By Ralph Bivins
ORLANDO — New trends in apartment design and development were a hot topic at the National Association of Home Builders’ IBS convention in Orlando in mid-February.
Apartment construction is surging across the nation. And there are a plenty of new ideas to consider for architect and developers as new projects are on the drawing board. Architects Doug Buster and Manny Gonzalez, in particular, had some great ideas. Here are the top 10 best trend ideas coming out of the builders convention:
- Small is in. New multi-family units are going smaller to save cost – cheaper to build, cheaper to rent.
- Tiny is in. Very small appliances – the 18-inch dishwasher, the 20-inch range and 24-inch refrigerator are being installed.
- Apartments with two master suites are popular. People are rooming together to save money in tough economic times. Roommates want to have equally nice bedrooms and baths.
- Forget big living areas. Singles want to go out to socialize, not have big parties at home. A tiny place for a couch and a TV will suffice.
- Have wireless everywhere. Apartment dwellers want to be online everywhere – in the parking lot, in the fitness center, by the pool.
- The big home theaters with fixed-seating and aisles are out.
- Make sure to have great fitness centers.
- Pets – a must. Renters demand it. Developers should allocate some green space for a bark park.
- Tomorrow’s apartments must be green. Sustainability in design, in building products and in operations is a must.
- Accommodate bicycles. Apartments should have plenty of bike racks and have a thoughtful plan for bike riders. Installing a bicycle repair vending machine, selling tire tubes and repair items, is a great idea.