Despite tuition hikes and soaring student debt, most universities continue to expand their enrollment, meaning demand and occupancy rates for student housing continue to rise. Furthermore, universities are finding a strong correlation between students living on campus and increased academic success. Students living amongst like-minded individuals tend to form stronger support systems, utilize on-campus support services, and experience greater academic accountability.
The Success of Student Housing
Unlike the dull dorm rooms of the mid-20th century, contemporary student housing design is increasingly high-quality, tech-oriented, and anticipatory of the ever-changing needs of students, parents, and universities alike. Recent student housing design trends include suite-style units, living-learning environments, high-quality activity and study spaces, digital mail rooms, and social hallways. Modular construction has a strong potential to make these designs easier, faster, and cheaper to build.
Because modular homes must be transported from factories to project sites, modules are subject to size restrictions set forth by the jurisdictions they are transported within. Limitations are mostly based upon the distances, highways, and bridges modules are transported across, the time of day they are transported, and their carrier truck’s capacity. Moreover, every state holds modular buildings accountable to building codes that ensure modules will be sturdy enough to transport. For more information on transporting modular homes, visit your locality’s Department of Transportation.
Why Build Student Housing Modularly?
- Student housing lends itself to modular construction due to its repetitive nature and commonly narrow room dimensions.
- Due to time and cost savings, modular student housing can be built and thus rented more affordably. Shorter construction timelines are also better suited to the university calendar.
- Despite misconceptions that modular construction limits design breadth, modular student housing can be designed and constructed to look just like other buildings on campus, in support of the campus brand.
- Off-site construction and quick on-site assembly time minimize disruption to student life.
To maximize the benefits of modular construction, room dimensions are coordinated with the typical dimensions of a freight truck. Each module stretches from exterior face to exterior face of a double-loaded corridor building, including components of two units and the corridor running through the middle. As much as possible, unit interiors are finished in an off-site factory with finish materials, cabinetry, and fixtures, prior to relocation to the site. This simplifies the delivery process and on-site construction.
A section cut through stacked units demonstrates the independent structure of each module, whether wood or steel. Interior plumbing walls and utility plenum below the modules provide space for supply lines and wastewater lines.
The Mod Hall concept combines the continuing needs of universities to provide housing with the current student housing trends and the benefits of modular construction. By constructing unit modules off-site while simultaneously completing the on-site construction, the modular student housing process can save both time and money. Universities can serve their growing student populations while keeping construction costs low.
Kit of Parts
The modules work like a kit of parts that can be combined into the desired unit configuration. Also included are one and two module common areas to create flexibility in building layout while also providing study rooms, gathering lounges, and areas for social activity.
Appliances and cabinetry are kept to one living module for efficiency of on-site construction.
The narrow dimensions associated with modular housing easily translate to typical student housing unit sizes.
Unit configurations include single and double occupancy room options.
To achieve site flexibility, additional modules are inserted into the building layout as common space.
Common areas provide a space for both studying and socializing.