A close-up of Nichiha’s exterior fiber cement cladding on 444 Social multifamily units. The horizontal cladding panels are in custom shades of orange and green.
Home / Blog

Evolution of Multifamily

Over the last decade, the multifamily market has drastically evolved. Especially since 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, the expectations people have for the multifamily experience have changed — and Nichiha is excited to be on the forefront of this evolution. 

As you adapt to the changing expectations in the multifamily industry, consider anticipating the following trends and developments. Multifamily projects are becoming more multi-use and need materials that are durable, modern, low maintenance and code-compliant. Look to successful projects in this realm to help guide your success.

Include All Facets of Life

444 Social apartment complex with an L-shaped section of custom orange fiber cement cladding.

Multifamily apartments are all about more than just living quarters now. Take a look at 444 Social, pictured above. It’s an award-winning luxury apartment full of amenities. Renters don’t need to leave their one-block radius to get to everything they could possibly need.

First, the apartments are gorgeous open floor plans with chef-inspired kitchens, sophisticated and sleek finishes and luxurious bathrooms. With more and more people working from home, these in-home amenities are more important than ever. 

444 Social also has multiple workout studios (with Peloton bikes no less) and is located within a five-minute walk to shops, restaurants, nature trails and a movie theater. Multifamily has evolved to be all about convenience. Whether a renter loves outdoor activities, entertainment or is just looking for a shorter commute, 444 Social allows its renters to keep their personal and professional life in close proximity.

444 Social multifamily building utilizing Nichiha’s custom orange fiber cement cladding. It’s next to a dock overlooking the water.

There is a community dock that is private – perfect for renters looking to paddle board or kayak. To build community, there is a two-story communal space with floor-to-ceiling glass walls to showcase the fun that is sure to always be happening there. There’s a rooftop deck with a pool, outdoor shuffleboard, communal grills and a fire pit. 

By combining open spaces with offerings such as outdoor fitness classes (yoga on the lawn, anyone?) and community nights, you can provide tenants with the connections they desire and provide building owners with the ability to pivot as global circumstances require. 

To create a welcoming exterior, 444 Social went with Nichiha’s Illumination panels. Using custom orange and green colors, the exterior is just as fun as the interior.

A close-up of Nichiha’s exterior fiber cement cladding on 444 Social multifamily units. The horizontal cladding panels are in custom shades of orange and green.

Affordable Housing Calls for Affordable and Durable Materials

The Beatriz & Ed Schweitzer Haven is a four-story low income housing building.

Architects Chris Weiland and Robert Vralsted from Architecture All Forms needed a siding product for two affordable housing multifamily projects (Beatriz and Ed Schweitzer Haven and Jacklin Family Haven) in Spokane, WA that were unique, yet complementary to their local surroundings. A big challenge was finding something affordable that also was compliant with regional building codes and had an installation process that was easy and quick.

“With larger buildings, it’s important to be able to clad the building in a shorter amount of time. Nichiha makes that possible,” praised Weiland and Vralsted. Affordable housing has a bad rap when it comes to aesthetics. Nichiha proves it’s possible to have affordable housing that is both bold and beautiful.

The Beatriz & Ed Schweitzer Haven is a four-story low income housing building.

Nichiha provided three diverse paneling products that helped the two projects stand out successfully. Nichiha panels helped Architecture All Forms meet construction deadlines and achieve sustainable building standards. 

Nichiha’s Illumination panels, used for Jacklin Family Haven, and VintageWood panels, used for Beatriz & Ed Schweitzer Haven, blended into the industrial neighborhood beautifully. With the materials being durable and easy to care for, the charity can now focus on what really matters — helping unhoused people get back on their feet.

Think More Modern

Nichiha’s IndustrialBlock and VintageWood panels on a modern home development in Nashville, TN.

Multifamily projects need something more modern (and strong) than lap siding. This Osceola neighborhood project in Nashville, TN needed a solution that would look the same as the day of installation five to six years down the road. Modern home design requires an exterior look that’s both bold and inviting. 

There are a vast array of exterior products that can help architects achieve a contemporary design, but they can come with a higher price tag or require heavy maintenance. Everyone loves the look of wood, for instance, but the investment that goes into maintenance and repair isn’t so attractive. Zinc Architects chose Nichiha for that reason.

A close up of Nichiha’s IndustrialBlock and VintageWood panels on a modern home development in Nashville, TN.

Using VintageWood in the color Redwood and IndustrialBlock panels, the design-build team achieved a bold exterior design that would stand up over time without requiring heavy maintenance. Homeowners only need mild soap and water to keep their exterior looking gorgeous. VintageWood also offers the aesthetic of wood without all the pest control, water damage, repainting and termite problems. 

“Nichiha helps the homes stand out. This is something that no one else is doing on residential properties in the Nashville area,” said Thomas Brett, the general contractor on this project.

A close up of Nichiha’s gray IndustrialBlock and VintageWood panels in the shade Redwood on a modern home development in Nashville, TN.

Mixed Use is the Future

An aerial view of Endi apartment complex during a snowstorm.

The Endi apartments needed a siding that was going to please both commercial clients and residential renters. The mixed-use development features commercial clients on the bottom floor with 153 luxury apartments above it. Developers wanted to provide a fitness center, clubroom, technology area, private chef’s kitchen for entertaining and an outdoor terrace for occupants to enjoy when they wanted fresh air.

Endi Duluth overlooks Lake Superior and is only a short walk to downtown, giving tenants the best of both worlds. But, Lake Superior is one of the mightiest lakes in the country, meaning the siding had to stand up against Mother Nature and everything she could throw at it: high winds, water spray and big blizzards. The architects knew the siding needed to look high-end with best-in-class performance.

An aerial view of Endi apartment complex. The U-shaped complex surrounds a grass and gravel courtyard with various seating areas.

They went with Nichiha’s VintageWood, installed vertically and horizontally, and Nichiha’s Illumination panels, installed horizontally, to give the property a unique look. It gets warmth from VintageWood and a satin, smooth finish from Illumination. Having multiple design options from one supplier sped up the construction and installation process. A separate labor force for separate materials wasn’t required. It saved on labor costs, cut down the timeline and made everything more efficient.

Architect John Erickson on the project added, “There was so much value added when we were able to design ENDI with Nichiha because of the thickness of the product, the custom colors and the overall finish.” The resulting design gives the developer a sleek, sophisticated structure that will perform seamlessly, even under Duluth’s harsh weather. Plus, the modular furniture they added is perfect for the changing of the seasons and adapting to different community events on the property.

An aerial of Endi Apartments utilizing Nichiha’s VintageWood and Illumination panels. The building faces a courtyard with various seating areas.

Find A Solution With Nichiha

Nichiha’s fiber cement cladding is perfect for any multifamily project. Its durability, versatility, ease of installation and low maintenance requirements outperform the competition. Fiber cement siding offers quality protection, code-compliant exteriors and innovative designs for your clients.

Whether you’re a designer, architect, developer or just looking for more design inspiration, check out Nichiha’s Multifamily Lookbook. Find out how we can help you achieve style and full functionality in your next multifamily project.

Categories: Projects
mail_outline link

This website uses cookies for analytics, personalised content and ads. By continuing to browse this site you agree to this use.

I Understand