Best Practices in Student Housing Design

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Member Exclusive


1. Executive Summary: The Changing Shape of Student Life Facilities
2. Financing and Planning Student Life Facilities
3. Best Practices in Student Housing Design (this article)

by Patrick Cain and Daniel Fusch (Academic Impressions)

This summer, we released an executive summary of the findings from a survey of institutions looking to add new student life facilities in the next year. You can read our executive summary here. The survey confirmed that colleges are pushing harder for integration across student life facilities -- residential, unions, and recreational facilities.

And when asked how important it was to unify the design and placement of student life facilities, 51% believed there should be intentionality in this, and 31% said there must be intentional unity. Only 6% felt it didn't matter.

Now, we are following up with lead architects and consultants who work with student life facilities in higher education. For this article, we reached out to Treanor Architects because they have an extensive student life portfolio encompassing residence halls, dining halls and student unions. For over thirty years, they have served over 80 campuses and completed nearly 200 student life projects. We are excited about the experience and knowledge they bring both to this interview.

In this interview, we have spoken with Nadia Zhiri, principal and vice-president at Treanor Architects, and James Reittinger, associate principal and director of student life design at Treanor Architects.

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