Insights

Build to Rent – A change of ethos

The newly emerging Build to Rent sector is bringing with it a sea-change in the decisions made around the design and construction of multi-residential apartments.

Whilst the developer aims to build a property at the lowest cost and to provide the maximum appeal to buyers, the Build to Rent investor is concerned with the Whole Life Cost and income generated by their investment.

For the investor, a larger up-front investment in the initial construction could well pay dividends longer term. One of the more obvious elements would be the fixtures and fittings; these may be chosen based on their durability and expected lifespan as well on the speed and ease of replacement.

Kitchens and bathrooms may not be made with the highest end finishes however they will be expected to be both on-trend and durable and have replacement parts readily available.

In contrast, the walls of a property might seem of less importance than fixtures and fittings; but for a Build to Rent property, they are of greater importance because by opting for new more innovative solutions, partition thicknesses can be minimised saving as much as 1m² on a typical apartment. This increased rentable space can often be translated into a larger rental value or at the very least increase the appeal of one property versus the other. All of this can be done without the need to compromise on the sound insulation between dwellings or occupant comfort.

Another option which is likely to pay dividends is the choice of more durable partition solutions. These boards may appear exactly the same to a standard plasterboard but over the life of the building can be expected to reduce the need for costly repairs due to their increased resilience to everyday knocks and scrapes.