Proposed features/Student accommodation building

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Student accommodation building
Status: Draft (under way)
Applies to: node, area, relation
Definition: Building type for student/university accommodation
Drafted on: 2014-09-21


Many universities construct accommodation buildings which are expressly designed for their student population. They are often not the same as "apartments" or "flats" - for example each room might be lockable and even ensuite, yet not self-contained since there may for example be a shared kitchen per floor.

PLEASE NOTE: this proposal is for tagging the building-type, not the usage. For indicating that something is currently used for student accommodation, see the separate proposal: Proposed_features/amenity=student_accommodation.

Issues to consider:

  • "dormitory" is a problematic term because in British English it does NOT mean the same as in American english (see Oxford definition of dormitory, Cambridge definition of dormitory), and in OSM we try to avoid these kinds of dangerous ambiguities: for example we recommend not to use "football" or "gym" because of potential confusion. Despite this, building=dormitory has been used quite a lot.
  • Some suggestions such as residential=student restrict the usage to students, whereas very similar accommodation is also built for nurses, lecturers, and others. Similarly, residential=university restricts to universities, even though other types of institution may build such units. These might, or might not, be considered drawbacks.

The main purpose for this proposal is to try and come to some approximate consensus (never a true consensus ;) about whether we stick with building=dormitory or we find a different tag which we choose to use instead. This proposal is a draft to gather your perspectives, not yet a thing to be voted on!

Tagging options

There is no current consensus on the current best set of options for residential=* sub-tagging - see that page for a couple of examples. But resolving the issues described in this page might help clarify what type of residential=* sub-tagging we'd like to use.

Current tag usage:



Please see the Discussion Page


Do NOT vote yet. This is currently open for discussion, not yet voting.