As campuses across the nation and the world build more environmentally friendly dorm options, student housing investors and real estate managers will need to push towards improving the sustainability in their own properties or risk being left in the dust.
While the trend is not anything new — Pitzer College in Claremont, California, has been offering sustainable housing since 2007, complete with a student run organic garden, according to an NPR report — the buzz around environmentally friendly dorms has been growing.
Recently, Stony Brook University on Long Island, East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, and the University of Cincinnati have all unveiled their plans to make their campuses and dorms more environmentally conscious.
Student housing has often been relied on as a sure bet for investors for decades, as has real estate in general, which 96% of investors credit with their financial success, according to a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Survey. But the surge in green dorms might represent a shifting point if investors don’t keep up.
“Accommodation providers here should really take a leaf out of the books of some of these innovative developers across the world,” managing director of Studenttenat.com said to House and Property. “The student accommodation market here is certainly developing, but who wouldn’t want to see some more fun and innovative spaces to bring more students to study here?”
Of course, how green your student housing should be will largely depend on the colleges in the area. In many cases, a few small changes could be enough, especially in areas where schools have yet to successfully implement green housing. In other areas, significant changes may be necessary in order to keep up.
While the sudden need to implement green and sustainable offerings in your student housing projects might seem like a burden, there is at least one silver lining. A 2015 Nielson study showed that environmentally friendly offerings are tremendously important for many younger Americans. In fact, millennials are typically willing to spend more for products that are sustainable, meaning such changes stand to offer a large return on investment.