Six-Storey Wood & Student Housing

Six-Storey Wood Construction

Wood frame construction promises to revolutionise new apartment construction in cities that are looking to increase urban densities. Wood frame buildings can be feasibly built to six storeys at 15-20% less cost than concrete or steel construction.

Paul Bedford, former chief planner at the City of Toronto, spoke at the North American New Apartment Construction and Mixed-Use Symposium and Expo, discussing how wood construction opens the possibility for cheaper, more flexible construction. (Watch his testimonial here)

Student Housing Development

A significant portion of new apartment construction that has taken place since the year 2000 has come in the form of student housing. The economics and demographics of Canada’s population have made new student housing an extremely profitable enterprise, offering a high rate of return for those who invest in the marketplace. However, student housing is very much a niche market, with an unusual demographic that requires amenities different from a typical purpose-built rental apartment development. Investors who seek to enter the student housing market with the mentality of a conventional apartment developer will fail.

Here are some reasons why six-storey wood frame construction has a big part to play in the future of new apartment construction in Canada:

1. Significant Construction Savings

As we stated above, wood frame construction can be feasibly be applied to mid-rise apartment buildings up to six storeys tall. Wood represents a 15-20% savings on comparable concrete or steel construction, meaning builders are able to build buildings less expensively, given them an advantage in the marketplace.

2. Wood Frame Buildings Are Human Scaled

Cities want to grow up, not out, but increasing densities used to mean building tall high-rise buildings that can be alienating to pedestrians on the city streets cities want to intensify. No longer. Six-storey wood frame construction provides buildings which are scaled appropriately to the urban setting, while at the same time increasing densities and providing the related efficiencies.

3. A Tried and Tested Solution

Wood frame construction has been successfully applied to buildings in cities across the United States. In Canada, British Columbia has led the way, building over 100 six-storey wood frame buildings over the past five years. Developers know that this model works.

The Student Housing Market in Canada

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At SVN Rock Advisors, we have over a quarter-century of experience in the purpose-built rental apartment industry. We have seen apartments grow and evolve and we pay special attention to cutting-edge technologies and techniques. Our feasibility studies can help identify opportunities on where to build, what to build, how much to rent, and what to do with your development once it is built. We can help you find the best place to build the best building, wood frame construction or concrete.

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