All-inclusive, functional fitness amenities are no longer an added community perk, but rather a requirement for both luxury and market rate properties. A recent J Turner Research Study confirms that when it comes to Multifamily resident preferences, working out in a fitness amenity at least three times a week wins hands down (44% of those surveyed), followed by running (30%) swimming (11%) and yoga (10%).

It’s no surprise, then, that the majority of individuals surveyed expressed the need for a fully equipped fitness center with a variety of modern and functional training options, state-of-the art equipment, and group fitness classes.

A progressive fitness facility serves as an important differentiator for your residential community, but only if you plan properly and execute well. Here are five key considerations:

1. Design—A space frequented as often as the fitness facility should not appear to be an afterthought or look sterile. It’s important to integrate functional fitness principles and the aesthetic fundamentals of interior design during the early planning stages for optimal appeal to the target resident demographic. Consider wall colors, floor and wall graphics, and other environmental embellishments for an inspirational and aesthetically pleasing environment that residents will gladly engage with.

2. Spatial Accommodation — The fitness amenity is not a one-size-fits-all commodity. For a functional space, dimensions are largely dependent on industry standards, quantity of units, average users per any given time, and ADA compliance.

3. Acoustics & Vibrations— Fitness is booming, and so is the sound generated by enthusiastic end-users. Music, movement, and impact energy contribute to noise that can potentially disrupt lobby guests and surrounding units. Before building, consider noise-reduction flooring for the weight training space, insulated walls, and structural/ceiling noise mitigators for a superior resident experience.

4. Electrical Requirements — Today’s advanced equipment technology requires dedicated outlets and distinct electrical data wiring. Without the proper pre-construction prep and layouts, developers can quickly run into costly revisions that will increase budget and delay the grand opening.

5. Entertainment Options—With so many accessible products and technologies, it’s critical to navigate the spectrum. IPTV, apps, virtual training, and others represent critical consideration when it comes to establishing exercise guidance and entertainment options for residents. Each system requires specific wiring and setup that must be conceptualized and planned out well before the concrete is poured. For optimal success in enticing prospective tenants, closely consider the target-demographics’ preferences and future requirements of the space when selecting audiovisual systems.

It’s important to avoid project fumbles by early planning with an outside consultancy, that can properly prepare you, knows the trends and will know what’s likely coming next. Engaging a functional fitness design specialist for early planning and facility design will allow you to anticipate challenges and support the minute details so that developers and their budgets won’t have to further down the road.