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Cosmos Initia Co., Ltd. has been constructing condominiums since 1974 and by 2011 has supplied some 100,000 condominium units. In 2002, the company added renovation to better make use of existing buildings. Its third such project, Reno Marks Yokohama Nakamachidai, was completed in 2013. Before the renovation plan was made, seismic assessments and diagnoses were conducted for the entire building for both common and private areas. For private areas, equipment and components with specifications equivalent to those found in Cosmos Initia's new construction condos as well as the same amount of space had to be offered. In addition, when renovating, interior work actually requires more construction technology and more rigorous process control than is demanded by a new building. Interior work for new condominiums is usually performed by general contractors while most interior renovation work is often performed by smaller local builders. Should the number of units for renovation increase, however, it becomes necessary to coordinate and oversee the work of several builders which is another major challenge to face.
The first total condominium building renovation executed by Cosmos Initia was the Resion Musashikosugi in 2007. The project involved renovating common areas for company housing consisting of three buildings with 161 units. The renovated condominium units for sale had added value with auto-lock used for the common areas. This renovated condominium also won a Good Design Award.
Next came Reno Marks Tsudanuma. When renovating 65 condo units used for company housing, the floor plans and designs needed careful planning to be clearly differentiated from simple renewing. Cosmos Initia therefore looked for a subcontractor capable of high quality interior work for multiple condo units within a limited time period. The final selection was Panasonic Eco Solutions Condominiums & Apartments Engineering Co., Ltd. "We knew that Panasonic was experienced in handling interior work for entire newly built condominium blocks," says Yasuaki Kishimoto, condominium construction chief at Cosmos Initia. From this project on, the brand name "Reno Marks" was adopted for the company's renovated condos.
Reno Marks Yokohama Nakamachidai resulted from the complete renovation of a building used for company housing since it was constructed in 1994 right up to October 2012. Conveniently located close to a railway station and blessed with rich greenery in Kohoku New Town, each unit is a spacious 80 square meters, and the ideal location and space were unimaginable with recently built condominiums. Panasonic again was assigned as subcontractor to handle all interior work starting from the concept stage. Mr. Kishimoto said, "Panasonic's sophisticated design incorporated lots of ideas to combine ease of use with design appeal."
To better serve children, this plan features a bright sunroom with sunlight coming through a south-facing window, and a child's room with a partially curved wall and small windows. The living/dining room has a raised floor section for reading in a comfortable, sunny spot. Through the small windows, parents can sense a child's presence.
The Japanese-style room at the side of a veranda was eliminated to form an extra-wide living/dining room. The former separate kitchen was also relocated to become an island kitchen. The kitchen floor was raised by 85mm to create a stage kitchen that provides a wide-angle view of the living room. This room plan is specially designed to be hospitable to home party guests while also letting parents sense their children's moods.
This plan features a service room with a bare, unfinished floor area next to the entrance hall so that a person can enter with shoes on. This service room will also provide space for a bicycle, etc. The futon closet was remodeled for a two-way walk-in family storage space which directly connects to the kitchen for smooth movement while accommodating diversified lifestyle needs.
The most essential part of condominium renovation is the survey of an existing building. It is easier to remove all interiors and replace them with new ones, but costs become high and considerable time is also needed. Panasonic first checks existing interiors meticulously to determine what is to be replaced. For interior construction materials as well, Panasonic tries to reuse existing door frames, window frames or other parts as much as possible if repair can make them look brand-new. This type of well thought-out renovation planning and cost management makes possible reasonable pricing for renovated condominiums.
Mr. Kishimoto comments: "About 40 years have passed since we started supplying condominiums and apartments. The renovation business we initiated in 2002 was a social mission for us as the intent was to effectively use surplus stock. The Reno Marks Yokohama Nakamachidai is our third renovation project that involves an entire condominium building. Our plan is to expand our renovation business to include rental condominiums and individual units, while moving into the Chubu, Kansai and Kyushu regions."
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