Good things come in small packages. For Andrew Parr, SHHS Managing Director, that small but good combo comes in the form of a 140-sq. ft micro apartment project proposed for the Gage South Student Residence.

Artfully dubbed the ‘Nano Studios’, the pilot project plans to build 70 of these suites by 2019 and rent them for $695 per month. Each suite would come equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, and a study/sleeping space. “The Nano Studios would provide a much lower-priced option for students who have significant affordability challenges and who would appreciate this kind of living environment,” says Parr.

To gauge interest in the project and design, a demonstration unit was built inside the AMS Student Nest for students, staff, faculty and visitors at UBC to tour.

Feedback was encouraged and it was overwhelmingly positive.

83% of visitors voted ‘yes’ to building the Nano Studios. Of the student respondents, 60% rated the 2019 rent of $695 per month as being fair or very good. 77% said they would consider renting one of these units.

Interestingly, the biggest concern on everyone’s mind wasn’t price, size or even the mismatched carpeting: it was the size and length of the Murphy bed. Laying out at 54×75 inches, the bed just barely accommodates a 6-foot tall person. As one elongated student put it: “The bed is way too short, especially for athletes!”

Moving forward, Parr says he’ll be working closely with the design team to determine if and what pieces—like the Murphy bed—can be change based on everyone’s comments.

“Overall, I’m thrilled with the amount of feedback we received,” says Parr. “It was an incredible process with very interesting results.”