Sustainable “+reVALUE” Approach for
Aging Real Estate

Respire Mitaka

In the 1970s, when Japan was in the midst of a period of rapid economic growth, reinforced concrete condominiums sprung up throughout the country like bamboo shoots in the rain, many of which are now reaching the 50-year mark. Since the current legal system unfortunately functions as a barrier to renovation, demolition and rebuilding turns out to be the least laborious method.

However, demolishing and newly constructing a building both generates a remarkable amount of waste and requires a similarly remarkable amount of new construction materials. Raysum believes that easy scrap-and-builds no longer represent a viable approach when considering our society’s future, for which sustainability is a key issue.

We acquired a 44-year-old dormitory building located in a popular residential neighborhood near Inokashira Park, south of Kichijoji and Mitaka in Tokyo. Without demolishing the building, Raysum completely renovated it using cutting-edge techniques, transforming it into a property that brings value to clients and society over the medium to long term.

This was the first project in which we applied the “Refining”, reconstructed construction method, and we did so with the full cooperation of Shigeru Aoki Architects Co., Ltd., the company that invented this very method.

Unlike remodeling and renovation, the “Refining”, reconstructed construction method, is innovative in that it aims to extend the life of a building by, for example, improving the seismic performance of the aging structural frame through reinforcement, while utilizing most of the existing frame and renewing its facilities and the building’s exterior and interior.

The strength of the “Refining”, reconstructed construction method, is that it makes many advantages possible, such as achieving the same interior and exterior quality as a new building at only approximately 70% of the budget for a new building. Moreover, it also makes it possible to carry out major renovations, including changes in use, while ensuring compliance with current regulations and significantly reducing waste materials.

In this project, we also successfully ensured the reliability and legal compliance of the structural frame and obtained an inspection certificate from the appropriate authorities. We transformed the building into a modern rental condominium. (Completed in March 2017)

Without compromising on quality, we did not hold back on installing brand new facilities, such as a spacious shared lounge and kitchen, IC security system for peace of mind, and easy-to-handle bicycle storage racks, all while maintaining the breathtaking views.

As a result, despite being in an area with a ready supply of rental condominiums, we received many requests for occupancy of all 86 units, making the property a stable asset for long-term management.

The “Refining”, reconstructed construction method, is attracting a lot of attention within the construction industry as a real estate revaluation method that is mindful of the environment and wellbeing of future generations. Over a hundred people visited our preview event during construction.

However, it is possible, even upon completion of the building, that the appropriate authorities will not issue a certificate of inspection due to the newness of this method, meaning successful cases are few and far between. Regardless, with the future of Japanese society on our minds, we will continue to dare to adopt this method despite such bureaucratic risks.

We also renovated the “medock Comprehensive Medical Clinic” in Meguro, Tokyo using the “Refining”, reconstructed construction method. Utilizing the experience and knowledge we have accumulated through these ongoing engagements, we will continue to proactively embrace the challenge of revaluing existing real estate.