Multi-Level Housing Design Tips
Gyms and fitness facilities are an increasingly popular addition to a multi level housing unit. From condo buildings to long term care homes, a fitness center is a headline amenity now viewed as a necessity rather than a luxury. We interviewed some of our most experienced commercial representatives to gather some designing tips and important factors to consider.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER PRIOR TO SELECTING A PRODUCT MIX:
There are many factors you'll want to consider prior to choosing what types of products you'd like place in your fitness facility, such as size, number of residents in the building and the demographic of the residents. Size is a very important factor, because the amount of space will dictate the size and quantity of equipment you can fill the facility with. Aside from making sure the equipment fits, it's important to consider the measurement in-between units, so there's a comfortable amount of room. In the midst of a pandemic space between units is more important than ever. Lastly, users of the facility will likely want an open space to have room to do exercises with soft goods and to stretch. Digital floor plans are a helpful tool to utilize when mapping out your plan. They give a great visualization of how the facility will look.
The amount of units in the building will give you an indication of how many residents will be living there and will help you decide the quantities of equipment needed. Some of this will be dictated by the size of the facility, but in order to ensure users are satisfied you'll want to make sure there's enough equipment relative to the amount of people in the building. According to a recent study done, one of the top complaints from condo residents about their fitness facilities is that they are too crowded and that there are not enough machines to use.
It is extremely important that modern, durable, and high-quality equipment serve as the foundation for any fitness center in a multi-level housing design. You'll want to consider the level of use this facility will see. This may be a difficult factor to estimate, but becomes especially important when choosing the quality of the equipment. For example, a lower use facility with a smaller amount of residents in the building may be able to get a light commercial treadmill, whereas a very high use facility may want to consider and fully commercial treadmill. The difference is not something the user will necessarily notice, but a fully commercial grade treadmill is built to withstand a much higher level of use and will carry a different warranty. Speaking of warranty, a well thought out service contract will be key in long term care of the facility. The initial "wow-factor" of the facility may draw attention of future residents, but well maintained machines and equipment will keep residents happy for years to come.
Gyms and fitness facilities are becoming more of a necessity rather than a luxury. This just puts all the more importance on delivering a quality facility. A high-quality fitness facility could be a great way to differentiate yourself from other buildings that you're in competition with. This could be done so by ensuring you have equipment in line with what residents will want, or maybe by including an item that is not typical of other buildings.
WHAT ARE SOME KEY PRODUCTS THAT ARE USUALLY THE BASE OF ANY MULTI-LEVEL HOUSING DESIGN? HOW DOES THIS CHANGE BASED ON DEMOGRAPHIC?
When we asked our commercial representatives what some of the most popular items to include are Jeff and Dave both agreed that treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers, functional trainers, soft goods and free weights are among the most popular. Cardio equipment will be a staple in any fitness facility, however depending on the demographic you may consider different brands or series. Both Jeff and Dave agreed that for a more mature demographic recumbent bikes are preferred over upright or spin bikes and that functional trainers are less popular amongst this demographic. With consoles becoming more and more advanced, we've found it's easy to consider this a feature that a younger demographic would appreciate more, however sometimes we've found just the opposite. At 55+ facilities, residents have really enjoyed the more immersive experiences, such as being taken through the Grand Canyon while walking on a treadmill.
WHEN INITIALLY WORKING WITH CUSTOMERS, IS THERE SOMETHING THAT IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED?
Often times soft goods, such as strength bands, balls, rollers and mats are overlooked. While the larger items are important to have, you'll find that gym users also want a variety of equipment that can be used for stretching and core work. In addition to making sure these soft good are included, you also need to consider a space in the facility that is large enough to do so without interrupting walking space.
HAS COVID-19 CHANGED THE WAY THAT YOU OR YOUR CLIENTS ARE THINKING ABOUT MULTI-LEVEL HOUSING GYM DESIGN? WHAT ARE SOME NEW FACTORS TO CONSIDER?
The unfortunate reality is that at different points of the pandemic depending on what the restrictions are, residents may not have access to the facility temporarily. Never the less, residents are appreciative of having this facility available when it becomes an option again. It's been a challenge to space out the equipment according to public health guidelines, but also keeping in mind that it won't need to stay this way forever. Jeff Shesky also mentioned, "I have been recommending Water Rowers, or Matrix magnetic rowers which produces less air blowing around the facility than an air based design." The same could be true for steering away from air bikes temporarily. Furthermore, sanitizing is more important than ever. Fitness facilities are finding that they are burning through sanitization products faster than ever, so it's important to plan for that. If you decide to design your facility with Covid-19 factors in mind, keep in mind that your commercial representative will be available to help you update your facility in the future. Some common Covid-19 measures include visible hand washing and sanitizing stations, disinfectant wipes, or some other strategy for wiping down equipment. You may want to have social distancing signage and employee plexi-screens when applicable. These new signals are basic, everyday expectations in today’s world.
WHAT OUR COMMERCIAL REPRESENTATIVES DO:
- Determine your needs
- Strive to work within your budget
- Help select the right products
- Facility design management
- Delivery and installation
- Leasing options
- Service what we sell
- Offer preventative maintenance
Anywhere from a full-fledged fitness gym with over 2000 members to a small business looking to outfit a fitness room for just a few associates; we can help. Please contact us to discuss your facility needs no matter how big or small.