By the end of World War II, returning US veterans seeking to start a family needed a place to start one. The Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village was mainly constructed to appeal to this set of people. It was one of the monumental multi-family building projects of its time, consisting of a total of 110 buildings that contain 11,250 apartments and house over 25,000 residents.

This area was designed in such a way that each building had access to a park with trees, benches, and a jungle gym. It was successful in proving that complex multi-family buildings could work out and also be green.

Multi-Family Home Today

Today, multi-family housing has taken a new turn. Thanks to the technological advancement in the construction industry, houses that were once thought of as unimaginable are now being erected on a daily basis. However, this proved to be just the beginning. These advancements are continuously changing what we call “home.

According to a recent study jointly carried out by the MIT Center for Real Estate and the Urban Economic lab, multi-family housing is projected to play a prominent role in the building industry in the years to come. This opens a door of opportunity to investors and building companies that are willing to take a ride with the expected wave. This post seeks to show you how multi-family houses will dominate the future.

multifamily project in the US
Portland on the Park – Joel Grey, 2014

A Projection for Population Growth

A good place to start is to see what the population will look like in the future. To do that, let’s consider the growth pattern from now till 2040.

To start with, it is important to note that population growth is majorly affected by birth and migration rates. According to the projection by the U.S Census, about 157 million babies will be delivered by the native mothers through 2040. In addition, a total of 64 million immigrants are projected to occupy America during that time frame.

These immigrants are projected to give birth to about 40 million babies. This leads to a total increase of 261 million. On the other hand, about 162 million Americans will die during this time period, leading to a net increase in the population to about 99 million by 2040.

This shows the need for more apartments to cater to the projected population growth. With the current congestion of city centers, these buildings are likely to also spring up in downtown locations like Oklahoma City, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. In fact, investors are betting that as immigrants add to a city, it will cause a rise in rental rates thereby increasing their revenue.

The Role of Innovation in Multi-Family Dwellings

The growth in multi-family buildings isn’t only going to be evinced in urban cities. With innovation in the transportation sector, suburban areas that are currently notable for frustrating traffic jams will also experience a boom in multi-family housing. Smart transportation will make transportation more effective; drastically reducing the average travel time.

In the core of most cities, the changes are going to be more dramatic. Spaces once occupied by factories or parking garages will be used to erect multi-family buildings. This way, more residents will be able to benefit from the concentration of social amenities that are characteristics of urban centers. Although the apartment sizes are expected to be smaller on average, the projection in the reduction of the average size of American families in the future will compensate for that.

Needless to say, innovation in the building industry will result in more elegant, green multi-family dwellings with high structural integrity in the future.

What Would these Multi-Family Buildings Be Made of?

Prefabricated Materials

The idea of prefabricated housing is becoming commonplace in places like Scandinavia. With the current advancement in material science, quality building materials that are weatherproof can be cheaply mass-produced. The concept of 3-D printing is also taking the architectural world by storm.

Pre-Fabricated Materials - multifamily

With all these, architects can easily design apartment pods that can be easily assembled in any location. By employing this technique, multi-family homes can be easily constructed with lower construction manpower. Also, it makes it easier to use spaces in a more efficient manner. This approach is expected to be adopted widely in the years to come.

The Impact of Data

When assessing the quality of a house, it goes far beyond the building materials used in its construction. A report by MIT also shows that a dynamic sharing economy can be created from municipals that provide free internet access. With access to the internet, a web of information will be shared between residents and the city’s agencies.

The data obtained can be used to predict social, economic, and environmental interactions. This information can serve as a footprint for working towards the ideal environment.

Biophilic Buildings

Also, biophilic” buildings are expected to be on the riseBiophilic buildings incorporate the feeling of nature in working or living spaces. This collaboration allows for a greener environment. With modifications in current zoning regulations, major cities in the future will contain numerous biophilic multi-family buildings that will be affordable irrespective of your social class.

Multifamily home

To round off this section, while the concept of “multi” can be associated with congestion, it actually represents collaboration and networking. In addition, it allows space to be used more efficiently. Similarly, multi-family dwellings will be a great way to deal with the expected growth in housing demand.


Although the dream of multi-family dwellings was kindled by the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, as time went by, many urban centers based on multi-family dwellings became neglected. This made and still makes many people skeptical about multi-family buildings.

Think about this, the advancement in technology in the building industry, transportation industry, internet, and many other sectors have transformed our lives in America. The idea of collaboration, smart technology, the Internet of things, and automation are making multi-family housing a sweet sensation right now.

This, in turn, places them on a far higher pedestal when compared to their counterparts in the twentieth century. The ongoing transformation in the building industry across the country is embedded with new and exciting opportunities for investors that are willing to get into the market.

Now is the time to leverage multi-family buildings as they will transform the American landscape in the coming decades.