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Construction expertise: Minister Menn stands for integral system, but qualified experts are lacking

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Construction expertise: Minister Menn stands for integral system, but qualified experts are lacking

How to improve the condition of the state expertise for construction objects

Annually, state and non-state expertise assess more than 55,000 objects of capital construction. In fact, every forth project receives unfavourable comments, and lately the number of negative reports has reached 45%.  Meanwhile, specialists dealing with construction expertise think their labour is underestimated. The topic was under discussion at the II All-Russia conference of state expertise organizations.

Few for many

Presently, expertise is of special importance. In their rush for income, constructors are sometimes ready to compromise the quality of their work. Often, experts are the only barrier against the violation of existing norms and regulations in project design and construction. 

There is no use enumerating the objects where the laid-down cost was surpassed multifold. In turn, a lot of cases remain unknown. 

In 2015, due to expertise, 500 bln roubles were saved (about $7.794m), and for 9 months of 2016 180 bln roubles (more than $2.8m). There were more than 3,000 experts’ evaluations for the objects with a laid-down cost of 1trn roubles ($15.6 bln), and the RF Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities, Mikhail Menn, shared the statistics.

Minister Menn voiced the figures deliberately, as he knows very well how the level of project documentation has lowered in the post-Soviet period. According to Valery Leonov, Chair of Moscow Expertise Committee (Moskomexpertiza), every fourth project receives a negative evaluation. However, if the experts were stricter, the figure would be higher.

The control over the situation may be lost if the level of expert evaluations is not raised. More importantly, everybody is complaining about the quality of new constructions, even in the elite class of housing. According to Mikhail Menn, the way out of the situation is in the creation of an integral efficient expert system combining both state and private sectors. 

Construction expertise: Minister Menn stands for integral system, but qualified experts are lacking

Additionally, during the crisis the importance of expertise has grown as project designers and builders strive to save on every stage of the construction process. 

According to Igor Manylov, Head of “Glavexpertiza Rossii” (Chief Expertise of Russia) FAI, the task of the state is to develop and enhance the expertise institute.

Today, the number of Russian experts is rather modest: there are 7 696 certified professionals annually evaluating 55,000 objects of capital construction for a very moderate payment. The amount does not even recompense the expenses on expert evaluations. For this work specialists receive only 0.58% of the project’s cost.

For example, the audit check of an object costing 4 bln roubles ($62,4 m) will cost only 100,000—150,000 roubles ($1,600 – $2,350). By comparison, a foreign company was paid 50m roubles ($779,389) for the audit check of a 9 km long section of the CRR. 

Furthermore, only 12 specialists deal with analysing the whole document collection and at least 25 are actually needed.

The appeals to save on expertise are very dangerous. On the contrary, it needs additional investment, otherwise it is impossible to raise its quality, Igor Manylov resumed.

 

The situation really needs to be corrected. Putting it into other words the famous saying by Winston Churchill, “Never will so much be owed by so many to so few” encapsulates everything. 

 

Diversion complexity 

Revolutionary changes in the state expertise experience will take place from January 1st, 2017, when they will be diverted to a full-scale non-legible form. The process has already lasted for several years. Thus, since 2014, the necessity to provide claimers with the electronic services in the sphere of state expertise has been formalized in legislation.

 

According to Vadim Andropov, First Deputy Head of “Glavexpertiza Rossii” FAI,  in 2014 all project designers, builders and expert organizations were told to take measures for the transition to new technologies. Its process is still going on, but its pace leaves much to be desired.

 

According to the expert, half of the regions had done nothing until April 1st, 2016. At present, 32 federal regions have a high level of readiness, and 3% have done nothing. The highest readiness is marked in the Ural FD, and the lowest in the Far Eastern FD. The average integral index of readiness by October 1st showed only 53.7%. 

 

As Vadim Andropov admits, the real condition may be worse, as not all of the regions provide reliable data.

 

At the same time, the number of documents in non-legible form is growing. For the last three months, 420 e-form documents have been registered. But the flow of documents is not even. The system will be more efficient when the integral information space, including builders, project designers and experts, is created. And it is not likely to happen by the beginning of the new year.

 

However, the transition as it is does mean a new qualitative level in the sphere of project design and expertise.

 

Vladimir GURVICH 

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