Today's eco-friendly consciousness is introduced to yesteryear at Lake View Condominiums. Located at 300 E. Water St. in downtown Sandusky, this historic building, owned by local entrepreneur Jeff Krabill and his wife Lauralee, may seem a far cry from what many people picture when they visualize a "Green" home.
Walking onto the 1860 property, there is an immediate sense of contrast. The well-preserved structure's native limestone architecture has tall arched windows, balconies, and what looks from the street to be a widows walk on the roof. However, upon entering the main lobby, you immediately recognize the modern-day updates.
The main floor has four suites, one of which is currently used as officespace. Krabill has considered making the entire first floor commercial, but has not made a final decision in that matter.
There is a high-tech videophone security system with keypad entry system.
The elevator is a modern hydraulic 125 fpm (feet per minute) elevator, which is 25 fpm faster than systems generally used in buildings of this size. Just a few steps from the elevator, on the third floor, is "GREEN Condo...Unit 3-C". The idea behind this project was one that Krabill began considering after the building's professional cabinet maker, Ron Cantelli, suggested that he think about something new and unique for the site.
The "green" idea makes perfect sense to Krabill since the building is naturally thermal-efficient. The outer limestone walls are 18-22" thick. He said the highest heating bill he's encountered was $140; that was a one-month occurance and has not been repeated. What helps keep those bills relatively low is that in addition to the almost two-feet thick stone, the contractors furred out the walls and added a seal using Icynene soft foam insulation and air barrier system. This spray-foam insulation is also above the ceilings and below the flooring effectually creating a thermal seperation to prohibit unwanted temperatures.
The contractors involved in this project are learning as they go, according to Krabill and Cantelli, but materials are so readily available and as companies get more acquainted with the requirements, it hasn't been difficult to keep up their momentum.
What about cost? Just how much difference has there been in the expenses to remodel this suite compared to the others? Krabill and Cantelli have not found that the expenses outweigh the benefits. The only major price difference they encountered was with the Takagi T-K3 flash water heater. It runs approximately $2,500 more than a regular water heater. However, the payoff comes in the fact that water is only heated as it is used, without need for a holding tank to waste energy. It operates without a pilot light which can save up to 50% off utility costs.
The 1938 sq. ft. apartment, with its eco-friendly Sherwin Williams wall paint and natural existing maple wood floors highlight the arched construction which is the shape of the double-pained, argon-filled windows. A center island dividing the family room from the kitchen shares the same arch frame.