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Student Housing – Making the Grade with Modular Construction

With enrolment in Canadian universities and colleges doubling since 1980 and on a further projected rise in the coming years, the pressure for post-secondary institutions to meet demand for effective student living spaces is increasing. A shortage of housing on campus or in the immediate surrounding area can negatively impact a school’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining students.

As post-secondary institutions work to keep pace with demand, they also face unique considerations when planning and constructing new living spaces, including:

  • The need for communities focused on living and learning;
  • Tight, immovable deadlines;
  • The effects of noise and traffic disturbance on the student experience;
  • Environmental impacts; and
  • Current and long-term space needs.

A New Age of Construction Provides Solutions

The standard of student accommodation being built today is far different than buildings of the past. Cramped dorms which provided little more than a bed to sleep in have been replaced by micro-suites, studio apartments, cluster rooms and other designs with purpose-built spaces throughout that promote community and student excellence.

With flexible, repeatable designs that are virtually indistinguishable from site-built construction, and timelines of a matter of months from foundation to occupancy, Horizon North modular construction presents a new-age solution to rapid response needs while making no compromises on quality.

In addition to scheduling certainty, Horizon North’s modular construction methods bring other inherent improvements to student housing construction:

  • Cost certainty – With manufacturing occurring in an indoor, temperature-controlled facility, costs remain on track more easily than traditional construction as delays due to weather, accident damage or theft are virtually eliminated. In addition, Horizon North controls the entire value chain, meaning there is no risk of limited trade availability impeding the project.
  • A quieter building – Modules are set against each other during the installation process, effectively doubling the thickness of side-by-side walls. This leads to an inherently quieter structure.
  • Reductions in traffic disturbance – Because 80% or more of the construction work is done off-site, students and faculty can expect less disruptions and a smaller volume of on-site traffic throughout the process from foundation to completion.
  • Sustainability – The modular construction process relies on lean manufacturing techniques to reduce waste and improve efficiencies. As the building is manufactured, materials are re-used and recycled to ensure minimal waste. On site, the building’s footprint is greatly reduced as well, with less noise, dust and traffic occurring over a shorter period of time.

Flexibility in our approach is another key differentiator for Horizon North. Permanent spaces that meet long-term needs are an optimal solution to student housing, however many institutions face the reality of restricted space and future designated uses for the land that is available to them.

Horizon North’s ability to manufacture both permanent and temporary solutions removes the potential barrier of future land use plans to student housing construction. With long-term plans of up to 50 years for many institutions, temporary housing allows for the use of land which may otherwise sit untouched for years before permanent structures are built. As permanent development plans are executed, the temporary structures can then be removed and redeployed to other sites several times over.

Find Your Solution

With an unprecedented number of applications for on-campus housing expected over the coming years, post-secondary schools are beginning to act quickly to address current space shortages, ensuring they remain competitive with their fellow institutions. Modular construction is serving as an ideal solution – one that requires minimal disruption to the existing student body. Students can leave school in late-April or early May for their summer work, and return in September to an entirely new building, feeling little to no effects along the way.

If your institution is considering student housing, we would enjoy an opportunity to meet with you to talk about Horizon North’s full turn-key modular construction experience as a possible fit for your project.

Tell us about your project and we will be in touch or, for more information, explore our resources below.

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Our team of dedicated modular professionals is on a mission to demonstrate there is a better way to build, and there is no better time than now to start the conversation.

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