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Mid-Rises on the Rise. A mid-rise apartment building in the background showing multiple balconies with aluminum guardrailing.

Mid-Rises on the Rise

  •   Posted on February 28, 2022

What is a Mid-Rise building and why has it become the go-to building type for developers?

Today we discuss what a mid-rise is and why they have become so popular.

Why are Mid-Rises on the Rise?

In the past few decades, the popularity of mid-rise apartment buildings has increased drastically. In fact, only 6% of all new apartment construction was for mid-rise apartments in 1990. Now? That percentage has jumped to a staggering 41%!* So, what has led to this unprecedented rise?

What is a Mid-Rise Building?

To understand their burgeoning popularity we need to first understand what a mid-rise apartment is. Apartment buildings fall under three categories: low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise. A low-rise is between one and four stories, a mid-rise is between five and 12 stories, while a high-rise is anything that is 13 stories or higher.* This corresponds to the total levels in a building but not necessarily the levels of residential living. Levels can be used for a mix of uses such as a storefront on the first floor and a bar at the top level, all counting toward the total.

Mid-Rise building featuring rows of aluminum guard railing on balconies. A mid-rise is any building between five and twelve stories

So why has there been such an increase in mid-rise multi-family buildings?

The primary reason for this drastic increase is due to land, or more specifically a lack of it. As populations continue to move toward the suburban areas surrounding downtowns of large cities, the land itself has become more rare and therefore valuable. Meanwhile, most of these city areas have zoning requirements limiting the number of stories, plus huge high rises just don’t really make sense aesthetically in suburban areas. Additionally, because of the extra materials and labor involved in a high-rise structure, the cost can be prohibitive. These factors have limited the popularity of both low- and high-rise structures, allowing mid-rises to explode in popularity. In fact, low-rises have fallen from 92% of new multi-family construction in the 1990’s to only 48% in the 2010’s.*

Because of these current factors, mid-rise buildings are the current “sweet spot” for multi-family buildings. They are large enough to help with a growing population, but also small enough to fit what these areas are looking to become.

Multiple levels of aluminum railing on an apartment complex in ohioMid-rise apartments have continued to gain popularity

This is great, but where does Superior fit in?

Whether it’s a mid-rise, low-rise, or high-rise, many of these buildings have outdoor balconies and/or rooftop areas. Of course, these areas must meet certain safety measures, with railing being an obvious one. As a leading railing manufacturer, Superior helps provide custom railing solutions for any type of outdoor area, from Juliet railings to an enclosed walk-out balcony. As an added bonus, if the apartment area has a pool or outdoor recreational area Superior can supply fence as well!

Interested in learning more about Superior’s line of railing and fence, or have an apartment project that you are looking to pursue? Please contact us or get a railing quote and we will be happy to help you!

*Source : RentCafe

Further Readings

Railing and Multi-Family Buildings

Debunking the Ladder Effect

Guardrail vs Handrail