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Amidst the build-to-rent boom, we are most commonly asked how to thoughtfully design a build-to-rent community without sacrificing density. The simplest solution? Integrate multiple product types into your site.

A site with exclusively build-to-rent products will likely range between 8 and 14 units to the acre. This can be doubled by adding a higher-density multifamily product like multiplex buildings or garden apartments. The gray buildings in the site plan on the left indicate two-story build-to-rent paired homes, while the brown indicate 3-story walk-up apartment buildings. The plan on the right has evolved, eliminating the paired homes and replacing them with 4 and 6-plex build-to-rent townhomes and increasing the density from 16 DU/Acre to 18.5 DU/Acre. Beyond a density advantage, offering both apartments and townhomes widens the resident pool that you can attract and creates a natural move-up opportunity for residents who may start out in an apartment and eventually require more space.

Pfeiff Farms

However, when integrating various product types into one site, we typically design them as independent neighborhoods with their own amenity spaces, and we like the architectural language to be complimentary. We utilize similar color palettes or materials and consistent roof forms to allow for cohesion and unity. In the example below, the board and batten siding, wood fencing, and peaked roof forms are used on both building types. Likewise, the amenity areas relate architecturally and in terms of their offerings.

Interested in learning more about ways we are helping our clients maximize their sites? We’d love to discuss. Call us at 303-832-4474.


This is the philosophy that drives KEPHART to create thoughtful homes and communities that positively change people’s lives.

KEPHART is a nationally recognized, award-winning architectural design and planning firm with 50 years of housing expertise. Our passion for designing well-designed places to live, work, and play has driven us to create more than 500,000 homes across the country, ranging from single and multifamily homes to workforce housing, senior living, LIHTC communities, and everything in between. We have a deep bench of talented staff to design and deliver innovative and practical solutions to meet the unique requirements of every project.