Design Trends in Student Housing


ICON Student Housing

Student housing. For those of us that have been there, it involved anything from brutalist style two bedrooms to bare bones amenities. But the evolving needs and expectations of Generation Z (those born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) are dramatically changing the design of university housing here in San Luis Obispo, and across the nation. This new generation of students values technology, privacy, sustainability and inclusivity, and expect these values to be reflected in their living situations on and off campus.

Curious to learn more? Our Central Coast builders and housing developers are sharing six ways the progressive needs of Gen Z is influencing student housing design in 2019.

1. Unit Variety

One bedroom bunk beds are a thing of the past. Gen Z expects options. The blueprints for today’s residence halls include diverse unit types to satisfy different living styles. Blending a variety one to four bedroom units within a building lets students live on their own terms, while also fostering a sense of community.

2. Coed Housing

Coed housing is here to stay and Gen Z is all about it. Exclusively male and female halls are becoming more and more scarce as students and universities embrace gender inclusivity. Coed residential floors, units, and sometimes even bathrooms are increasingly incorporated into student housing design plans.

3. Luxury Amenities

Gen Z wants the most bang for their buck, and this means luxury amenities. Outdoor pools, in-suite laundry, TVs, spa-style bathrooms and hip coffee shops, just to name a few. Modern spaces for entertainment and study will soon be musts in all masterplans. Our Central Coast builders recently completed an amenity-filled student residence here in San Luis Obispo. Check out The Academy at Chorro for total luxury living inspiration.

4. Innovative Common Spaces

A generation born with smartphones, Gen Z values connection and closeness more than you’d think. That’s why common spaces at today’s universities not only encourage academic success, but also support social engagement and relationship building. Spaces within residence halls must be desirable, that means comfortable furniture, lightening fast WiFi, and fun additions like ping pong tables, makers spaces, and study cubicles.

5. Green Features

LEED doesn’t cut it with Gen Z. Growing up in an era where climate change makes for small talk, they expect their university experience to have a minimal environmental impact and maximum green features like solar panels, smart lighting, and efficient appliances. This also includes eco-centric design choices like natural woods and open outdoor green spaces. And of course, hanging plants.

6. Community and Residential Assistants

The transition from living at home to living on their own is a tough one for Gen Z. On and off campus residences alike are adopting an old practice: residential assistants. These paraprofessionals are key in fostering healthy student living, as well as academic success.

At Robbins|Reed, pushing the boundaries of creative execution is our passion. Our housing developers thrive when it comes to building better communities that meet the needs and changing values of end-users across generations. For more information about our student and community housing projects, reach out to our housing developers today at (805)-543-7277.

Multi-family Real Estate Trends: All About Amenities


The Mix SLO Mixed use building

New multi-family properties are on the rise here in San Luis Obispo, and it’s hard not to notice. In the past, the realtor’s adage was: “location, location, location”. But with bike paths, short commutes, and commercial developments like coffee shops and restaurants spread throughout town, homebuyers and renters alike are setting their standards higher. Our commercial contractors are here to break down the latest it-factor in multi-family properties: amenities.

In the past, tenants would be excited over a swimming pool and high speed WiFi—these factors simply don’t cut it anymore. With more millennials starting families and investing in their own space, demands are high. 

Tech Upgrades

Smart home-features that can be controlled through an app are the latest craze in modern multi-family units. Thermostats, doorbell cameras, door locks and mood lighting are all features that residents want to control through their phone. Furthermore, sonic sound systems, big-screen TVS, and built in apps like Netflix are becoming standard practice for unit media systems. 

Community Focused Spaces

Long gone are the days of cold neighbors and isolated units. Both baby boomers and millennials alike are seeking community where they live. This includes updated common areas for socializing like coffee shops, outdoor kitchens, and open work spaces. Remember when barebones apartment complex gyms where a thing? Now wellness centers are the new normal, with yoga and pilates classes offered daily. 

Convenient Features

A millenial ideal that is here to stay: convenience. Commercial contractors are appealing to this by including bike storage and repair facilities, along with smart lockers for package deliveries. Baby boomers seek concierges that can cater to their whims, from arranging taxis to facilitating in-house repairs. 

Pet-friendly provisions

According to a recent survey from, pet owners can account for anywhere from 20% to 70% of tenants in a multi-family property. While pets used to be a no go for many building owners, modern residences are starting to capitalize on them. Dog wash and hydration stations, pet gardens, and special community events for pet owners are just a few of the many features that attract pet owners. Concierges that schedule inhouse pet grooming and dog walks are an added plus. 

When it comes time to renovating your multi-family property, know that our San Luis Obispo Builders and commercial contractors will be by your side every step, from planning and design to building and beyond. Get in touch with our Robbins|Reed Builders online or by calling 805-543-7277 today.

Time to Celebrate!


Cava Robles RV Resort

Our Robbins|Reed Builders officially have created an award winning luxury RV Park here on the Central Coast. That’s right, the stunning vacation spot was awarded the 2018 Beautification of the Year award from the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce. Cava Robles offers visitors 310 spacious trailer sites and 22 comfy cottages, all with access to a recreation center, a gorgeous pool and even a playground. With hiking and biking trails nearby, it is no wonder that this resort won an award during its very first year.

Congrats to the folks at Cava Robles, and everyone involved.

If you’re curious to learn more about the best Central Coast Builders, look no further! Reach out to us online, or give us a call at (805) 316-1440.