Performing good work on common foundation

From January 1st, 2015 a general Russian-Belarusian market of construction services is being launched

By Oleg Mitrokhin

From January 1st, 2015 a general Russian-Belarusian market of construction services is being launched

build2.pngThe First Deputy Minister for Architecture and Construction of Belarus, Alexander Kruchanov, explains the advantages of the unified market, which will allow Belarusian construction companies to operate in Russia without gaining additional permission. The launch is due within a few months, encouraging Belarusian builders in Russia (and vice versa) to freely compete. All necessary licences and certifications will be available in the ‘home’ country, with documents recognised across the Union State.

Mr. Kruchanov emphasises, “It will give our construction trusts the chance to act as general contractors. At present, only those companies registered in Russia can participate in general contracting tenders. We aren’t afraid of competition and are ready to work as equals in the Single Economic Space.”

Russia’s construction market is expanding, with ever increasing demand for accommodation. Meanwhile, a great deal of money is being invested in updating capital funds in Belarus, modernising the construction industry, and switching to European norms, to meet any challenge.

The service export target of $1bn, set by the social and economic development programme for Belarus for 2011-2015, was met in 2013: now, we are heading towards $2bn. The Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for Economy and Foreign Economic Activity, within the Architecture and Construction Ministry, Alexey Shilo, recently said, “Our main economic partner is Russia and currently Belarusian construction materials are delivered to 72 out of 85 Russian regions, while design and construction agreements are operational in 40. Moscow, Smolensk and the Bryansk Region, and St. Petersburg lead but Belarus is building modernised integrated house-building factories across several regions of Russia — at affordable prices.”

In the Smolensk suburb of Kiselevka, Belarusian experts are helping build the Vitebsk Quarter (in honour of Vitebsk city, twinned with Smolensk). It will comprise 13 large apartment buildings following the same architectural style. Last autumn, a symbolic capsule was laid in the foundations.

Now, the project is taking shape, with the first five-floor panel house being erected, following European technologies and without intermediaries. The residential complex is to feature fully glazed windows and balconies, unusually coloured facades and plush internal lobbies. Meanwhile, the price per square metre will be lower than the average for the region. Offering 1,440 apartments, the Vitebsk Quarter should be complete by the end of 2015, with adjacent grounds landscaped, including children’s areas and sports facilities, as well as recreational zones.

build1.pngLast year, the Belarusian Quarter was the first such housing complex to be overseen by the Ministry of Architecture and Construction, thanks to widespread modernisation of integrated house-building factories. We now have the ability to erect apartment buildings of any size and style, offering a wide choice of layouts, to the highest specification.

RUE Institute Belgosproekt has been designing interesting, innovative and beautiful buildings, using Belarusian construction materials. Meeting the latest Russian requirements and using European technologies, such ‘panel houses’ are just as comfortable as traditional brick while being much cheaper, making them much in demand in Russia.

Malinovka’s 36,000 square metre housing complex is being constructed in Kaluga, by MAPID JSC; meanwhile, the Gomel and Mozyr integrated house-building factories are to erect a residential quarter with an area of 210,000 square metres in Kursk. St. Petersburg is to gain a Belarusian Quarter, while Minsk is planning its own elegant St. Petersburg Quarter.

Russian customers across the regions are already convinced of the high professionalism of Belarusian builders and designers.

Russia’s view of innovation

The first cosmonauts departing from Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Region are likely to stay in a hotel constructed by Belarusian masters, since our builders have been invited to help in launching Vostochny Cosmodrome sites. Our experts will soon be setting off to conduct preliminary inspections.

Yelena Zhukova, the Director of the Department for Town Planning and Architecture, within the Russian Ministry for Construction, Housing and Utilities, emphasises that all problems will be solved. She explains, “I must assert that this work is being carried out within the limits of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty; as it is known, this comes into force on January 1st, 2015, so it’s vital to plan harmoniously with Belarusian colleagues. The main thing is to develop a uniform approach of barrier-free participation in state tenders by contractors and architects, while simplifying trade in construction materials between Russia and Belarus. We’re at the closing stage. The Belarusian Ministry for Architecture and Construction held various meetings last summer, and practical steps have been taken to unify admission to Russian and Belarusian markets. Together, we’ve created uniform specifications for services in the fields of survey, design and construction, across both states. This required careful analysis, comparing specifications set for the granting of permissions in our countries. Uniform specifications have been agreed by the heads of national professional associations from our two countries, so we now just await a final decision by the state bodies of Russia and Belarus.”

The Ministry explains that Belarusian construction companies are being kept busy across Russia, especially those designing residential complexes. Belarus’ modern prefabricated monolithic skeleton technologies allow homes to be erected quickly and affordably, with all internal finishing complete. Now, all that’s needed is to create favourable legal conditions.
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