Construction science: from theory to practice
New developments and rules in construction were discussed at a key session on 'Construction science: from theory to practice', which took place on 10 September as part of the International Real Estate Investment Forum PROESTATE.Live. The event was organized by the Roscongress Foundation, the Ministry of Construction, Housing, and Utilities of the Russian Federation, the Academy of Real Estate (ARE) educational centre, and IMMERGITY.
The participants outlined the key trends in the development of construction science and responded to a number of questions including how a modern vision can be combined with traditional construction, how entrepreneurs can be motivated to adopt new solutions, how the industry can ensure high standards among personnel, and what the role and mission of government might be in fostering a beneficial and creative environment for construction industry specialists.

Speakers at the session included Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation Dmitry Volkov, Vice-Minister for international affairs of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Dr. Yasuhiro Ishihara, CEO of the Research Center of Construction Vitaly Kryukov, Director General of the ACCNI Sergey Malinin, and Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs of India Amrit Abhijat. The session was moderated by Nadezhda Grosheva, a host of numerous programmes on RBC+.

All of the participants without exception spoke of the need to pool experience in the latest developments and trends. India's Housing for All state programme was discussed, and Amrit Abhijat talked about the current trend in India for small private companies to use construction technologies. The participants showed interest in Russia's experience of construction in the nuclear sector, in particular the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, and Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant II.

Dmitry Volkov underlined the significance of construction science and the willingness of government to continue funding programmes to the tune of RUB 1 billion directly through the Russian Ministry of Construction. He noted that the main area of implementation for construction science is standardization documents. "There are three promising areas of activity," the Deputy Minister said. "our own research institutes and design engineering, as well as the creation of methods to provide assistance in solving specific issues. We are also looking closely at domestic and international standardization documents." He acknowledged that the work of the Ministry's Chinese colleagues has recently become a subject of focus. A separate area of regulation has been created for energy efficiency. Volkov also mentioned that leading Russian construction institutes are not only keeping pace in terms of research, but are also accruing positive experience, which will of course have an influence on the outcome of future requests for financing from the construction sector.

Vitaly Kryukov, CEO of the Research Center of Construction, spoke about trends in construction science. Firstly, he talked about the advancement of the concept of the smart city and the development of modern information technologies aimed at increasing construction quality and liveability for citizens in addition to improving safety, with a focus on safe, composite materials and new types of concrete. The second trend mentioned was design optimization based on the study of materials previously used in construction. In recent years, hundreds of new construction sites have been commissioned in permafrost zones and seismically unstable regions. "Our scientists are directly involved in unique engineering works, and one was recently awarded a State Prize of the Russian Federation for working on unique project designs," said Kryukov. "This is a priority area for us, and allows to apply our designs in practice, including at Olympic and World Championship facilities. For example, one of the unique technologies we developed is a rebar fastener that saves up to 30% of costs on rebar installation, and has already been used at nuclear facilities. Another allows us to build on permafrost soils, saving up to 15% on foundations. Thirdly, we have developed a seismic protection technology that increases safety."

Yasuhiro Ishihara said that, in order for experience in working with the latest technologies to be pooled, it is essential to work side by side with personnel. "To this end, in Japan both young and experienced employees work together in one team, building expertise," the doctor said. "Another important factor is not just relying on traditional technologies, but actively bringing in robotics and other cutting-edge technologies. It is very important that the Ministry provides support in this area."

At the end of the session the participants discussed motivating market players to adopt new cost-saving solutions and improve performance indicators in construction, including speed, energy efficiency and architectural concepts. "The first task is not to interfere, and the second is to provide help," Dmitry Volkov said, summarizing the discussion. "There are a wide range of possible incentives. These may include tax incentives for energy efficient buildings, or mandating research and development in complex construction projects."

PROESTATE.Live partners: Official Partner – Mosinzhproekt; Partners – ANT Development and YugStroyImperial; Official Session Partners – A101 and Colliers International Group Inc.; Session Partner – Cushman & Wakefield.

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