Students happy with micro-flats

June 29, 2016

Bokompakt (“Compact Living”) is a development project that AF Bostäder is running to study how well micro-flats might work as student housing. A scientific study of how the students perceive their housing is part of the project. The study is now complete and shows that Bokompakt is a popular project that students think is innovative and sustainable.

The full report and summary (only available in Swedish).

AF Bostäder built Bokompakt in 2014. The buildings are designed as blocks of micro-flats where each tenant has 10 square metres of living space. AF Bostäder was granted an exemption from accessibility rules in order to build this way. Bokompakt was designed in response to the housing shortages that have been a pressing problem in many Swedish university towns for many years. High construction costs were another factor that motivated development of the concept.

“As a company, we focus on innovation. We felt we had an opportunity to demonstrate how efficient, sustainable and smart building for a particular category of citizens can be done. The result was Bokompakt, which illustrates the focus on development that we want people to associate with AF Bostäder,” says Henrik Krantz, the company’s CEO.

Compakt living on 10 m2In parallel with the development, construction and management of the blocks of flats, a scientific evaluation of the project was carried out at Lund University. In this study, the students who live at Bokompakt were interviewed about their perceptions of the unique living environment. Going into the project, AF Bostäder believed that the low rent would be the main appeal of Bokompakt. As it turned out, rent levels did indeed play an important role, but tenants were eager to highlight other qualities that meant more to them.

“The evaluation shows that the primary appeal of the concept is not the rent for the flats, but rather that Bokompakt is perceived as a bold response to the challenge of sustainability and because it deals with the student housing problem in a new and different way,” says Elisabeth Dalholm Hornyánszky at the Department of Design Sciences at Lund University, who authored the study.

The students’ opinions and preferences were collected at an early stage of the project. All the way from the initial drawing stage to the grand opening, a reference group made up of Lund University students have had significant influence on the project. Among else, greater focus was put on a larger kitchen solution thanks to the early opinion surveys. When the buildings were finished in 2014, there was a round of interviews to bring the first tenants into the mix. The Bokompakt concept has now been established in Lund and the flats are offered in AF Bostäder’s ordinary housing queue.
However, there is still a great deal of interest from the outside.

“Bokompakt has become a global topic of conversation. The features, design and colours have fascinated Lund residents as well as an American film team, Japanese bloggers and British housing researchers. Two years after the grand opening, we are still busy arranging showings,” says Henrik Krantz.