|building = apartments
|A building arranged into individual dwellings, often on separate floors. May also have retail outlets on the ground floor.
|Rendering in OSM Carto
|Used on these elements
|Status: de facto
|Tools for this tag
A building constructed to provide residential accommodation arranged into individual dwellings/apartments/flats, often on separate floors. The tag can be used for both buildings where apartments are sold (often called condominiums, condos, or stratas in North America and Thailand) and where apartments are rented.
Do not use this tag when the building was constructed for a different original use. Instead the tags building:use=apartments or building:use=residential can be applied. Throughout Europe and North America many older, often 19th century, buildings have been converted to apartments. Typical examples include: old warehouses, factories (mills), redundant pubs and churches. Separating the current use from the original designed use allows more sophisticated searches, but also gives much more information about what to expect of the building form.
Some apartment blocks may also have retail outlets on the ground floor.
Examples of purpose-built apartments
This is an attempt to show some of the variety of buildings which can be tagged as apartments.
Ideally this section would also include examples of associated tags, such as those for Simple 3D Buildings.
|Fairly typical tower blocks of apartments.
|The Taikoo Shing development on Hong Kong Island involved placing a large number of tower apartment blocks above a large shopping mall.
|This complex of luxury apartments on the South side of the Thames provides a challenge if one wanted to tag it in detail. See building:part=* for one of needed tools.
|Probably a type largely restricted to London, and built between Victorian times & WWII.
|Viennese Tenement Block
|Karl Marx Hof, an enormous development of social housing built between WWI & WWII
|During the 19th & early 20th centuries much urban housing for all social classes in Scotland was built as tenements. Usually two to each floor sharing a common stair. These in Partick may have originally been small 2 room tenements without private toilet facilities.
Converted buildings used as apartments
It is not uncommon for buildings to be converted into apartments. These have been included to provide further examples of places used for apartments and to show the difference in tagging. Some examples:
|Original building a church. Converted into apartments 1996..
In this case use building:use=apartments and building=church for the building itself that is still clearly a church building.
|Original building a maltings. Converted into studio apartments for students by the university (a hall of residence). Choice of using a generic tag building=industrial or a specific one building=maltings.
|A former pub, also converted into studio apartments for students by a private landlord.
In this case use building:use=apartments and building=pub.
Apartments present specific issues when mapping addresses. In the absence of indoor mapping of the blocks the current widely accepted method is to assign addresses to the main entrance for each group of flats or in a less refined approach to the building object as a whole. The main entrance is mapped with entrance=main, and one of the following combinations of addresses applied (depending on whether apartments numbers are part of the street sequence or not):
- Apartment block has a single street address: addr:flats=*, addr:housenumber=* or addr:housename=*, addr:street=* and addr:interpolation=*. The interpolation tag is assumed to only apply to the addr:flats=* address range, thus allowing Flats 1-22, Blabla House, 17-21 Karlsruhe Street, where the 17-21 is a valid single house number.
- Apartments within the block have independent street address: addr:housenumber=* addr:street=* and addr:interpolation=*. The interpolation tag here applies to the addr:housenumber=* address range, and is conventional in other respects except that it is on a node not a way.
Additional building attributes
Given the wide range of different apartment blocks, it is useful to add some additional building tags, such as:
- building:flats=* : the number of residential units (flats, apartments) in the building
- building:levels=* : the number of floors (including the ground floor) in the building
- building:material=* : the outer surface (facade) material of the building (brick, concrete, wood etc.)
- building=terrace – for what is commonly referred to as "row houses", "townhouses", or "townhomes"
- office=property_management – for office of a company which manages a real estate property. Commonly referred to as "landlord", "renter", or "lessor".
- residential=apartments – landuse around the apartment building, if there is any.