Posted on June 06, 2018 by Gordon Smith

With more people year on year being priced out of the house buying market, we are seeing a sharp rise in the Build-to-Rent (BTR) or Private-Rental-Sector (PRS), whereby tenants favour long-term rental over a mortgage.

PRS developments are designed to attract long-term tenants, and to achieve this it’s important to establish communities and provide facilities that make it more desirable than the Build-for-Sale sector. These services commonly include a concierge service, co-working spaces, communal or social spaces and, of course, a gym.

We look at how gym design can give you that edge and help to ensure your residents are happy, feel part of a community, remain loyal, and therefore stay for the long-term.

Who lives in a PRS development?

The PRS market is ideal for people at a stage in their life where they need or want change. This includes 25-35 year-olds who have some disposable income, but not enough for a mortgage, yet they want a bit more luxury in their life.

It is also an attractive option for older people who are looking to downsize to a smaller house or apartment, without compromising their current lifestyle. Students looking to settle in their University town, as well as affluent older people avoiding high tax penalties are also a key demographic for these developments.

Millennials and older generations in the 50 – 70 years age bracket take exercise seriously and are, in fact, some of the most frequent users of gym facilities – which is why it’s almost imperative to provide a gym in order to capture and retain your core demographic.

Private Rented Sector Gym Design: What to consider

If you’re currently in the planning and design stage of a development, then this is a great chance to get the best out of your gym space.

The first thing is to think about its location and where it should be within a building for maximum impact and use. Accessibility and a seamless, unbroken workout is key, which is why a gym should be bright and spacious with enough room to have plenty of equipment that residents can always use, even at peak times. Judicious use of mirrors in the gym is also important.

Exercise trends change frequently; this is an important point to consider when creating your gym. Group exercise is steadily increasing year on year, so if you have space then it’s probably worth building a gym and a workout studio for residents.

Having a gym and studio means you can offer a wider range of fitness packages, from personal trainers, Yoga, Pilates or HIIT classes, all of which are popular ways of exercising for both the millennial and baby boomer demographic.

When it comes to equipment, good quality and choice are key. Your residents are paying a premium to have a gym, so it’s crucial they can all exercise how they want and when they want – that’s the difference between your development and a mainstream gym.

Weights and functional fitness are growing in popularity, as is zoning the gym space with workout stations that focus on core strength and resistance. People do still use treadmills, ellipticals and rowing machines, but these are not the most popular and frequently used pieces of equipment they used to be.

Gym interior design

Look-and-feel and great interior design are also important when attracting new residents to a PRS site. A room with bare white walls, rows of equipment and a drinks machine will not drive engagement. An eye-catching, bright and motivating space will.

Sometimes it’s worth really thinking outside the box; if you are creating a multi-level development, then why not locate the gym at the top of the building offering views of the area while tenants workout? A great talking point, not to mention a great USP.

A trend making its way from the States is where the gym is transformed into an immersive experience, where artificial light creates a new mood and environment for different types of workout.

Through the use of positive, uplifting colours, such as yellows and greens, the gym can replicate the atmosphere of a nightclub, which is ideal for those high-energy workouts, such as Spin or HIIT. If there’s a Yoga session taking place, why not use blue lighting to create a calming experience.

Bare walls are not an option, so motivational phrases or words are great to use as wall art, which will help to define the ‘personality’ of the gym or workout space. In fact, a gym should reflect the brand values of the PRS development, so think about how you are defining your development and use that to drive the theme of the gym.

Gym maintenance

With tenants paying a premium for services, a broken machine just won’t cut it, and, if it becomes a frequent occurrence, could be one reason for residents moving to another development.

It’s important to make sure equipment is serviced regularly and works well 24×7. That’s why it’s worth investing in top quality, reliable equipment. Ongoing maintenance is also crucial to ensure machines are never out of order.

At motive8, we consult, design, install and maintain gyms for hotels, businesses, student and residential accommodation, so we know what works and what people want from their exercise space.

Our gyms can help your development stay ahead of the game, so why not get in touch or sign up for our newsletter and find out what we can do for you.