Appalachian State University


Student Housing Master Plan

B&D was hired by Appalachian State University in 2014 to update the university’s existing Student Housing Master Plan. At the outset of the project, we focused on conducting an off-campus housing market analysis in order to understand local off-campus offerings, trends, recent local development, and planned future changes to a shifting private housing market. We also conducted student focus groups and a Web-based survey in order to understand student behavior, preferences, and sensitivities related to on-campus housing expectations. The survey results informed our proprietary Demand-Based Programming model and predictive analytics methodologies to determine potential demand and understand the implications on the recommendations developed for University Housing over the master planning period. We then developed a comprehensive housing-specific, system-wide financial model to test development strategies and phasing scenarios in order to satisfy unmet demand and increase the university’s capture rate for non-first-year students in on-campus housing. The model and subsequent phasing strategy addressed deferred maintenance through renovation projects with new construction, when necessary, to address latent demand. We provided the university with a real-time tool to understand how the master plan’s recommendations would impact University Housing’s financial health and debt capacity over the planning period. The feedback received in student focus group interviews and the survey, combined with our predictive analytics and financial analysis, informed the development of a master plan that would deliver an implementable strategy centered on the university’s goals and objectives.