In recent years there have been frequent discussions in the society, media and corridors of power regarding expiry of lifetime of the Soviet period residential buildings, aging of these buildings, safety and solutions. We, “Civinity Mājas Jūrmala”, already since 2014 have been managing more than 350 various residential buildings in Jūrmala, the majority of which were built during the Soviet period. It must be noted that expiry of the operation period that is frequently referred to in relation to these buildings is not the operation period of the building, but of the roof, engineering communications, windows, etc. Our experience and work prove that several steps carried out regularly and purposefully not only prolong the lifetime of buildings, but also increase their future value.
Regular Assessment of Building’s Technical Condition and Timely Repair Works:
House managers of buildings under our management carry out regular inspections and assess their technical condition, and, when necessary, operatively organise the works to be carried out. Once a year the civil engineer carries out visual inspection of the building and gives his/her statement. After that the manager draws up a plan of works to be carried out and coordinates it with apartment owners.
If necessity for any emergency works is stated during the inspection, such works shall be carried out immediately and covered from the money available in the building’s reserve fund; regarding carrying out of other works the owners shall vote and decide, when the works are to be commenced.
Last year “Civinity Mājas Jūrmala” carried out various repairs in amount of more than 2 million euro; the scope of works carried out this year will be at least 10% higher. Majority of works are related to various replacements and repairs of engineering communications. During the past year staircases of about 50 apartment buildings have been renovated, and renovation of at least 20 other staircases is planned until the end of this year. Roofs of 10 building were completely replaced last year, and various repairs made of roofs of many other buildings. Windows in staircases of all buildings have been replaced during past years and we are now working on replacement of basement windows. During the regular inspections of the buildings, we state the most urgent tasks that are then coordinated with the apartment owners.
Renovation of Buildings:
In general, the renovation process in Latvia has been very slow until now. In 2021, 46 buildings in Latvia were renovated, among them only four buildings in Riga. Such renovation pace is not sufficient to change the situation with thermal insulation of buildings in the country. We must remind that renovation of buildings is related with energy efficiency of these buildings and the amount of heating bills. At the moment it is a very topical issue, considering the rapid increase of thermal energy resource prices in Latvia.
“Civinity Mājas Jūrmala” carries out determined work in order to educate inhabitants on the issues of renovation; we are open for consultations and we undertake initiative to start new projects. Jūrmala definitely is one of the good examples in Latvia, as there are several buildings that have already been renovated, and at the moment renovation projects of four buildings are in various approval stages and are moving forward.
Inhabitants of the renovated buildings admit that road to thermally insulated buildings was long and bureaucratically complex; however, the satisfaction and benefits from renovated buildings are obvious and reflect in monthly bills. Reduction of thermal energy consumption in renovated buildings is mostly more than 50%. It most certainly is an obvious example of improvement of the building’s energy efficiency and encourages more and more apartment owners to start thinking about ensuring sustainability of their buildings.
“Civinity Mājas Jūrmala” is one of the few building management companies in Latvia that organises apartment building insurance. Already since beginning of this year almost 98% of the buildings managed by the “Civinity Mājas Jūrmala” have been insured. The decision, whether to buy insurance of the building, or not, is made by inhabitants of the building.
Insurance of multi-apartment buildings protects the apartment owners from unnecessary troubles and expenses, and will serve as a financial support in cases, if the property suffers damages.
Buildings managed by the “Civinity Mājas Jūrmala” have been insured against sudden and unpredictable events that might arise in the result of the following incidents – extensive fires, exploded gas cylinders, roofs ripped off by storm, losses caused by hail, fallen trees, or snow load. The accident insurance also includes interruptions of engineering communications, for example, in the water supply, heating or sewerage system. In case of an accident or emergency not only the losses caused to the building will be compensated, but also the necessary costs for renewal of the damaged communications.
Since beginning of this year there have been several insurance cases, when instead of suffering unexpected expenses, the costs of inhabitants, caused by an accident, were covered by the insurance company.
Our priority is wellbeing and safety of our clients; therefore, we organise our work to ensure individual approach to every building, we have a long-term plan and thorough, sustainable solutions for further service of the building.