Design for rentals varies depending on there the building is going to be located. In high income areas, designs are best kept larger than the minimum size and are more complicated. This is because the target clientele will be able to afford the high rents that will be charged due to the higher cost of land and constructing the house.
In design for rental units, it’s prudent to maximize on the land use by having as many units as the law can permit. The local authority controls the maximum ground coverage that the building can cover. In most areas around Nairobi the ground coverage is 50% .This means that the ground floor cannot exceed half the size of the plot.
To maximize land use, rentals are best designed as flats or apartments. This is one homogenous block with several rental units within it. This design is compact and hence saves a lot of costs in terms of economies of scale during construction and saves on land.
In design of apartments, care should be taken so as common space such as stairways, passages and balconies are well defined and give a sense of ownership to the residents living closest to them. This ensures that these spaces are kept clean and are not used as dumping grounds.
Due to the compact nature of these designs, a small piece of land can hold many units hence a need for parking space. Vehicle ownership in Kenya is increasing rapidly per household. Local authorities in Kenya specify that each unit should require 1.5 cars parking space. To accommodate this, angle parking design which can take in more cars is important. If this is not enough, the ground floor can be kept free and supported by reinforced concrete columns creating more space for car parking.
Utility space for washing and drying clothes also becomes scarce in apartment designs. To create this space, the roof tops become very handy for this.
It’s the honors of your architect to come up with solutions to maximize land use while creating comfortable units for the tenants.