Low-rise public housing in Turin, Italy

A low-rise is a building that is only a few stories tall or any building that is shorter than a high-rise,[1] though others include the classification of mid-rise.[2][3]

Emporis defines a low-rise as "an enclosed structure below 35 metres [115 feet] which is divided into regular floor levels."[4] The city of Toronto defines a mid-rise as a building between 4 and 12 stories.[5] Also they have elevators.


Low-rise apartments sometimes offer more privacy and negotiability of rent and utilities than high-rise apartments, although they may have fewer amenities and less flexibility with leases. It is also easier to put out fires in low-rise buildings.[6]

Within America due to the legal-economic and modernist perspectives low-rises can in some cities be seen as less luxurious than high-rises, whereas within Western Europe (for historical identity and legal reasons) low-rise tends to be more attractive. Some businesses prefer low-rise buildings due to lower costs and more usable space. Having all employees on a single floor may also increase work productivity.[7]


  1. "Data Standards: Structures". Emporis Standards. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  2. Finder, Alan (November 23, 1990). "Mid-Rise Apartment Houses Making New York Comeback". The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  3. Humbles, Andy (March 8, 2006). "Condo design will include 'mid-rise' building" (PDF). The Tennessean (via SmartSpace). Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  4. "Data Standards: Structures - low-rise building". Emporis Standards. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  5. http://faculty.geog.utoronto.ca/Hess/Courses/studio/presentation%20on%20avenues%20and%20mid-rise%20study.pdf
  6. "August-Newsletter - High Rise Fires" (PDF). Vincentdunn.com. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  7. Watkins-Miller, Elaine (September 1, 1997). "Skyscrapers vs. suburbs". AllBusiness. Archived from the original on November 3, 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
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