Coliving & PBSL

As communities are an essential element for individual and collective wellbeing, we work towards the development of purposeful shared living spaces and support coliving players to thrive in the industry.


We think that shared living developments are addressing many societal challenges, such as the loneliness epidemic and the shortage of available & affordable space. We want to change the way people live, engage and co-exist for the best. We aim to build meaningful urban communities, driven by spatial experience.


Coliving is the shortened version of “communal living”, a private housing model that combines accommodation, usually in the form of individual studios or shared apartments, with common amenities and additional services. Coliving is usually managed by a private company that takes care of the well-being of the tenants, also providing social activities & various events.

The main drivers for the development of coliving spaces are younger generations like millennials, which have been considered as the primary focus target of the first coliving buildings. In recent times developers are expanding the coliving concept to target a broader intergenerational audience, which will build a society within a society. New premises of this type can be defined as Purpose-Built Shared Living (PBSL). In a recent SPX Lab article we defined how we arrived at the PBSL model, starting from the development of student housing and coliving. You can read the full article here.

Coliving addresses societal challenges, such as the “loneliness epidemic”, urbanisation and affordability, by providing a modern living model that merges contemporary resident needs & requirements with the evolution of the real estate marketplace.

There is not a predefined coliving model, but residents of every coliving space share multiple common facilities such as communal kitchens, study areas, laundry rooms and gym. In general, they all have a reception/conciergerie and 24h security. The newest premises are also featuring functions not originally conceived to be part of housing such as gym/fitness rooms, entertainment/gaming rooms, coworking spaces, cinemas and even spas.

Additionally it is becoming quite common to also locate commercial venues such as grocery stores, cafeterias, restaurants and recently clubs. Coliving is often exploring smart technological opportunities by collaborating with PropTech companies or developing their own digital solutions.

Coliving spaces are usually located near to the city center, or either near offices and universities. In general, they also tend to be positioned close by stations and public transport stops. However there are a number of new concepts that chose to develop a retreat style of accommodation, often beautifully located in the countryside or in the middle of nature.

People are looking for a high-standard, convenient accommodation that is also able to offer a richer lifestyle and to create meaningful connections. Community is fostered through social activities and networking spaces. Community is the core of coliving and its management should be the focus of any modern real estate development. Another aspect defining coliving is the flexible leases, which in some cases are empowering residents to stay just for a few days, to even a few years.

The sharing and experience economy are the main drivers of coliving, but in general the future of humanity. Creating experiential value and moments to be shared have become a necessity to attract customers towards brands, which are competing for attention. Coliving is a sustainable model as it is specifically built around generating experiences and connections among its residents, meaning that it will play a crucial role in shaping the society of tomorrow.


SPX supports its clients in the full spectrum of branding, business development, design and marketing-related activities to help roll-out their brand and take the overall customer experience to new heights. Branding becomes a crucial asset to leverage the image of the company in order to use it as a tool to manage the community and engage with all the stakeholders. The role that brands have in supporting the creation of communities is fundamental as people tend to gather in niches or subcultures that are often driven by businesses in the first place. The visual identity of a coliving brand is another key aspect that needs to be consistently developed in the initial phases of development.

We collaborated to develop, brand and create the identity of two Greystar sub-brands in the Netherlands: OurDomain and OurCampus. Currently, all the operational buildings are fully booked and they are expanding their offer to other dutch cities.

But our coliving initiatives try to go deeper than that. We are building multiple frameworks to share our expertise to the industry and its players such as our research & innovation platform SPX Lab and collaborating to build Coliving Insights, a leading provider of useful and updated information for the coliving world, with whom we already published two industry reports. Moreover, on other occasions we partnered with ColivingNL, The Coliving Code and Colife Creation. We are frontrunners, we educate, we network, we reinvent and we aim to engage with all the meaningful stakeholders in the market.