Build-to-Rent (BTR) developments in the Private Rental Sector (PRS) are booming. With over 150,000 new homes either complete, under construction or in planning by end of Q1 2020, that makes a 12% increase on the same period in 2019, with the BTR sector set to double in value by 2025.
Cycling is on the up, too. Post-coronavirus, cycling has become a way to get around town without using crowded public transport. Many people are either looking to complete more trips by bike, or are cycling for recreation and exercise.
So how can BTR buildings account for – and benefit from – the surge in cycling?
Why do BTR developments need cycle parking?
While there is still no national policy on required cycle parking spaces for residential buildings, the requirements are likely to grow. Savvy developers have over-provided parking spaces, planning well in advance for an anticipated uptake in cycling.
The most obvious reason for cycle storage–aside from planning requirements–is tenants won’t be storing their bicycles on their balconies, squeezing them into lifts, or carrying them through clean corridors. But beyond that, quality cycle storage is becoming desirable for tenants, and can act as a focal point for sustainability and cycling in the building.
Creating a welcoming place to store your bicycle will mean that no matter the person riding the bike, whether commuter or racer, and regardless of whether it’s an e-bike or cargo bike, you’ll feel encouraged to cycle and leave your bike in a secure, dedicated communal area.
Accommodating all bike types requires a variety of bike racks. That means sheffield stands with the required spacing for cargo bikes, specialist two-tier systems that protect more expensive e-bikes, spaces from children’s bikes, and surplus places to account for those with multiple bikes.
Custom branding, colour schemes and way-finding can turn cold, concrete stores into bright and functional spaces. Secure enclosures clad in timber fencing, or glass panels, with lighting and added CCTV, will make cycle storage an integral part of the building, rather than a necessary extra.
Building a cycling community
Build-to-Rent buildings are striving to create a strong sense of community, with examples including residents’ lounges, communal green spaces, and even free yoga sessions.
This can be extended to cycling, too. How about creating a Strava group for residents to share local bike rides? A cycle hub can act as the centrepoint, encouraging tenants to share cycling stories and maintenance tips.
For the serious cyclist, top-of-the-range bikes can cost as much as small cars. You can consider adding premium storage with personal keycard access to protect expensive bikes and add an extra level of security. For a monthly fee, they’ll know their bike is well looked after.
Separate, quick-access, and easy-to-use additional storage can be added for daily trips and regular commuters.
What are stand-out cycle storage features?
A well-thought out cycle shelter with durable cycle racks should stand the test of time for future residents. A good example of this is the rapid rise in sales of e-bikes and scooters. Therefore, think about including e-bike charging points and even electric scooter docking stations.
If you’ve lived in a flat without outdoor space, you’ll know how tricky it is to wash and maintain your bike.
Repair stations and wash stations are a space and cost-efficient addition for cycle hubs. They’ll allow residents a place to look after their bike, without going to the local petrol station. These stations can be custom painted and have branding included, making them a stand out symbol that the building cares about cycling.
You can also consider hiring a bike mechanic or scheduling Dr Bike sessions to make monthly maintenance calls for a small resident fee.