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North West Build-to-Rent - Chapman Taylor.pptx

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North West Build-to-Rent: Catalina Ionita, architect, Chapman Taylor

North West Build-to-Rent - Chapman Taylor.pptx

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North West Build-to-Rent - Chapman Taylor.pptx
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North West Build-to-Rent - Chapman Taylor.pptx
North West Build-to-Rent - Chapman Taylor.pptx
North West Build-to-Rent - Chapman Taylor.pptx
North West Build-to-Rent - Chapman Taylor.pptx
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Editor's Notes

  1. Hello everyone; it’s nice to see such a big crowd here with us today; you all seem v keen to know more about BtR so thank you for joining us for what should be an interesting discussion about the sector and the role of design in BtR developments.
  2. My name is Catalina Ionita and I am an architect at Chapman Taylor and have been working in the BtR sector for the last 10 years as part of design teams. Alongside, I am a PhD candidate researching placemaking which I believe is a vital component of any BtR scheme, especially in Manchester which is considered the BtR capital of the UK and where the competition is incredibly high.
  3. As you may already know, the core of BtR is about encouraging a sense of community that is both physical and digital as well as a culture of service that prioritises the customer experience.
  4. Without giving a Chapman Taylor pitch, I think it is very fair to say that our approach is to always understand and develop knowledge to recognise the sector we are operating within, its challenges and opportunities, as well as seeking to contribute to new knowledge to our own work.
  5. We try to establish this knowledge by actively being part of relevant sector focused events and developing insight papers. These are just some of the few we have developed recently and I invite you all to browse our website should you wish to learn more about the specificities of the sector and our tools of designing.
  6. Digging into these particularities, what BtR is doing is readdressing the unbalanced relationship between landlord and tenant and acknowledging that
  7. In developing a successful BtR scheme we have to put the customer at the core. From our experience, we believe there are many learning to be taken from our hospitality work, especially when designing the amenity and front of house areas that the residents interact with.
  8. The customer experience is a critical component of the sector and it stays at the core to any BtR scheme. This can vary scheme to scheme as a result of understanding the vernaculars we are designing within and the existing amenities and provisions within those sites.
  9. This contributes to the scheme’s brand identity and the way it differentiates itself against others. This further results in high occupancy levels and higher rents. Take Kampus as an example, not many of you might know through its fantastic branding strategy and excellent location, Kampus currently gets the highest rent in the country outside London.
  10. And one of the key reasons behind it is the sense of community developing around the scheme.
  11. Bringing the residents and different amenities together help create not only a place where people live, but a destination for others to come and explore. The BtR amenities are diverse, varying from a gym provision, to co-working space all the way to dog grooming.
  12. We talk a lot about amenity as the core of BtR but we have to remind ourselves that the actual product is 75% of the development still.
  13. We try to standardise as much as possible, varying from apartment typologies to the curtain pole sizes. This allows the operator to accommodate for any future adaptations and fixings in the easiest manner possible.
  14. And it allows us designers to spend money on adding customer value where it really matters.
  15. Developing specification and paying attention to the detail
  16. So our customers can have a unique and engaging experience with the places they inhabit and occupy.
  17. This brings the discussion to the well knows capital expenditure vs operational expenditure discussion and whilst in PRS the custom was to get the product done as cheaply as possible and sell it along, in BtR we have to think about the long term impact of our designs and operational savings and improvements.
  18. We have to design from the inside out and push for the sustainability agenda everywhere we can.
  19. Some of the methods we are currently exploring with our BtR schemes involve modular and MMC.
  20. This is very much linked to this idea of standardisation across the scheme. Using a modular system can also help reducing waste and ensuring control over the quality of the space.
  21. As part of the sustainability agenda, we also have to recognise that lifestyle trends are changing. We use our spaces differently than 10 years ago, even 2 years ago and it is important to design with flexibility in mind to allow for minimum impact when amendments have to be accommodated.
  22. Going back to Kampus for a bit, when we started working on the scheme at Stage 3, we worked closely with the client in establishing the level of amenity we are to provide for a scheme that is located in near proximity to a vast amount of amenity.
  23. This highlights in my view the importance of the R&D and understanding the contexts we are operating within.
  24. Take another example, our Anchorage Gateway BtR scheme currently on site in Media City. We started by looking at this site as a permitted development opportunity for our client. We have of course, provided the client with an option doing just that; but we also suggested it can be so much more.
  25. And introduce a series of amenity zones scattered around the building, such as a yoga studio, residents lounge.
  26. And green open spaces for the residents.
  27. So what’s next for BtR?
  28. We are experiencing the multi-family residents maturing and lifestyle changing
  29. With the pandemic, more and more people are working from home or want to have a dedicated wfh space to use.
  30. The provision of co-working spaces may play a vital part to the social and commercial success of BtR schemes moving forward.
  31. But even more interesting as our BtR customers mature, is the emergence of the SBtR wing and there are more and more established developers looking at suburban sites at the moment. As more people wfh 2-3 days a week and/or seek to start families, they look outside of the city for homes with access to green outdoor space.
  32. This is our SBtR scheme that we won in a design competition for the three BtR parcels at Waterbeach, Cambridge. We are very proud to be working on this scheme and I think it’s fair to say that we succeeded in winning the competition because of our experience and understanding of the sector and more importantly, our R&D.
  33. From our research, it is becoming very clear that the product is very much the place, home and amenity together. We won the competition by proposing to introduce a wider range of amenity scattered across the wider masterplan. The placemaking was very important to us and the client.
  34. And this is where we can really push the sustainability agenda in my view and also acknowledge its value for the wellbeing of our customers.
  35. As a placemaker as well as architect, this excites me a lot as I think it has the potential to create truly inclusive and sustainable places.
  36. If I can leave you with something today is that our approach is always to design for rent. As BtR grows and expands its formats, as we learn from our projects and experiences, it is very clear to us that this product is incredibly unique and needs to be given its special attention it deserves as it has a great deal of potential for the future of residential and sustainable living.