6 Unit Apartment Building
Last winter, I toured an apartment building in the Pittsburgh area. Now there were a lot of improvements that I could see that would increase its value, but the one issue that stood out to me was the main floor lobby. It was freezing cold.
The lobby had two apartment doors on opposing sides of it and a staircase beginning about 4 feet from the front door.
Now, the building has a portico added on to the front, but it is very narrow and the door does not function well to protect the interior from the cold. In addition, the lobby distance from the front entrance to the first step of the building staircase along with the needed clearance to each apartment unit entrance would make building a secondary interior enclosure and second door impossible.
The first thing I would do to this building is tear the existing portico down and replace it with an insulated glass portico with a covered roof. This building faces northeast, so it gets plenty of sun in the morning which can warm the enclosure for the first part of the day.
With all three sides made of glass partitions, that heat can help keep the lobby warm during the winter months. Using insulated glass and a full metal roof will keep it cool in the summer. Having the portico doors exit on both sides will act as reasonable barrier to wind and rain as well.
I also redesigned the walkway and handrails. The air conditioning would need to be upgraded, all window units removed and a new front lobby door installed along with new lobby lighting.
Much more would need to be done, but this change would go a long way at conserving energy and saving money on cooling and heating.
Here’s a rendering of what I decided on.