Architect Krotov: “Amid the sanctions, renovation in Moscow is impossible and unnecessary”

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Architect Krotov: “Amid the sanctions, renovation in Moscow is impossible and unnecessary”
Architect Krotov: “Amid the sanctions, renovation in Moscow is impossible and unnecessary”
4 April, 10:53City
Western sanctions imposed in connection with the special operation of Russia in Ukraine, reached out to the renovation of the capital.

The well-known architect and honorary builder of Moscow Alexey Krotov, in an interview with NI, said that under these conditions, the most effective measure is to curtail the renovation program.

Ludmila Butuzova

- Alexey Vladimirovich, don't you escalate the situation? The authorities assure that all you need to do is “wait out the storm”, there are no serious threats to the budget-funded program. Mayor Sergey Sobyanin assured Muscovites on his VKontakte page that the city's construction industry is independent of the foreign market.

- ... And, as observant Muscovites noticed, I attached a photo of a very dead Japanese short-base crane Tadano to the post. It's not that he didn't have a more attractive picture at hand. Let me remind you that the technical equipment of the capital's construction complex is 90% dependent on imported components. Moscow construction sites use JCB (Great Britain) or Terex (USA) loaders, Hitachi excavators (Japan), Hyundai (South Korea), Putzmeister AG (Germany), Atlas Copco (Sweden) and Sifa (Italy) concrete pumps, Liebherr tower and special cranes ( Germany), Potain SAS (France), Jaso (Spain), horizontal drilling machines Wermeer (USA). The domestic HDD units of the Volgodonsk Drilling Equipment Plant are equipped with a hydraulic part from Sauer-Danfoss components. "Your own" mining shields are incapacitated without constant maintenance and original consumables from Herrenknecht AG (Germany). At the concrete goods factories of the same PIK, Progress machines, Ebawe, Vollert, Elematic lines ...

All this imported equipment, no matter how high-precision and reliable it may be, tends to wear out, require repair and timely replacement. And what to change? Foreign equipment leaves the Russian Federation, maintenance and spare parts - that's it.

There is no import substitution - they simply did not do it, hoping for the West and successfully ruining their factories for the production of road machines and construction equipment. To understand the problem, I will give the testimony of a popular blogger, a builder by profession Maxim Kozlovsky:

“I remember that in the process of completing the construction of the SU-155 for equity holders, the Strommashina plant in Ivanovo fell into our control ... unable to manufacture even an elementary analogue of an imported hydraulic cylinder for an excavator. Not because there is no equipment. Could not find the chief designer..."

For these above reasons, we can safely say that the problems of the construction industry are not far off. Huge machines will turn into pieces of iron, started projects into unfinished cemeteries. Yes, even those skyscrapers that have already been built and inhabited will become a problem for Muscovites. Listen to the General Director of the Association "Russian Elevator Association" Petr Kharlamov: there will be enough components for the smooth operation of elevators for six months. Yes, 70% of them are Russian-made and only 30% are imported. But there are the most important components that are assembled from imported parts... So those who are not interested in sanctions and demand a "continuation of the renovation banquet", welcome on foot to the 40th floor.

Personally, I remain of my opinion: without fully realizing the sanctions strikes and their consequences, the authorities should not rush to finance mass residential development projects in large cities that are of interest only to developers. The money can be useful for the resuscitation of the domestic industry.

- However, the Moscow Renovation Fund only manages to publish new placements for the construction of millions of square meters of housing. Here in March, when it was already in a fever, three districts - Eastern, South-Eastern and Western - were made happy, the cost of the second wave of renovation approached two trillion rubles. The other day there was a round table in the Moscow City Duma dedicated to the implementation of the program in Moscow. To the question - how reasonable is it now to spend budget funds on new construction projects? - a representative of the Moscow mayor's office replied that everything is happening in accordance with the law on renovation, including the measures taken at the federal level and the 50-point economic stability plan approved personally by Sobyanin. Alexey Vladimirovich, are you aware of the measures? Can you comment?

- I don't know how to react to this... The Law on Renovation is not Holy Scripture. It can be reviewed and corrected. It can and should be adjusted taking into account emergencies and the interests of society. "In the public interest", I emphasize, and not a narrow circle of beneficiaries. We are exactly the opposite. Muscovites have been watching for years how freely officials at all levels twirl legislative acts affecting basic legal institutions, in complete contempt for the right to private property, to observe even the slightest building "properties". There is no protection against the next "clarifications" of the renovation parameters, which radically change its order and conditions. And this is not all the surprises that Muscovites can expect. Read Sobyanin's stabilization plan. It contains 50 points, of which as many as 2 are for the social support of residents, and they only repeat the existing norms. But the construction oligarchs are provided with a real reduction in rental rates for land at the expense of the budget and many other benefits.

In the same vein, "support measures" from the Ministry of Construction and the team of Marat Khusnullin.

"Moratorium on penalties in housing construction and housing and communal services". This means that the ranks of deceived equity holders and deceived renovation participants will only grow, the developer, exempted from financial sanctions, may not even start construction and spend budget money at his own discretion. The same royal "gift" is received by housing and communal services - no fines for low-quality services. On the contrary, the worse the “service”, the higher the well-being of the Residents parasitizing consumers.

In general, beyond the bounds - "Moratorium on the negative conclusion of the examination". What is it like? Is the expert supposed to sign his own verdict in the future? And what will happen to the migrants on the renovation?

Will everyone want to live in a newly built human settlement if 350 approval procedures are canceled on it? But it was about this game, as an achievement, that Marat Khusnullin reported at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the government on measures to support the economy against the backdrop of sanctions.

He also noted that now there are 3.8 thousand mandatory procedures in construction, of which 2 thousand are planned to be transferred to the category of advisory ones.

My personal professional experience shows that the examination almost always reveals more or less critical inconsistencies with the mandatory building standards of high-rise buildings already put into operation. And this is in commercial construction! And here, when the task is to build at least something quickly, approximately equal in footage instead of "apartments in obsolete five-story buildings" - cost reduction and the pursuit of increasing profits inevitably come to the fore. This is achieved by reducing the quality of housing. Well, much worse! No one hides the fact that renovation participants receive the cheapest, poor-quality and emergency options for new housing. A moratorium on negative examinations will exacerbate the situation at times.

Nevertheless, less than a week after the meeting, the State Duma adopted in three readings at once a government bill “on simplifying a number of procedures in the construction industry” in response to the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation. I'm afraid to imagine what will happen next. Now, according to the renovation, they will be relocated not only to low-quality, but also life-threatening housing. In industrial and transport construction, everything will be even more serious.

Instead of real anti-crisis measures, instead of preparing for a real and inevitable collapse in the industry, instead of developing preventive measures to curtail the renovation program - empty chatter about a "comfortable urban environment", accelerating the conclusion of prepared contracts in order to suck out the lean budget moneybox as efficiently as possible ...

Реконструкция пятиэтажки даже с надстройкой 3-4 этажей может изменить ее объемно-планировочные решения до современного уровня и это дешевле нового строительства на 30-40 %

Once again: there is no question of supporting the remnants of the construction industry and construction engineering, or of import substitution in the face of sanctions and the falling ruble, but only of pumping money out of the budget...

- I'll put in my five cents. Not all active citizens have noticed that in order to protect the construction complex from hostile sanctions in Moscow in 2022, public hearings and public discussions of planning and development projects are canceled. Previously, at least the formal appointment of hearings would give residents the information that their yard or park was being taken away, and there was at least some chance of canceling a disastrous project without heavy opposition on the ground. Now this opportunity is closed. Did they respond to Western sanctions with an attack on the civil rights of Muscovites? Where is the logic?

- Have you just noticed that the damage to the city, the unpunished theft of land and real estate from residents is accompanied by an infringement of civil rights? Well, now the last fig leaves have fallen, and you can continue building commercial housing without looking back under the guise of a social program.

Let me remind you: the renovation program in Moscow includes 5,170 houses with a total area of 16 million square meters. For the resettlement of residents, about 22 million square meters are needed. m. And suddenly, at the beginning of March last year, TASS comes out with a sensational headline “45 million sq. m. meters of residential real estate will be built as part of the renovation program in Moscow”. This was announced at the plenary session of the Russian Construction Week by the head of the department of urban planning policy Sergey Levkin. What's the surprise? It seems that the goals and objectives of the program have remained the same - 22 million square meters for migrants (including 15% for the purchase of housing), no additional need for double the amount is expected. But!

For three years, my fellow architects, with figures and facts in their hands, argued that tens of millions of meters of commercial housing, which is being built with budget money, were shoved into the renovation. Those. Muscovites suddenly became sponsors of commercial construction, as the budget is filled with taxes.

We were told that we think incorrectly, that we are prejudiced... But then a prominent representative of the capital's construction complex let it slip and it became clear who cares about and whose appetites the Moscow budget serves.

The deputy of the Moscow City Duma Elena Shuvalova also deals with budget secrets. In her opinion, construction corporations came up with programs to get money from the state and regional budgets and get the maximum profit from the sale of housing: "2 floors will be built for the deported, and 22 - for sale". State spending on the construction complex in Moscow is about a trillion rubles a year. And what is the income from the construction complex? What is the return, and is there any at all?

As a result of Shuvalova's inquiries to the head of the finance department, amazing things came to light. For example, the volume of non-tax dividends from all enterprises - construction and non-construction - owned by the city and managed by the Moscow government, in the budget is only 3 billion 751 million rubles. For the three trillion budget of Moscow, this is a minuscule amount. Taxpayers' money pours into investment programs and virtually disappears. Not that there is no return, but in general - as if in an abyss.

- If you start a survey of Muscovites, as deputy Shuvalova once did when she turned to her voters, does Moscow need renovation in its current form? Many would probably answer in the negative. Judging by social networks: not only the opponents of the renovation and the homeowners who suffered from it expect the collapse of the program, but also former supporters are calling on Sobyanin to postpone, or even completely abandon its implementation, “so that it doesn’t get worse.” But how? Excavated pits all over Moscow, a mass of unfinished human settlements, hundreds of destroyed five-story buildings... So take it and leave everything until better times?

- I am a radical opponent of renovation in its proclaimed form. I am convinced that in an already built city, mass housing construction should give way to its repair, modernization and reconstruction. This is the original meaning of urban planning. She is in the interests of man. In Moscow, thanks to “agents of influence” (V. Resin, M. Khusnullin, S. Levkin), the meanings have changed: a person, a native city dweller, is just a means to enrich individual representatives of the construction complex. For their sake, dubious construction programs have been created, for their sake a five-story housing stock that is comfortable from the point of view of the living environment is completely destroyed, in their interests the construction of human shelters is allowed, which are already morally obsolete, but thereby ensure the cyclicality (in 30-40 years) of demolition and new construction for budget account. Those. the money really needed to modernize the national economy simply goes into the pockets of a small circle of construction oligarchs.

In our recent history, there have already been such examples of wrecking activities as "reclamation". A lot of money was buried then, and even more harm was done to the environment. Then this program was recognized as erroneous.

What can be done without waiting for the same final for the renovation program? Limit the appetites and fodder base of the construction complex. To revise the urban policy and finally get clear answers - in the name of what goals is the destruction of the capital? When there was a boom in housing construction, citizens lived in barracks and communal apartments, their own, even a small apartment, was perceived as heaven on earth. Now what happened? Where are the hosts of communal apartments and barracks? What do we settle? Has anyone calculated the city's real need for housing? And why are five-story brick buildings bad, and panel mansions good?

The answers are extremely important for the future of the capital and extremely dangerous for the current ideologues of renovation. Under a political pretext, KB Strelka fled the Moscow arena with its "progressive" urban policy aimed at creating a metropolis from a historical city. The Institute of the General Plan of the Capital is trying to evade responsibility. Many have opened up, showing who they work for, but there are enough adequate professionals who perfectly understand where the patrons of the insatiable construction complex have taken Moscow. Today there is every chance to rebuild and put things in order. Mass high-rise housing construction in areas that have fallen under renovation should be prohibited, the number of storeys of unfinished housing estates should be reduced to a reasonable 12-14 floors. It is necessary to deal with the old housing stock, both already settled and doomed to demolition, repairing it, modernizing and reconstructing it to the level of modern comfort and prestige. From my own experience as an architect and builder, I know that the reconstruction of a five-story building, even with an add-on of 3-4 floors, can change its space-planning solutions to the modern level and this is 30-40% cheaper than new construction. In this regard, land surveying, carried out in bad faith by the authorities and aimed at reducing the territory of an apartment building, should be declared invalid, the legal Soviet documentation for the apartment building and the adjacent territory should be restored, and the townspeople should be recognized as co-owners of the property complex and their right to independently decide the fate of their houses should be restored. Only then will people become responsible owners and active participants in the improvement of cities. And this is a guarantee that in the worst possible development of events - the growth of sanctions, the impoverishment of the budget, the collapse of the construction complex - Moscow and Muscovites will get rid of the pits dug everywhere, and from the frightening human colonies.

Prosperous housing stock is one of the main factors of national security.

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