. These structures all tend to look the same. This similarity makes it challenging to set yourself apart in an already ultra-competitive field.
With that in mind, here are some thoughtful ways to enhance your apartment complex designs to help you stand out.
Design for Density
Leveling up your apartment complex designs starts with making the most of the available space. Four typology designations are commonly used to describe apartment buildings: The Wrap, Podium, Double Podium and Tower/Slab.
- The Wrap is your typical low-rise apartment complex. It usually has separate parking and is generally favored in urban transitional regions that haven’t yet earned the urban moniker.
- The Podium utilizes five stories of above-ground and one to two levels of underground parking. The ground floor may also house tenant amenities or retail spaces.
- The Double Podium also utilizes multiple above- and below-ground stories. The difference is the height. Double Podium structures work in zones where extra concrete construction allows for creating a seven-story building instead of a five.
- The Tower is a tall, slender apartment building usually constructed of glass and steel. It usually holds a mixture of residential and commercial spaces and has plenty of room for amenities. The Slab is a variant of the Tower that stretches out horizontally as well as vertically. These are the most common apartment complexes in urban centers.
Step one is always deciding what type of apartment complex to build, depending on the location and demographics. Now you can tweak the design.
Provide Adequate Parking
Parking is one of the biggest make-or-break points for apartment living. Tenants don’t have a driveway or, in most cases, a street to park on. However, even in cities that rely more heavily on public transportation, there will still be plenty of people who own cars and use them to commute. Ensure you’ve got at least one space available per apartment in your building. You will also want spaces for households with more than one vehicle, as well as visitor parking.
Don’t Forget to Play
Apartment buildings attract all tenants, from single businesspeople focusing on their careers to families looking for a place to call home to elderly couples hunting for a space to live out their golden years. You need to design your space to cater to all possible tenant demographics.
Improving your property’s outdoor spaces is one way to do that. Kids need space to play. Installing a playground can make your property more attractive to families with young kids. People need green spaces, and living in an apartment means no yard to play in. They may be communal areas, but they can help enhance your apartment’s design regardless.
Don’t just focus on outdoor spaces when adding a bit of greenery to your apartments. Keeping plants in indoor spaces helps improve the air quality while boosting your tenants’ mental states. Research shows that indoor gardening helps relieve stress while encouraging creativity and productivity. Adding plant life to the exterior of your building can help reduce heating and cooling costs by providing additional natural insulation.
Light It Up
Keeping the lights on is important for the safety and comfort of your tenants, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Consider switching to LED light fixtures or bulbs — or upgrading what you have when remodeling an older apartment building.
In addition to reducing utility costs, LEDs require less maintenance and burn out less frequently. This makes it easier to ensure you don’t have disgruntled tenants calling you at all hours about a burned-out light in the stairwell.
An apartment building’s amenities are one of the most attractive features — but only if they’re functional. Take the time to choose your amenities carefully and maintain them well. Pools are popular but can be tricky to maintain. Other popular things might include:
- Fitness centers
- Laundry facilities
- Co-working spaces
- Conference/party rooms
Use your imagination. Research competitors to see what amenities they’re offering to get a clearer picture of the features a potential tenant might look for.
Also, ensure you’re taking the time to weigh the pros and cons of each. Pools are popular, but if your complex is in a part of the country that only has a few weeks out of the year where swimming is feasible, it might not be worth the investment. On the other hand, in warmer climates, a pool might be necessary if you hope to compete with other local complexes.
Enhancing Your Apartment Complex Designs
It feels like new apartment buildings are springing up daily, so making yours stand out in an already crowded market can be impossible. Enhancing your apartment complex designs doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require some thought and foresight. Take time to determine what will best benefit your tenants without creating unnecessary problems for you or your maintenance crew moving forward.