Design Trends in Multifamily Buildings

Designing multifamily buildings is a challenge in both aesthetics and efficiency. Depending on the area in which these buildings are constructed, the design style may be more or less clearly defined.

However, there are also some general trends — especially regarding construction — that are found everywhere. Here are some of the most common trends of multifamily energy efficient building designs:

Green Buildings

It comes as no surprise that one of the top trends in designing multifamily housing is how sustainable it has become. As consumers and investors alike push toward more environmentally friendly constructions, developers are now using recycled materials, incorporating better insulation and improving energy efficiency.

In fact, the entire process of building multifamily complexes is shifting toward a more eco-conscious approach. A good example of what the industry aims for is the multifamily market in Washington, D.C., a LEED-certified city with a high share of green apartment buildings. This is extremely beneficial for consumers, as well, because living in a green building results in a reduced carbon footprint and lower energy bills.

Elegant Facades

Modern facades are also quite appealing to consumers, especially in urban environments where they look for elegance. When designing a multifamily building or complex, in particular, you can choose to blend in with the surroundings or stand out. Glass is often a preferred material because it gives the building a modern ambiance, with seamless transitions between floors.

Yet, one option that is quickly rising thanks to its affordability and longevity is fiber cement. This material, although not new, is now used in versatile ways to bring contrast and texture to building exteriors. It’s available in a range of colors, from neutral tones to bold options. Most importantly, it’s very long-lasting and it offers the needed protection for any home.

Another trend is the use of concrete facades. Styles range from rough and industrial to smooth and elegant. Concrete buildings are versatile and popular, thanks to the durability and structural strength of the material. Other common options include fiberglass, steel and shipping containers, as well as more natural options like stone and brick.


Nowadays, consumers are also creating a high demand for wellness amenities. One such amenity that affects the exterior of a building is a roof garden. For instance, terraces and open, green spaces are quite popular, especially in crowded cities where the views are primarily of concrete, steel and glass. As a result, including spaces like these in the building’s design has become a common theme in recent years — and is likely to continue on its upward trajectory.

Clearly, building amenities are just as important as apartment amenities to consumers. As such, energy, heat and sound control are also important aspects of the building. All of these factors should be taken into consideration because a construction that is well-built will also be attractive.

Meanwhile, consumers also seek well-lit homes. Specifically, high ceilings, large windows and an open layout are ideal and also reflect well on the outside of the building. Of course, different finishes can conceal (or embrace and highlight) these features.

Other in-demand amenities include wellness facilities for physical exercise, like smart gyms or swimming pools. Common areas such as lobbies, laundry rooms, vertical wall mount mailbox spaces should be well lit and secure. Spaces set aside for mindful mental recuperation are also on trend, such as green space and open meditation centers. These can be easily incorporated into a design that embraces natural shapes and materials.

With a wide variety of options and innovative materials, the major trend of multifamily design seems to be creating a unique building that is also sustainable and eco-friendly, and in which the comfort of residents is key.

About the author: Mihaela Buzec is a passionate reader and writer with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.

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