i2C explores Build-to-Rent in the UK


Build-to-Rent Lead and Associate, Marcus Greening recently embarked on an explorative trip to the UK. Marcus met with industry experts to gain insights into the successful implementation of the BTR model in the UK.

The trip aimed to analyse the factors that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of Build-to-Rent projects in cities such as London, Brighton, Manchester, Leeds, and Glasgow over the past decade. Marcus met with industry experts to dissect what has allowed the model to succeed.

“BTR is responsible for housing an incredibly large number of people in the UK. The most successful schemes we saw integrated the BTR community with the broader social fabric, which in part is understanding the diverse types of demographics that go into creating a community.

“These projects actually utilised the wider neighbourhood for their amenities, allowing the community to participate in the overall success of these BTR projects, creating a ‘village like’ feel, that is often lost in traditional multi-res developments,” he said.

Packaged Living and Inveso Real Estate – The Almere, Milton Keynes

Given that the Build-to-Rent model of living is now firmly in the spotlight, Marcus emphasised that now is the perfect time to examine the best practices for introducing the model into the areas set to receive new BTR projects.

“The success of the BTR model is defined by the overarching objectives of the developer, who will retain ownership of the building for 30 plus years, placing a greater emphasis on longevity – of both common spaces and apartment fixtures and finishes. Essentially the most intuitively designed projects that prioritised resident wellness and lifestyle quality, were the projects that excelled in the UK.

“One of the key elements to successful BTR development is a genuine connection with the community and the existing context surrounding the proposed development site. This connection is integral in creating a place that invigorates the entire precinct. BTR apartments can foster lasting communities with an amenity-rich lifestyle focussed offering.

Quintain Living – Wembley Park BTR

“This goes hand in hand with more sustainable practices, which in turn can minimise outgoings and running costs. The i2C team believes we have a responsibility to assist developers in meeting ESG targets, with some BTR investors now putting sustainability credentials at the forefront of their decision-making process,” he said.

By 2027, BTR properties in Australia will reach 16,000, which is a significant indicator of the changing mentality around property ownership.

“As inflation and cost of living continues to chip away at the ability of regular Australians to become home-owners, BTR challenges the traditional notion of buying your own home and setting down roots. It’s a model which eradicates the expense of home ownership and mortgages, but still offers the ideation of community which resonates so well with Australians,” said Marcus.

Marcus with Moda build-to-rent team
Marcus and Moda team

Marcus undertook the trip as part of the Ryder Alliance exchange with our partner firm, Ryder Architecture. The collaborative effort has become known as Ryder Alliance, and now encompasses a network of 12 partner firms with over 1300 people in 26 cities.

i2C|Ryder is working together on several BTR projects, including Lynn Mall in New Zealand and Fieldworks House in Victoria, as well as working with Investa/Oxford (Indi) on the Boyd Southbank Build-to-Rent Design Brief. We are also acting as BTR specialist architects on many pre-DA concept planning and design projects for emerging developers across the country. Comparatively, i2C|Ryder share knowledge and experience from designing over 15,000+ BTR apartments out Australia, NZ and the UK.

moda build-to-rent
Moda’s New York Square, Leeds
BTR workshops

Correspondingly, Marcus is currently planning some workshops to share the UK BTR best practice and learnings with clients. Please contact our team if you would like to know more.

i2C Architects

i2C Architects