Architectural practices Buchan and CRTKL have struck a new strategic alliance, designed to target Australasia’s rapidly growing build to rent (BTR) market.

The combined knowhow of the two firms will bring new efficiencies to developers and investors looking to reposition their portfolios to meet evolving market demands, many of which are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The allied approach of Buchan and CRTKL gives clients access to global insight, local market knowledge, and proven build to rent experience.

Bruce Shaw, Director and Principal at Buchan, says the partnership is specifically designed to move with the market.

“2021 offers the opportunity to meet growing market demand for BTR and aligning with CRTKL sees us well positioned to harness this shift. The pandemic has encouraged us to make changes to the way we live and engage with our communities and the Buchan x CRTKL, ‘One Studio’ approach is ideally positioned to shape a better built environment,” says Bruce Shaw, Director and Principal at Buchan.

“Our model is designed to be fully interactive and participative. We understand some architectural collaborations experience miscommunication and issues around project delivery with key elements of the project falling between the cracks, which can impact quality, timeframes and costs; we are digging deeper into the collaborative process to enhance outcomes.”

While the firms remain independent, Buchan and CRTKL will focus their initial efforts as an allied group in the growing BTR market and introduce a new model for universal mixed-use developments that is unique to the Australasian market and founded on global best practices.

The aligned approach of the two firms is on providing a sustainable return on investment and maximizing energy saving initiatives that generate value over the lifecycle of assets. The outcome of this focus will be to attract a growing number of residents who value the benefits of comfortable housing, lower energy bills, and a lighter carbon footprint.

CRTKL Principal Randy Galang says the property world is seeing rapid change in what consumers want.

“This change in consumer behaviour is consequently driving a shift in investment priorities, with mixed-use, multi-sector assets becoming the norm. Residential is one component of that mix – key to any lifestyle-led investment is a rental product that can foster a sense of community and bring soul to an urban environment,” he says.

“Design decisions have a huge impact on the success of any BTR project, and our collective offer will demonstrate that by driving a sustainable return through a better product – we are removing the learning curve for developers and operators and applying lessons from the United States and the United Kingdom, where we have spent 35 years developing BTR, lifestyle-led products.” 

Buchan and CRTKL have collaborated in the past and have delivered award-winning projects as a result. They are accustomed to functioning as ‘one studio’ and finding new purposes for capital investment.