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How to create brilliant specifications in the Build to Rent sector

May 2021

It was recently reported that the Build-to-Rent sector has grown significantly across the UK – particularly during the Covid pandemic.

Offering something new and fresh in the rental market, this new style of development creates an exciting challenge for specifiers.

As the demand for Build-to-Rent properties increases, Louise Smith, our Head of Specification Sales, discusses the trend and how Bristan Group can provide brilliantly simple solutions.

What is Build-to-Rent?

Traditionally, landlords take over existing properties and rent them out, but Build-to-Rent flips this concept on its head. Homes are instead built specifically for the rental sector and are usually flats, apartments or studios – with one landlord owning the whole development. The rental prices are typically higher than standard rental properties, but they come with a host of benefits that appeal to prospective tenants.

Aimed at renters with an aspirational lifestyle, Build-to-Rent developments are often high-spec, with stylish interiors and quality furnishings. They also have amenities on site, such as gyms, cafes and workspaces, to create a multifunctional living space and a more community-like feel. This is particularly appealing to renters following the 2020 pandemic, with many people continuing to work remotely, even as lockdown restrictions ease.

How do I specify for Build-to-Rent developments?

With a focus on high-spec design, it’s key to balance quality and style within Build-to-Rent properties. On top of that, professionals will need to specify products for both domestic and commercial use to deliver the ideal solutions for the apartments themselves and the additional amenities on site.

How can Bristan Group deliver brilliant solutions?

For over 40 years, we’ve been helping specifiers build first-class bathrooms across a range of sectors, so you can count on Bristan Group to deliver solutions that meet the complex requirements of Build-to-Rent developments.

Showering Buzz Wallmount 12 shower

For bathrooms within the apartment or flat itself, Bristan bar showers are ideal. Unrivalled in both function and form, bar showers offer a brilliant showering experience, while offering a sleek look that fits perfectly within any high-spec property.
For example, our recently updated Buzz and Craze both feature striking, rainfall shower heads and modern, clean design.

What’s more, bar showers are a reliable option, all fitted with thermostatic technology that eliminates the risk of scalding and guarantees user safety. Plus, they come with Bristan’s award-winning Wallmount 12 fixing kit that allows for easy first-fix installation, allowing system pressure test to be done and decoration to be completed before finally fitting the shower valves at a later date.

Every millimetre counts when designing a Build to Rent, recessed shower valves designed to fit in wall cavities of only 35mm ensure every space is thought of and not wasted. 

glide basin tap Taps

Combining style and substance, Bristan basin mixers are a brilliant bathroom option. All backed by a customer inspired 10-year guarantee, our improved cartridges enhanced the durability of the taps and provide a smoother operation. Plus, the hard-wearing chrome finishes are scratch resistant, so that they stay looking good in tenants’ bathrooms for years – which is particularly important in Build-to-Rent apartments where people tend live in for a longer duration.

And there is a range of stylish options to choose from too. For showstopping bathrooms, our Glide features an open waterfall spout, complete with soft lines and curved shapes; while our ever-popular styles like Orta and Frenzy versatile, contemporary options for any bathroom.

With sustainable design becoming more popular, many of our basin mixers include built-in flow limiters for water saving solutions.

Commercial solutions

Build-to-Rent developments often include amenities used by lots of people, which will require more robust bathroom solutions. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, shared spaces will also need to have infection control measures in place, which developers will have to take into account when specifying products.

Providing a completely contactless handwashing solution, infrared taps are ideal for communal areas, like gyms or cafes. Intelligent infrared sensing technology means that the user doesn’t have to touch the tap to activate the flow of water, preventing germs from spreading and supporting infection control.

Ideal for high-use areas, infrared taps have an automatic shut-off feature that prevents water being wasted, saving energy and money. See how we helped Edgbaston Stadium specify infrared taps for its communal washrooms in our case study.


Every Bristan product is quality tested to the highest standard in our UKAS accredited in-house testing facility, offering our customers last integrity with every purchase.

Get in touch with one of our Specification Managers today for advice on choosing water controls for your next project.