Building Systems

CLT construction

CLT stands for “cross-laminated-timber”.

It is a new, highly engineered, type of massive timber that is created by gluing multiple layers of wood, crosswise and under pressure, together to make massive panels.

The cross lamination makes these wood panels extremely strong; they do not bend or deform like natural wood logs or beams.

They are factory produced and pre-cut with millimeter precision, allowing the building structure to go up in no time.

As wood is many times lighter than concrete or steel, the buildings are much lighter and require much less foundation.

Healthy, breathy and isolating by nature, CLT is a great ecological and sustainable solution. It can be produced with relatively young, purpose-grown trees and does not require the felling of age old forest trees.

The precision and smoothness of the walls means that a CLT construction can also be finished easily, with any traditional finishes like plasterboard or more modern alternatives. Some qualities are even beautiful enough to leave unfinished.

Massive timber is also fire-safe: it’s actually very hard to set massive timber on fire, and CLT structure maintain their integrity for hours.

As this is a relatively new technology, CLT is not available everywhere – yet. Yet RentalBuild knows how to design and source CLT construction in many markets. If you’re interested in CLT, let us know!

Build to Rent co-living co-working FAQ

Do you design B2R communities?

Yes – for larger build-to-rent projects, creating a community is a must.

You want the tenants to stay longer, so it’s important that tenants feel part of a community. Depending on the tenant mix, certain amenities may be important – or not.

A co-working space? Pools, gyms, or even a Spa? Co-living? A shared (or commercial) laundry? Garbage logistics?

We know which amenities add value – and make sure their long term cost is sustainable. It’s no use to build expensive, trendy add-ons that may be “hot” right now but end up being unused or closed down because they are too costly.

With the right mix, tenants get the feeling that they are renting more than just their unit.

So yes, we’re happy to help you design just the right mix of facilities to create a successful build-to-rent community!

Build to Rent FAQ

Do you do customized designs?

Yes, we constantly keep adding designs and our clients are an important source of innovation. So if you have an other idea for a completely customized design, just tell us!

There are no additional fees for completely customized designs.


Our Designs

build to rent apartment building architecture
The Fountain – apartment building design by RentalBuild
build to rent apartment building architecture
The Cascade – apartment building design by RentalBuild
build to rent apartment building architecture
The Parallel – Build to rent apartment block designed by RentalBuild
build to rent apartment building architecture
The Wings – Build to Rent apartment building designed by RentalBuild architects
build to rent apartment building architecture
The Ribbon – Build-to-Rent architecture by RentalBuild
build to rent apartment building architecture
The Domino – Modern Apartment Building architecture by RentalBuild
build to rent apartment building architecture
The Boabab- Modern Apartment Building with African roots by RentalBuild
build to rent apartment building architecture
The Sydney – Modern Aparment Building by RentalBuild

Building Systems FAQ

What building systems do you use?

As we build around the world – from Russia to Australia, from the US to Africa – we have firsthand experience with all building systems, and we know all their pro’s and con’s.

Reinforced Concrete Structure? CMU? Wood framing, steel framing, light steel framing? Been there, done that.

But we’re also at the forefront of new construction technology. Many builders are slow to adapt, but we know how to make buildings more efficient to build ánd to maintain.

So we’ll probably also tell you about Insulated Concrete Forms, Cross Laminated Timber, SIP’s/MgO Panels…

Because that insulated floor slab, that keeps houses warm in Canada and Scandinavia, may also be a great solution for Moscow or Queenstown.

The SIP’s panels from Australia may be the perfect solution to build in the Caribbean.

With RentalBuild, you’ll reap the benefits of our worldwide knowledge base.

Building Systems FAQ

Can you build anywhere?

Yes, our architects are familiar with climates, construction systems, and building codes around the world.

In fact, we often beat local providers because that great insulated floor slab we’ve seen in Canada is the perfect solution for cold Russia; or because the screw piles we’ve used in Australia are also the perfect foundation for that resort on St. Lucia!

Building Systems

SIPS construction

SIPs stands for “structural insulated panels”.

“Structural” means that SIPS do not need any external structure – no wood frame, no metal frame, no reinforced concrete – nothing.

“Insulated” refers to the fact that the core – 80-90% of the panels – is made of a high performance isolation materials like PUR, PIR or EPS.

“Panels” refers to their shape: SIPs are panels, usually 120cm x 240/300cm high – which makes construction extremely fast.

For investment properties, SIPs are interesting for multiple reasons:

  • fast construction, so your rental return starts (many months) faster
  • insulation: low HVAC and high comfort
  • light: so they requires much (much!) less foundation (so less money “sunk” forever into the ground).

There’s only one negative: because they are so light, they lack a bit of mass for acoustic damping. With a little precaution though, this can be solved by adding some mass or sound insulation where needed.


Why are you so cheap?

First – because we are specialists.

Most architects are generalists: they designed a restaurant yesterday, an apartment building today, and a hospital tomorrow.

For each type project, they still have to start from scratch and learn the tricks; and the client ends up paying for their schooling (and mistakes!)

RentalBuild architects are superspecialized, and our collective experience makes it very easy for us to design buildings that simply work better.

Second – because we don’t have to start from scratch.

We’ve already designed dozens of floor plans that are optimized for investment properties. Truly optimizing a plan costs hundreds of hours – time that a normal architect cannot spend on a project lest he (or you) ends up with a loss.

But RentalBuild cán spend this time on getting the plans just right – because we can reuse those plans dozens of times around the world.

Third – because we’re set up for it.

We are based in a high tech – low cost country in Europe. We work on-line, so we don’t have to pay for fancy offices in Sydney, London or Paris. We don’t have to pay for business trips and lunches.

All of this means your fees go directly to design hours – not to overheads.

Fourth – because we use high tech.

Unlike most architects, we use the latest BIM software, coupled to real-time visualisation software like Unreal Engine. BIM means that we’re not drawing lines: every object in our plans (walls, doors, windows, furniture) are actually in a database and our software knows their size, weight, cost, insulation factors etc. etc.

That’s how we can be better – and cheaper.


Are developer qualities better?

Developers are focused on selling and cost reduction, so there’s always a temptation to focus on the superficial presentation but to skimp on the invisible qualities.

But investment properties need strong “bones”.

While good design attracts tenants, good quality keeps them. And lower tenant turnover means higher occupations and less costs.

Good sound and thermal insulation, sufficient heating/cooling capacity keeps tenants comfortable and energy bills low. (So they can spend a little more on the rent.

Strong “bones” also means: less maintenance costs for you over the long run, and more appreciation for your property.

Build to Rent FAQ

Isn’t it safer to buy from a developer?

No, because a developer depends on bank financing ánd selling enough units – both of which are unsure.

If a developer can’t sell enough units, the project will slow down and your money may be stuck for a long time.

Even when the project you invested in sells well, the developer may have problems in other projects.

So… why subject yourself to the developer’s risk when you have your financing totally secured?

Also – developers are more interested in a quick sale than in long-term profit and quality. It’s safer to do a build-to-rent project where all qualities are designed for long term value.