Sunday 18 February 2024

Turning empty offices into student blocks could be a win-win solution

 While proposals to convert offices into student accommodation or other forms of residential accommodation are regularly mooted, care is required as residential developments are subject to wholly different planning standards especially regarding open space. The Business Post's latest article on this shows the potential but not the how.

Ireland’s student accommodation sector is expected to be one of the markets to benefit from a stabilisation in both interest rates and construction cost inflation. Already the market is underpinned by student demand as reflected in Higher Education Authority (HEA) estimates that 75,640 student beds would be required by 2024. But supply is well short of that figure and according to the latest report from Mitchell McDermott property consultants, only 1,500 to 2,000 beds are being built annually so supply will reach only 55,000 beds by 2027. One way to accelerate delivery would be conversion of office buildings and John Dobbin of Shay Cleary Architects said that student accommodation (PBSA) could be a more suitable conversion project than residential apartments. Indeed, by providing PBSA more quickly this would also help to remove thousands of students from the wider residential rental market. Dobbin pointed out that older offices built in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are particularly suited for conversion compared to more modern ones because the older ones have narrower floor plates of 13 to 15 metres, central corridors, suitable floor-to-ceiling heights and fewer columns.

Read the full article @ The Business Post

Article uploaded by BPS Planning & Development Consultants LTD

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