Investing in Apartment Buildings
The reason condos are appreciating faster now than in the past is mainly because there are fewer of them available. Thirty years ago, builders swarmed to condominium construction and conversion. (A conversion is where an apartment building is converted to condominiums.) For the builders, the costs were less for multiple family dwellings, yet the prices they could get were handsome. So they built condos.
While up until very recently, condo owners were the last to take advantage of real estate boom periods not so with many co-op owners. Most of the big gains occurred when an apartment building located in an urban area (such as Manhattan) was converted to co-op status. The first to buy (often the former tenants) saw huge increases when they resold, in large part because of the shortage of available rentals. They bought an apartment in a city where just finding any place to live could be a problem.
Calculation results of the effect of thermal bridges on heat transmission losses in housing with different envelope insulation standards are illustrated in Tables 9.2.3 to 9.2.5 (single family detached house, row house and apartment building). The contribution of thermal bridges to the transmission heat losses are up to 25 per cent. The target for the heat transmission through thermal bridges in Passivhaus constructions is below 4 per cent. Table 9.2.5 Transmission losses in housing with different envelope insulation standards Apartment building Table 9.2.5 Transmission losses in housing with different envelope insulation standards Apartment building
When an apartment building is converted to condo use, the developer-seller must provide tenants (as prospective owners of units) with an engineering report on the condition of the building. In addition, a tenants association or condo-owners association may have, at some point, commissioned its own engineering report. Your contract to buy should be contingent on getting copies of all engineering reports and an inspection that in your judgment is satisfactory (see Chapter 7 for more on home-inspection contingencies).
Mechanical ventilation by electricity-powered fans can provide fresh air for a whole building or for special rooms only. In the latter case, such 'decentralized ventilation units' are not treated here. This section describes 'central ventilation systems' for a house, apartment or whole apartment building.
Figure 6.1.1 The Vienna Utendorfgasse Passivhaus Apartment Building During the planning and construction of the Utendorfgasse Passivhaus apartment building in Vienna, many fundamental questions regarding the planning of social housing according to the Passivhaus standard were addressed. The challenge was to meet this standard while keeping costs within the limited budget allowed for social housing. Sch berl und P ll OEG succeeded in completing the first such project to this very high standard.
Visually, the Wechsel Passivhaus apartment building hardly differs from the other apartments of the housing estate, which are built to a conventional standard. Energy measures had a significant influence on the entire planning of the building but optimized living comfort, as well as considera-
For apartment buildings or as a central plant for a row of houses, a condensing gas boiler may be a solution. Nominal efficiencies exceeding 100 per cent are possible. A drawback is that, given the relatively small absolute amount of heat needed, the fixed costs, maintenance and investment costs are high. These can be tolerated better if shared among multiple housing units.
Sunny Woods won both the Swiss and European solar prizes. It is the first apartment building in Switzerland designed to achieve a net annual zero-energy balance. The project is based on passive-solar design principles. The exactly south-oriented windows open almost the entire south fa ade. In order to make use of the solar gains in this timber construction building, a levelling cement grout of 7 cm and black slate paving tiles of 1.5 cm were added to the floor.
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