Three Major Trends in Student Housing

In many ways, student housing has been on the leading edge of construction trends, paving the way for trends to be adopted in multifamily construction. The trends that were popular several years ago in student housing are becoming popular today in traditional multifamily housing.

In January of this year, Bill Bayless, president and CEO of American Campus Communities joined other experts in the sector at a student housing development conference in Palm Springs, California. At the conference, Bayless explained how student housing leads the way for other construction trends using the example of Wi-Fi and Internet access. “Emerging trends in multifamily were emerging trends in student housing five years ago,” Bayless said.

What other trends are popular in student housing construction?

Sustainable living spaces — Students expect to see sustainable features, Bayless said at the conference in January. LEED certification is something many college campuses are aiming for to attract students. Nearly 700 colleges and universities have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. With their commitment, these schools agree to complete an emissions history, set a target date for becoming climate neutral, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and integrate sustainability into their school’s curriculum.

Privacy — Students want their own bedrooms and bathrooms for privacy. Though they do want to socialize, students expect lounges and other community rooms for socialization, leaving space for privacy in their living quarters.

Tanning beds — The trend of seeing spa-like amenities such as tanning beds may not shift to traditional multifamily housing as other trends have. Students today expect campus housing amenities to include fitness centers, game rooms, computer rooms, lounges and tanning beds — yes, tanning beds. Our project Crosswind Village in Denton, TX has tanning beds available to its residents.

Other common trends include wood flooring, stainless steel and kitchen islands. Student housing of the 21st century should more resemble a traditional apartment than a dorm room.