College campuses are trending, and not just with restaurant-quality dining or extra-curricular activities; they’re attracting high school graduates with student housing – specifically with “live and learn” residential communities. Building Design + Construction magazine reported on these newly developed accommodations that are practical and productive for students. A lot sounded familiar to the conversations we have surrounding the importance of smart HVAC solutions:
- “Universities Go Big With Common Spaces and Academic Areas.” When choosing housing, students look for a space that serves academic and social purposes because “a lot of what students learn isn’t in the classroom.” Therefore, residential areas must include space for students to study collaboratively or individually. For students to work comfortably in these areas, residential spaces should have an HVAC system with zoning abilities and that can quickly and effectively respond to shifting occupancy levels.
- “Housing Gets Branded as Lifestyle Takes Center Stage.” On- and off-campus housing that includes market-rate apartment amenities such as pools, fitness and media centers, and rock-climbing walls can encourage students to rent through university housing before looking to local apartment communities. To create physical space and a pleasant environment for these amenities, HVAC equipment must be small and whisper quiet; students want a rooftop pool, not a compressor farm.
- “Cost Plays a Bigger Role in What Gets Built.” Although comfortable and productive living spaces are ideal for campus housing, some schools are having a difficult time finding the land and capital to improve their accommodations. A large component of this problem is that colleges don’t have the resources and management experience to operate an expanded housing portfolio. However, if these schools are unable to renovate their housing entirely, they can start the process by upgrading to a new HVAC system. Energy-efficient systems offer schools reduced energy usage and low utility bills in addition to increased resident comfort.
To learn more about how HVAC can benefit the design and construction of student housing, check out these case studies featuring our products: The Suites on Paseo and Montserrat College of Art, Residential Village.