Cottage with ‘stuffing’ on the family courtyard

Pukhovichi District residents try to find best approach for building their own house
By Nikolay Korolevsky

Who doesn’t want to have their own cottage with a nice piece of land? The question is rhetorical, although, the answer is not so simple. You must, keep in mind that the maintenance of such house becomes more expensive from year to year: how to equip the cottage with the necessary facilities, how to heat it, to provide other communications. There are a whole chain of other problems that must be decided if you want to have your own family yard.

The people in Pukhovichi District tried to answer some of these questions, and find the best approach for building their own home. So a relevant exhibition was organised there.

“The support of the Minsk Centre for Environmental Solutions came at a good hour because, thanks to that, the district came into the Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Local Level programme,” says the Deputy Chairman of the District Executive Committee, Marina Kirienko. “And the exhibition, called House of the Future, is only a part of a wider project. But it will bring new interest in energy-efficient housing.”

Dmitry Burenkin, an employee of the Centre’s energy programme, said that they are engaged in the promotion of fuel-efficient technologies for the non-commercial sector. The Centre obtains money by participating in international projects, as well as receiving European grants. For example, a programme relating to Maryina Gorka is funded jointly by the EU and the Swedish Development Agency. Expert advice is provided by one of the Danish companies.

I asked Mr. Burenkin if he was the conductor, the agitator of the developments there.

“In this sense, we can agree with this statement,” confirmed the specialist. “We are studying all the best energy saving options and trying to bring them to Belarus. This is not the promotion of materials, equipment and products of some companies, but really the spread of the idea of energy efficiency, as well as getting greater involvement of people in this area.”

The mobile House of the Future exhibition, which was created in co-operation with experts from Germany as a part of another project, was suitable for many activities and was shown at several expo-forums. Services of the centre are used by the Department of Energy of the Republic of Belarus.

With the help of accessible formats such as drawings, diagrams, and models, the exhibition shows how to build low-cost housing, how to strengthen the roof and walls, how to choose the most suitable construction materials or how to use the solar energy for water heating, etc. The exhibition also addresses how to successfully resolve these issues specifically here in Belarus.

In addition to Maryina Gorka, the centre will conduct development of energy strategies in Shchuchin and Braslav. These cities have been chosen on the basis of competition, as the most typical where the construction of individual housing is actively conducted. At the very least, after visiting the exhibition, the residents of Maryina Gorka became more interested in the topic of energy saving and some became interested in the acquisition of low-cost energy houses. The credit can be attributed to the local government, because the interests of the citizen and the state in such cases are the same.
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