Building Better Multi-Family Housing for Less

New research examines ways multifamily housing costs can be reduced through design and construction decisions.

1 minute read

March 24, 2020, 11:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink


Multi-Family Housing

ND700 / Shutterstock

Hannah Hoyt discusses findings presented in a working paper about design and construction costs related to multifamily housing. Hoyt conducted a series of interviews with multifamily housing experts about anticipating and addressing cost challenges and ways to implement cost-reduction strategies.

"Developing on oddly-shaped lots, spending more upfront to understand site conditions, integrating general contractors into design conversations, devoting design attention to unit layout and proportions, and investing upfront in building energy performance: these strategies cut across planning, design, and construction phases, offering a range of opportunities for teams to save time and control costs," says Hoyt.

She says that this research also indicates that there is no single solution for multifamily housing. Instead, a combination of strategies is necessary to reduce control and time costs, and these discussions need to be part of the planning process.

"While many of these strategies are common best practices within the design and construction disciplines, they are less frequently discussed in planning and policy conversations," concludes Hoyt.

Monday, March 16, 2020 in Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

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