In our last article (Creating Semi-Private Living Spaces), we discussed how Gen Z students want affordable and community-oriented accommodation. Today, we'll explore another important aspect of student living that came out of the survey conducted by The Property Marketing Strategists and UPP: wellness. We'll look at how designers can create spaces that cater to students' wellbeing needs, and provide a case study of a PBSA project where we put this into practice.
Students would be willing to pay an extra £5 for an outdoor garden courtyard
According to the survey, students want to feel that their wellness is being considered. They emphasized the importance of their living environment, with graduates in particular valuing natural light and openable windows. Outdoor spaces were also rated as very important, with students indicating they would be willing to pay an extra £5 for an outdoor garden courtyard.
At the same time, community and a sense of belonging are essential for overall mental and social well-being. Designers have a significant role to play in this regard, by creating communal spaces that foster a positive and supportive atmosphere.
In a recent PBSA project in Belfast, we collaborated with Bridges Fund Management and ROK Property to place wellbeing at the heart of the communal spaces on the ground floor. We created a Zen garden, which differs from a traditional courtyard by providing more greenery, a water feature, and plenty of spaces to relax in a tranquil atmosphere. The continuous visual connection with the garden has a positive impact on well-being. We also used the garden as inspiration for the interiors, with extensive use of green colours and organic shapes to create a more relaxed and connected environment.
As discussed in a previous article, designing PBSA spaces that prioritize student wellness is essential for meeting the needs of Gen Z. Students want to live in an environment that supports their health, both physically and mentally. And this survey confirmed it. Through the use of natural light, outdoor spaces, and well-designed social spaces, designers can create an environment that inspires a sense of belonging and improves overall well-being.