UBC’s nano suite aims to solve affordable housing issue
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
Students have seen their fair share of development and growth within Metro Vancouver, as construction projects strive to improve the old and build the new. At UBC, that growth is taking an interesting route: smaller rooms.
Back in July 2015, UBC officials set forth a pilot project that aimed to encourage more on-campus residencies, while saving a couple dollars. The “nano suite,” priced between $675 and $695 and no bigger than a parking space, is their solution. Upon entering the room, a closet is on the student’s left and a full bathroom on the right. Just beyond the bathroom stands a kitchenette, complete with a sink, fridge, and stove, and finally a large desk that can be shifted into a bed.
By 2019, 70 units are planned to be built in the Gage South Student Residence atop the UBC bus terminal. They will be built around a new fitness centre, new student union building, restaurants, and shops. Ideally, the spaces are meant for upper level or master’s students to take advantage of various on-campus services nearby, while providing a quiet hideaway for any individual.
Since it’s unveiling at the end of February, students have provided mixed reviews.
“This is a really good price for having a bed, a desk, a mini-kitchen, and a bathroom,” commented a student to a CTV crew.
“If you’re looking for affordable housing on-campus, this is a step in the right direction,” another student added.
“It’s kind of strange to not have a table and a bed at the same time. I’ve seen the prices online, $675 a month. For not a lot more you can get a better room, which shares a kitchen with three other people. I’d much prefer those to these [nano rooms],” said economics student Chun Lok Tse to the Vancouver Sun.
“I really don’t like the idea that you have to pull down your bed every time you want to work or sleep, I think that is quite a hassle. Also there isn’t much storage space. Although you have a kitchen and a bathroom, as an international student, you have suitcases, and you wouldn’t know where to put them,” agreed Kennedee Fung, Tse’s friend.
Understandably, although there are many concerns associated with the smaller spaces, the pull of location ranks high for many students. The convenience of waking up 10 minutes before class is an asset. Additionally, living local makes friends, activities, and studying breaks added bonuses.
Currently, a mock-build for one of the 140 square-foot spaces is available for viewing on campus until April 1.