Rooftop decks and terraces are a hot commodity in the rental market, having turned into a must-have amenity for mid and high-rise apartment buildings.
Why invest in rooftop amenities?
Investing in rooftop amenities can be costly for owners but the expense is worth it; residents are willing to pay extra for communal space and stunning views of the skyline, potentially leading to a one-year return on investment (ROI). Increasing rental fees for apartments with a rooftop view by narrow margins, like 20 cents per square foot for example can lead to substantial gains for owners.
Not only can it keep current residents satisfied, it can also attract prospective tenants. Rooftop amenities make an apartment building more desirable to renters. Millennials and Gen X-ers, in particular, place tremendous value on outdoor space when deciding on rental property.
Moreover, creating wonderful spaces where renters can relax and socialize can improve retention; people are more likely to renew their lease if they’ve formed meaningful relationships with their neighbors.
The benefits of rooftop amenities
There are functional and aesthetic benefits to adding rooftop amenities. A green roof can enhance the appearance of the apartment building. Lush foliage can cover up vacant concrete areas that appear harsh and uninviting. It also helps with insulation, reducing the effects of heat and creating a comfortable environment for residents.
You can also gain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points for developing a sustainable building if you upgrade to high-efficiency rooftop units (RTUs). RTUs help reduce energy costs, which translates to energy savings.
Rooftop amenities can add value to apartment buildings as well as differentiate them from similar properties in the area.
What to include
Think of the rooftop as your apartment building’s signature element. It should ideally complement the building’s overall design and maximize the view. Safety and functionality should always be taken into consideration.
Here are some features to add to your rooftop:
- Comfortable seating
- Lounge area
- Shade structures
- Sound system
- BBQ grills
- Fire pits
Just keep in mind that it isn’t just about filling the rooftop with furniture and equipment. It’s also about creating a fun and relaxing atmosphere for tenants.
It has to be warm and inviting so that renters will feel right at home. It should be the kind of space where they can hold yoga classes, throw parties, or simply re-energize.
Things to keep in mind
A roof’s load capacity is determined by its layout, materials, and member sizes. While minor improvements such as a light wooden deck or a shallow roof garden don’t require as much additional support, features like RTUs and swimming pools can be too heavy for the average rooftop. The latter may necessitate support solutions, the scope of the architectural project will determine how much support is required.
You can minimize the need for heavy support by using alternative designs and materials that result in lighter loads. For instance, you can use lightweight structural soil for the garden decks and place a limit on the number of plant containers and wood or concrete pavers to be incorporated into the rooftop’s design.