Recent Trends in Residential Buildings & Campus Living Spaces

Recent Trends in Residential Buildings & Campus Living Spaces

What Trends Are Shaping the Design of New Campus Living Spaces?

On Campus Student Housing is no longer viewed as just a place to only sleep or study – students want living spaces that reflect today’s lifestyle, and schools are listening.

 

As new residential buildings are being built, schools are seeking input from students and incorporating that input into the design where possible. Campus resident building trends, including many more community areas to promote a sense of community, are shaping the design of new campus living spaces.  Here are the primary trends we’re seeing:

 

  • Features to Promote Student Activities and Engagement

  • Residential Buildings Have Become Mixed-Use Complexes

  • Choices in Student Room Types Accommodate Different Preferences

  • Gender-Inclusive Living Spaces Are Being Added

     

Residential Buildings Have Features to Promote Student Activities and Engagement

Residential buildings are incorporating design features to foster a sense of community, increase student retention and academic performance. New and renovated buildings are adding more community spaces that are inviting and attractive to students – spaces where students want to hang out. These community design features are intended to help reduce isolation and promote socialization. Samuel Jones, Director of Housing Operations and Conference Services for California State University – Sacramento (Sac State), stated, “Research shows that those living on campus their first year are more likely to return their second year if they have a positive experience.”

 

  • Foster a Sense of Community

  • Increase Student Retention

  • Improve Academic Performance

 

Samuel Jones, Director of Housing and Conference Services for California State University – Sacramento (Sac State)

 

“New and renovated buildings are adding more community spaces that are inviting and attractive to students – spaces where students want to hang out. “

 

 

The new 416-bed Riverview Hall at Sac State has many of these community features, including four interactive study rooms, a fitness center, a cardio studio, a gaming room and a terrace on the second floor.

Sac State - Riverview

Riverview Hall, California State University, Sacramento

A community favorite is a 38-seat movie theater. “We’ve partnered with Swank Motion Pictures to show movies that are new as well as post home release. We’re able to show new releases within a few days after they’re not in the theaters but before they are released to home,” said Samuel.

 

Residential Buildings Have Become Mixed-Use Complexes

Today’s residential buildings are looking more and more like off-campus, mixed-use complexes than what was formerly known as a dormitory. University of Southern California’s (USC) latest residential building community, called USC Village, incorporates elements of an urban lifecycle in order to house more students and connect with the larger South Los Angeles community. Students live in rooms above such places as Trader Joe’s, Target, Starbucks and other stores and restaurants, which are open to the public.

 

Riverview Hall also has mixed-use spaces as well, with a packaging center and office space, including the housing administration’s office space. “Since most students shop online, we thought a packaging center would benefit the students,” stated Samuel.

 

Choices in Student Room Types Accommodate Different Preferences

Student residence facilities offer a variety of living arrangements designed to accommodate different living preferences. In general, suites of 2-8 people are a popular room type on campus for freshmen. While some single units are available to freshmen, there aren’t many. Apartments make up the majority of rooms in USC Village.

USC Village, University of Southern California

“The most requested room type is the 6-person apartment, which has three rooms for two students each and a common living space. USC Village is primarily designed for first- and second-year students who tend to prefer and request large roommate groups,” stated USC Housing.

 

University of Southern California (USC) Housing

 

“The most requested room type is the 6-person apartment, which has three rooms for two students each and a common living space.”

 

 

Gender-Inclusive Living Spaces Are Being Added

Including gender-inclusive living units and restrooms are another important campus resident building trend.  Gender-inclusive areas are intended to make students feel open to live with either males or females within the same space. Riverview Hall has an 8-person gender-inclusive pod and they share one restroom that is designed as gender-inclusive.  The first year students are set up in double rooms with two gender-inclusive bathrooms on every floor.  Students on the first year wing can use the male, female, or gender-inclusive bathroom on the floors.

 

StarRez’s roommate matching feature can help colleges and universities with this. It enables schools to create a set of questions during the online student housing application process so that students can search for roommates based on their answers. This feature can be customized to include any type of question you’d like, including one about gender inclusivity.  Read more about how Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has successfully implemented this feature.

 

Standard Expectations of Residential Spaces

Of course, all the standard expectations of campus living spaces need to be met. Wireless connectivity is a big one because it’s such a huge part of today’s lifestyle. Also, electrical outlets need to be accessible and in ample supply so students can charge their many devices. Security into buildings is another very important necessity.


For More Information

These are just four of the campus resident building trends that we’ve seen. To learn more about these trends and how the StarRez roommate matching process can help with the housing application process, contact Joe Lindwall or Contact Us.

 

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Joe Lindwall

About author

A member of the StarRez team since 2006, Joe has extensive higher education and software experience. Joe has enabled over 400 new StarRez customer implementations.

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