Dutch News

5 November 2014
Innovation in Dutch student housing: apartments in empty offices

Around 20% of the Dutch office buildings are empty and unused. At the same time there is a continuous shortage of student housing, especially in the West of the Netherlands. For a few years a special expert team for the transformation of office buildings is creating student apartments in unused office buildings. It turns out that it is profitable to build in simple student housing for a few years. And there is much more to come.

Everywhere in the Netherlands one sees empty office buildings for rent and for sale. In the period before the crisis kicked in a few years ago a lot was invested in new office buildings, but over the last years there was no need for it. Now students are living in some of the offices after they were transformed into apartments. It turns out that on the long run the transition it is cost-effective and even profitable. A wonderful solution to fight the huge shortage of housing for students.


In some of the cities in the west of the Netherlands there is a large shortage of rental apartments anyway, and in May it was announced more office buildings will be transformed into small apartments for non-students. According to a liberal MP a very welcome stimulation for the building sector that is suffering seriously after the crisis started: 'By encouraging this transformation, the construction industry will get a major boost and respond to new residential concepts and the housing needs of potential tenants'.


In an age of serious greying and in a time the Dutch authorities expect its citizens to participate a combination of apartments and facilities for students and elderly will also be in interesting concept, according to a specialist.


The Dutch also came up with other student housing solutions, like student housing in sea containers changed into apartments and lately a new formula called The Student Hotel. Office buildings transformed into hip hotels where students can rent an apartment for a specific amount of time. A really wonderful series of solutions for the reuse of huge amount of empty office space in the Netherlands, and elsewhere in the western world, and for the shortage of rental apartments.



Sustainable Containers: Cost Effective Student Housing

The Student Hotel

Social housing in empty offices





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