How can you make your building last longer?
If your home or rental property is nearly 40 years old, or even older, we can advise you on how to extend the life of your building. We can assess the condition of the building’s structural framework and make recommendations on what repairs are needed and how to increase the value of the building. We can also assess the condition of drains to improve the accuracy of the repair plan.
Drainage pipes in apartment blocks can be inspected by inserting an endoscope, similar to a gastroscope, into the main drainage pipe (the large pipe that collects drainage from each apartment in an apartment block).
This photo shows the work of setting up an inspection opening near the top of the drainage pipe to allow the endoscope to enter. The endoscope was then passed through the main drainage pipe to the end of the drainage system at the end of the site, known as the “final basin”, where the video was taken. This investigation confirmed that there were areas of poor gradient in the horizontal section of the drainage pipe, where water was constantly pooling.
By examining the drains beforehand, it is possible to reroute and replace the entire pipework where there are faulty sections, thus preventing problems after the renovation.
If the drainage system is not checked and the work is carried out on the presumption that it will work because it has been used for some time, it may be necessary to carry out additional work after the renovation is completed and the tenants have moved in. In order to avoid such unexpected expenses and additional work, it is useful to carry out a building survey in a timely manner.
Other measures, such as the provision of ventilation routes and the renewal of water and gas pipes, can prolong the life of a building, increase its value and keep it in good working order, even if it is now nearly 40 years old or more.
These photos show the new drainage pipe in progress and the new electricity meter.
The design of the renovation of the building was carried out in consultation with the fire service and, in the case of the relocation of the refuse storage area, with the cleaning office, so that the building can be maintained legally and refuse collection can be carried out smoothly.
Make your home more fuel efficient
What are the monthly energy costs in your home?
When building or renovating a home, it is becoming increasingly important to consider how much your home will cost in terms of energy consumption, including heating and cooling costs. In order to make your home as fuel-efficient as possible, when building or refurbishing a new home, we set the insulation specifications and calculate the expected utility costs at the same time, in order to provide you with the most economical budget allocation.
For example, we have estimated the effectiveness of the insulation for the total replacement of the interior of one such reinforced concrete condominium unit (no insulation installed, location: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo).
We assumed the following
- Glass wool under the floor units and in the ceiling 100mm thick.
- Phenolic foam on the interior side of the exterior walls, 100 mm thick.
- Glass wool 50mm thick installed on the interior side of the wall to prevent noise problems with neighbours.
- Resin double glazing (two float panes) was installed as an internal window.
The results of this calculation show that the electricity costs for heating and cooling before the retrofit were ¥113,271/year for heating and ¥18,281/year for cooling, and after the retrofit were ¥10,076/year for heating and ¥16,705/year for cooling. The difference between these two figures means that the retrofit saves 104,727 yen/year in utility costs. The result is a saving of 104,727 yen per year. This is based on a 40-ampere contract for a two-bedroom flat on the middle floor with an exclusive area of 48m2, so the difference may be even greater if the apartment is on the top floor, has a larger exclusive area, or has a larger ampere contract.
In this way, it is possible to estimate the energy saving effect of insulation in accordance with current electricity prices.
It is likely that rental housing will be chosen by tenants for its energy efficiency, which will have a significant impact on their finances, and will be fully occupied. In a time when there is an oversupply of rental housing and many homes are unoccupied, it is particularly important to build or refurbish rental housing to the right specifications to ensure that it is always fully occupied and profitable.
If you are planning to build or renovate your home or rental property, we recommend that you consider insulation. We will be happy to provide you with an estimate of the energy costs of your home.
The following are some examples of insulation projects that have been carried out.
One of the most common ways of improving the energy consumption performance of buildings is to insulate the external walls, underfloor, roof and ceiling, and to increase the thermal insulation of the entrance doors and windows.
This photo shows a renovation project in progress, designed and executed by our office. The bay window, which is a weak point in terms of thermal insulation, is being filled with thermal insulation. We also put insulation under the counter.
This photograph shows the installation of an internal plastic window in a renovation project designed by our office. The building is about 40 years old and is made of reinforced concrete. Previously, there was no thermal insulation and the sashes were single-layer aluminium sashes.
Internal windows to make your home more comfortable
This photo shows the replacement of the entrance door in a renovation project designed by our office. The building is about 40 years old and is made of reinforced concrete. It was particularly cold in the winter because of the mailbox, which had a hole in the door. During the renovation work, the entrance door was replaced with a new one with high thermal insulation and sound insulation.
I have rented and lived in this property and the insulation has been exactly what I had expected, saving me money on my electricity bills and making me feel very comfortable.