Cement teaches patience Renovation is only the first fight A look on the city is like a look into oneâ€™s self
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JSC „Statyba ir architektūra“ (“Construction and architecture”) Editorial address: UKMERGES str. 222, LT-07129 Vilnius, Lithuania Tel. +370 5 249 6302 Fax. +370 5 278 4551 E-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Board: Gintautas Blaziunas, Lithuanian Architects’ Union President; prof. Dr. N.Cygas, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Engineering, VGTU; Assoc. Dr. Algirdas Juozapaitis, VGTU Constructions faculty Dean; Pranas Rimvydas Pranaitis, Lithuanian designers’ companies union Executive director; Assoc. Dr. Zymantas Rudzionis, Kaunas Technological University Constructions faculty Dean; Mindaugas Statulevicius, Director of the Lithuanian real-estate association; Adakras Sestauskas, Prezident of the Lithuanian builders Association; Aidas Vaiciulis, Director of the national passive house association; Diana Varnaite, Cultural heritage department director; Juozas Vaskevicius, President of the Lithuanian room of architects.
Company director Jurate Babickiene Editors Darius Babickas Rusne Marcenaite Layout designer Algimantas Murza Advertisement department Tel. +370 5 246 1518 Darius Bauzys Lina Krasauskiene Liudmila Michalkeviciene © “Construction and architecture”, 2013, The copy or distribution of texts and illustrations is subject to editorial board permission. The editorial board bears no responsibility for the advertisements and it’s content. Published since 1922., with current name – since 1957. ISSN 0131-9183
Dear readers, The constructions industry is one of the industries where Lithuanian companies feel equal to their foreign colleagues. The factor that may stop the successful development is the lack of information, which may occur in some point of time. Our journal–“Construction and architecture” has recently rejoiced it’s 90th birthday. We cover topics such as: constructions, architecture, urban development and real estate, and we use each and every possibility we have to present you the new steps of Lithuanian companies, developing their business at home and abroad. The printed version of our journal is being issued in Lithuanian language and is distributed in Lithuania. The electronic version of the publication has yet been sent abroad only to those who understand Lithuanian language. We believe that the new “Construction and architecture” project–an electronic publication for English and Russian speakers will reach both East and West Europe, Asia and both American continents, and will help the companies of our country to search for partners and production markets in foreign countries.
Every month a printed version of the “Construction and architecture” is being issued in Lithuania, this journal covers all relevant topics in areas of: construction, engineering, architecture, urban development, real-estate infrastructure, energy, environmental safety, environmental care, protecting cultural heritage, renovation. We work closely with more than 30 active associations in Lithuania and all municipalities of the state, we also work closely with our Economy, Energy, Transport and communications, Environment, Culture and other Ministries and their dependent companies, as well as with the Vilniaus Gedimino Technical University and Kaunas Technological University.
We are constantly working on publications on the changes of the Lithuanian legislative framework, currently implemented or planned constructions sector projects, as well as European Union funds supported projects. We present the newest construction industry technologies and products, publish information relevant to architects and designers as well as their exceptional pieces of work, we provide information We would be happy to see that the printed on real estate industry area forecasts and estiversion of the “Construction and architecture” mates. journal would seem an appropriate platform We would like to draw your attention to the for foreign companies who seek business part- fact, that for our first self-introduction abroad, ners in our country and who want to offer their we have created an electronic publication comproducts to the small but ambitions Lithuanian piled from this year’s “Construction and archiconstructions market. We won’t sorrow if our tecture” journal’s theme issues, that were covelectronic publication advertisers will find cli- ering the topics of renovation (January), railway ents or partners in countries other than ours, in infrastructure (February), concrete and related some other place where “Construction and ar- technologies (March), Lithuanian self-governchitecture” journal will travel. ment actualities (April), geology and building The electronic “Construction and architecture” energy-efficiency (May). journal is being sent to associations related to the construction industry and to other organizations, who, in their turn, may distribute the publication amongst their members. Those are industrialists, construction workers, architects, designers, energy or plumbing specialists, environmentalist, road experts, and associations uniting construction material and constructions producers.
We will seek this to become a periodical electronic publication. We kindly offer you to share this publication with those, who could find it interesting and important, according to your opinion. Sincerely, The publishers of “Construction and architecture”
Cement teaches patience European cement producerâ€™s post financial crisis sale volumes rise slower than the Asian countriesâ€™ ones Rusne MARCENAITE
As we all know, one of the most accurate indicators of the construction business welfare is the trade in cement; this indicator shows positive trends already for several years in Lithuania, but we still have to wait for the sales amounts to reach the pre-crisis times. Reduced by almost half during the darkest times of the financial crisis, it is now growing for a couple of percent annually.
The sales were saved by export Here is an ambitiously sounding fact– during the year 2012, the “Akmenes cementas” export has surpassed the local sales for the first time ever. This shows that the difficult market situation forced the company’s managers to promptly seek possibilities to sell their produce abroad. This has led to some radical changes in the sales structure of the only cement producer in Lithuania; some time earlier “Akmenes cementas” has been selling approximately 80% of their produce on the local market as it was oriented for domestic sales, but last year, the percentage of local sales decreased below 50%. The “Akmenes cementas” covering approximately 75% of the country’s market has sold 908 thousand tons of produce in 2008, 2009 – the number was 409 thousand tons, but the following year showed the above mentioned moderate recovery in sales: the 2010 figures are – 476 thousand tons and 543 thousand tons in 2011. In the year 2012, the market was quick to react to the bankruptcy of the “Snoras” bank and other economic challenges, so the figures decreased again – “Akmenes cementas” has sold less than the previous year – 474 thousand tons of produce. A moderate growth of sales equal to a couple of percent is planned for this year sales in Lithuanian market, approximately 490 tons are expected to be sold. Successful marketing abroad gave “Akmenes cementas” a possibility to reach the pre-crisis level, when they were selling the amounts of produce equal to the maximum output of their production line – somewhat more than 1 million tons of cement. 2009 is recorded as time of dramatic sales decrease in the history of the company – only 572 tons of products were sold, but the last year’s results are more optimistic – “Akmenes cementas” sold 998 tons of cement. During the year 2012, cement of Lithuanian origin was sold to Russia (180 thousand tons), Belorussia (188 thousand tons), Sweden (91 thousand tons), Finland (30 thousand tons), and other foreign countries.
The country needs less Currently, the “Akmenes cementas” production lines are also working at full capacity, the company expects to sell approximately 1 million tons of cement. As already mentioned, the producers don’t have any high hopes for the local market, especially since the demand of the Lithuanian construction industry for the products of the factory has significantly decreased. “During the Soviet period of Lithuanian history, approximately 1,5 million tons of cement was used annually, the number decreased to 1,1 million in the pre-cri-
sis times, and nowadays reaches only 600-700 thousand tons”,-said Arturas Zaremba, the General director of the “Akmenes cementas”. This means that an even larger part of the produce of the newly launched dry clinker production line owned by “Akmenes cementas” will be exported. This line is capable of producing 1,5 million tons of products and it needs to produce at least a million and a couple of hundred thousands of tons of produce to maintain the normal production cycle. But there is clearly no room for retreat now, since the modernization was planned in 2008, when
the results of “Akmenes cementas” were exemplary. The contracts were signed during that year and it took almost a year to build the machinery for this line, only after that did the financial crisis come in effect. The line is expected to begin operation in the second half of this year, this would allow to save about one third of energy costs and recover the invested 363 million Lithuanian Litas in a 10 years period.
Reaction to the fall of “Snoras” “Akmenes cementas” places no hopes on the state run projects. A. Zarem-
Arturas Zaremba The General director of the “Akmenes cementas”
During the Soviet period of Lithuanian history, approximately 1,5 million tons of cement was used annually, the number decreased to 1,1 million in the pre-crisis times, and nowadays reaches only 600-700 thousand tons.
ba said that before the foundation under decision to build the Visaginas nuclear power plant became shaky, his factory has been visited by the strategic investor of the project – the Japanese company representatives. “Although such projects are important for the prestige of the company, are economically good for the country and the business reacts positively to any investments, this doesn’t have a large influence on the sales of our company.” – A. Zaremba commented. The total amount of cement used even in such a large project as the construction of the Visaginas power plant would require approximately 50 thousand tons. It takes approximately two weeks for “Akmenes cementas” plant to produce such an amount. “We may even say that we profit more from the large scale, mass projects, for example – renovation of many homes. For us, it would have a larger impact, than larger individual construction projects.” – said A. Zaremba. The overall economic situation in Lithuania is also important. “Cement sales decreased by 10% last year, when the “Snoras” bank bankrupted. This happened because the money is usually invested in infrastructure and development during the good times and a comfortable economic situation, should this change – these expenses are the ones to be cut first. That is why the overall Lithuanian economic trends are particularly important to us, economic growth or at least it’s expectations always have an impact on our sales” – said the representative of the one and only cement producing company in Lithuania.
Competing in quality There is significant competition in the Lithuanian cement market, which “Akmenes cementas” experiences when selling bagged cement. In recent years there was an increase in the amount of cement imported from Sweden and the local producer is often blamed for high prices. “Our products are neither cheap, nor expensive. We sell at costs equal to the surrounding countries: Latvia, Poland, and Germany–you will see the same prices everywhere. Of course, a company wishing to establish themselves in a new market will offer their products, let’s say, 10 percent cheaper. And if we raise the cost of our produce, they will do the same, accordingly. This is a market strategy, and you can do nothing about it. The second aspect of the trade, is if we are discussing produce from the East – it can be cheaper, because of the cheaper production costs, since you don’t need to obey some of the European Union (EU) regulations, for example, such as – parameters for alkali, that affect corrosion, parameters for hexavalent chrome, which is harmful. There are no environmental safety requirements for the producers in the East – for example the CO2 control, which has a relatively high cost here. The rules are essentially unified for all producers in the EU countries, we all know about each other, we send products to each other’s markets.”,-said A. Zaremba The head of the “Akmenes cementas” highlighted, that Lithuania produces one of the best types of cement in the Baltic region: “I speak subjectively, but I can support my claims – we sent our produce to different laboratories for
analysis”. “Akmenes cementas” produce is bought by all large concrete and reinforced concrete producers in the country, although it is true, that some of them diversify their supply.
Asia is ahead of Europe It’s been five years since the “Akmenes cementas” became a part of the European cement association CEMBUREAU. It brings together national cement associations of EU countries, and from countries such as Lithuania, where there is only one cement producer, such companies become the national associations themselves. The information provided to the CEMBUREAU participants shows, that the demand for cement is growing around the world, but there is no euphoric happiness in the ranks, as A. Zaremba says, although approximately 3,3 billion tons of cement is produced annually, and that amount increases by couples of tens or even a 100 millions of tons each year, the increase happens outside of Europe. “The most growth is experienced in Asian markets–more than 50 percent of cement is being made and used in China. On the contrary, in Europe, the amount of cement used is decreasing”,-explained the General Director of “Akmenes cementas”. “Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Poland are the largest consumers of cement in Europe, and the situation in these countries’ markets is the same as in Lithuania, the sales have dropped by 40-50 percent and are now growing by 2-3 percent annually, although such numbers are not encouraging, it is good, that the sales are at least not decreasing”.
Minister V. Mazuronis: renovation is a state issue People will retain the freedom to choose a model reasonable for them, during the renovation of the tenement houses Darius BABICKAS
The recently changed government does not promise any revolution in the implementation of the tenement house renovation program, but it wants the State to influence it more. The new Minister of the Environment Valentinas MAZURONIS has told “Statyba ir architektura” (Construction and architecture), that he likes to follow a principle, claiming, that it is not the State that should help a person, but rather the person has to help the State. - If someone starts to talk about the renovation, the conversation rarely goes by without qualifiers such as “stalling, failing to make progress”, How do you assess the work done so far? - I assess the whole course poorly. You may manipulate the numbers in statistics in many ways, but if there is enough fingers on one’s hand to count the buildings fully renovated during the recent years, you may not assess it in any other way. It is obvious that the rate is far from the one we could appreciate, because there is approximately twenty thousand tenement houses that need renovation in Lithuania, and there is only approximately 300 applications up to date. Even if we could
renovate a thousand buildings per year, this would still take twenty years to finish it. Statements that people don’t understand something and thus assess the process in a wrong way are incorrect. The system is not working, so it needs to be changed. Of course, we do not plan on wrecking what has already been built, if the people would want to renovate their houses according to the current scheme–we will not oppose it. We don’t want any confusion; everything which is happening now, will not be changed if the people wouldn’t want it to be changed. We will leave everything to work as it is, but we will also offer a new system. We might even have ten models, it doesn’t
matter, what matters is that the result should be reached. - And what is that result? - A very simple one–the amount of renovated buildings. Only five or six houses were renovated during the last couple of years. We will work and aim to renovate a couple of hundreds of tenement houses in the next couple of years and the future goal is to renovate a thousand or more builds per year. - How do you assess the state support of renovation? One Government increases it, the other decreases, but it is obvious that people would like to renovate their houses
with the financial help of the state. Do you think that it is necessary not only to distribute gifts, but also to require residents to take care of their own assets? - I believe that the main cause for the halt of the renovation process is the attitude of the people. The scheme, which is active now, when a person decides to renovate his house and the state helps him to do so, I believe it to be not very accurate. I believe that is the cause we see the results as they are now. It is true, that the renovation is a State issue, the State should carry out the tenement houses modernization program, and the residents are obliged to help the state to do so. According to the new scheme we
are about to propose, the residents will have to agree, that their house will be renovated and accept the fact, that they will have to pay for a certain amount of heating, needed to heat the premises of their flats. If the flat owner uses, letâ€™s say, 100 kilowatt-hours and agrees to renovate the house, he will have to pay for only 90 kilowatt-hours for 10 or 15 years. A part of this payment will go to cover the costs of heating and a part to the state-run company coordinating and managing the renovation process. This is the scheme that we will propose. It is very important to note, that a possibility to plan processes and organize quarterly renovation will appear because of this. While the renovation project is being
prepared, the administrator must plan not only the facade and roof insulation works, but also, the renovation of the engineering networks, utility networks, measures to care for the environment around the renovated house. Small car parking lots, narrows access to them â€“ such are the things to repaired and corrected. Of course, it is hardly possible to connect such works with the renovation program. Maybe we need to provide separate stages or phases of such works, sometimes the residents may join and help themselves, and they may also seek funding sources. - But will the residents be able to cope with such a task? In addition,
Valentinas MAZURONIS Minister of the Environment
Renovation is a State issue, the State should carry out the tenement houses modernization program, and the residents are obliged to help the state to do so.
parking lots and public spaces are not their property. - I agree with that, but this question still needs to be addressed. This is a future prospect and I don’t think that this problem has no solution. If the planning of the works, their implementation and technical supervision will be in the hands of professionals, rather than the chairmen of different communities, things will be dealt with in a different way. Right now, all of the works are usually piled on top of the communities’ chairmen shoulders. Maybe only a small part of them have ever faced construction works or organized such works by themselves. It is a huge challenge for the others, thus the quality may suffer. Of course, we will need to provide certain safeguards if we are to entrust the works to professionals, they should counter possible corruption issues. - Are you not afraid to be accused of excessive commitments on behalf of the State? After all, the tenement houses are the property of the residents and not the State. - There were huge errors made in the flat privatization process. People were issued with their flat passports where their property was named: their rooms, bathrooms, kitchens. But who is the owner of the public spaces, and who must take care of them? The
house should be accounted as a whole; you cannot rip the individual apartments away from it. That’s why it is necessary to gradually correct the previous mistakes; we just can’t behave differently right now. The state should motivate people to contribute to the renovation of the houses as it organizes the respective processes. - And what could that motivation be? - That’s an easy question. If the people get compensated for the costs of heating and don’t want to participate in the renovation program, they should not be given that compensation. Much higher heating cost rates might be applied to such residents, so people would have no doubt in deciding if they want to refuse the things all of their neighbors agree with. And if they will be ultimately unable to pay the utility bills and accumulate enough debt–they will be evicted from the apartment. - Most of the attention right now is drawn to the tenement houses renovation. Did you forget the individual houses, with problems that are sometimes equal to the tenement houses suffer from? - A possibility to renovate personal houses should be created. But the organizers of this process should be
the residents themselves, and not the State. Furthermore, the support, that individual house owners acquire, should be differentiated. It would be socially wrong to provide the same amount of state aid, because it takes a lot more money to provide heating for 1 square meter of an individual house. I agree with the fact that support should be provided, but there is a need to evaluate various nuances. - What other flaws do you see in the renovation program? - We should analyze the whole situation, not only the old buildings. Because, for example, if there will be a couple of hundred of houses renovated in one city, they will need half the heat they previously consumed. That means that the city boiler room will not be adequate to the city’s needs. If the boiler will be operated at half of it’s capacity, the heat suppliers will need to increase the heating prices. It is therefore necessary to review the situation of the whole heating economy and thus, this is a State interest. The State interest is also in the fact, that after a lot of houses will be renovated, and when the heating infrastructure will be renewed, the State will need half of the gas it is currently consuming. And this is a real energy independence of our country.
Renovation is only the first fight Our state shall face challenges far greater than delayed house renovation
Houses where only immigrants or socially supported people would agree to live–this is the perspective that some of the experts predict for the Soviet era tenement houses that are planned to be renovated, in 20 to 30 years. They base their evaluations on old tenement house block structures and the experience of countries that have long been frustrated by the possibility to renovate them. Foreign examples show us, that degrading environment is much more of a problem than heat leaking houses, and this problem can be solved only by a complex regeneration of neighborhoods. The scale of the problem is not perceived The Chief architect of the municipal company “Vilniaus planas” (Vilnius plan) is confident, that the sole insulation and decoration of the houses will not revive the old neighborhoods. According to the urban science expert, people flee to suburbs from the central part of Vilnius not only because they have the illusion, that the cost of life in suburbs is much lower if they don’t have central heating, and not only because of the wish to obtain personal housing, or the wish to live in a green environment, he states that these are not the only reasons. “If we are brave enough to do it, we must start talking about the fact, that people have fled and will continue to flee from the old Soviet built neighborhoods firstly, because the urban
structure does not promote a normal, right and safe lifestyle model.”, - said M. Pakalnis. “– When the renovation program was prepared, the Environment ministry was presented with an extensive, analysis, prepared by German specialists, that contained evidence, that a simple decoration of houses by polystyrene panels will bring no good to such neighborhoods. It’s a shame that we have chosen a renovation model, already rejected by other countries and proceed to fail at it’s implementation for the fourth consecutive year.” “Whenever we hear municipalities complaining because of the wasted heat energy, it becomes clear, that they don’t really perceive the scale of the problem”, - said urban science experts Justina Muliuolyte and Tadas Jonauskis, who have established the “PUPA” (which is an acronym to: “Public Urbanism Per-
sonal Architecture” and has an alternative meaning of a “bean” if read in Lithuanian) company. “There are absolutely no talks going on of the degrading environment and that it causes larger problems than the deterioration of the buildings. Those degrading environments are being left by new, young, wealthy families, families that think and plan. Nobody understands the fact that people won’t come back if you just change the windows.” Such a view on things may be shared by the “Vilniaus planas” expert M. Pakalnis himself and be his own choice. In his report on the VI Lithuanian urban development forum (his theme was: “Green and brown urban environment, conflict or contact, conformist decisions in urban development”), the expert said he didn’t feel good bringing up children in open yards, where the space could not be controlled, where a lot of today’s societies’ existing risks may lurk, where the lifestyle and physical building conditions are no longer adequate for a modern person. He stated that he, as many others who have searched for an alternative, lives in the suburbs. Although it is normally considered that life in the pro-active central part of the city is more suitable to young people, and the elderly feel more comfortably in the suburbs, this model has turned upside down in Lithuanian cities. Such a balance is caused by people living in the crumbling tenement
houses for 30, 40 or even more years. Their children, who have been brought up in those flats, and have escaped those conditions, went to the suburbs in search of a better quality of life only to realize, that their hope of ever having proper social or engineering infrastructure needs to be buried after all. “It turns out, that young people grow their children in territories hardly adapted for that cause. And then we are surprised by the fact, that Lithuanian people don’t want to raise children”, - said M. Pakalnis.
Compaction is no compression A larger part of those young people could have been living near their parents in the center of the city–it is being accounted, that the current infrastructure of Vilnius could allow approximately 1 million of residents to comfortably live there. But to accomplish this task, some brave decisions should have been made at certain points of time–namely, the decision to compact the town. Nobody was ready for this development program at the time, neither the politics, nor the residents, and so the capital of Lithuania has stretched far and wide with its suburbs. Although both Lithuanian and foreign city development experts highlight the fact, that in urban de-
velopment, compaction is not understood as compression, or living “cheek by cheek” as it may be understood by some residents, it surely doesn’t mean that there would be more people living on one square meter of the city. According to J. Muliuolyte’s report “Integrated urban development strategies, Holland’s experience” on the VI Lithuanian urban development forum, there are two types of compaction: place more people or houses in a certain area. Fear is usually caused by the increasing amount of people per square meter of area, the increase of the number of cars, etc. But a lot of countries in the world choose the second scenario–they increase the intensity of house building. That means there will be the same amount of people living in the same area, but the emergence of housing choices will improve the residents’ quality of life. Degrading neighborhoods are usually renewed by integrating buildings of most various types, by transforming the public space. The main idea is to provide full enjoyment for a person, that, for example, lacks a simple possibility to have a place for his barbecue, and provide him with that option, be it in the shade of a tenement house or on it’s roof. If a family wants to have personal space for their children to enjoy, they may be offered a new townhouse
just in front of their old tenement house. The most important thing is that social diversity is taken care of this way. It’s a necessity, which the current urban development science is highlighting. According to T. Jonauskas, the fact that Lithuanian society prefers not to integrate, but to form closed, sealed off and fence protected societies – should not come as a surprise, he says it is a normal phenomenon in a post-soviet country. But the urban development expert highlights that the safety in this case is only conditional. Apprentices of Holland’s urban development school, J. Muliuolyte and T. Jonauskis speculate, that this is only a stage in the development of public society, that shows, that communities brewing in such incubators causes only social trouble.
Lack of community sense The demographic situation makes the strengthening of the core of the city inevitable – the aging and declining population is simply incapable of supporting the sprawling infrastructure of the city, but the people in Lithuania don’t want to change and live in compact communities. New possible neighbors, or the experience of a tree, that the person has planted himself
participate in the creation of the plan and state their needs, not just vote for or against it. In Holland people are participating from the moment, there isn’t even an architectural idea. That way the society is being enlightened and the process moves on quicker. Even though some conflicts still arise, they are being resolved faster.” – said T. Jonauskis. “-And the conflicts aren’t that bad themselves, because people compromise. Comprises are being treated as a positive thing, I won and you won, that means we won together. But in Lithuania the meaning is different, a compromise is a situation of, I passed on something and you passed on something.”
Justina Muliuolyte and Tadas Jonauskis Urban science experts
Each of the capital’s neighborhoods has the potential to become a small organism that will be able to satisfy all of its daily needs, where there would be working places and leisure areas and a lot more, because everyone has good roads, public transportation, spaces, where you can install new functionality.
years ago, being cut down by them, that scares people more than the happiness, that promises to build a children’s playground or an additional parking lot in the freed space, might give them. According to M. Pakalnis, politicians are also scared of taking responsibility for unpopular decisions or changes in our life: “When we debate they say the following: no more yards in the tenement house blocks. Why not? Why such urban compaction examples, when people get more private space are bad? Is it that bad that a different social layer of people comes to the neighborhood and renews it? It just happens so, that we cannot create personal entries to each and every apartment in the center of the city and let them feel the comfort and privacy that a personal house can grant; we can’t use the experience of many countries and build on water. We “care” for the quality of our lives in a different way. For example, we have recently adopted a hygiene regulation that indicates maximum acceptable noise pollution in the city, now we can’t even
use washing machines without breaking the law.” Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association (LNTPA) President Robert Dargis has noted that small urban structures of a couple of a couple of tens of houses play a very crucial role – they develop community-based society: “When neighbors know each other personally, they don’t need to think about baby carriage safety. But this puts a toll on them, you have to be better than you usually are, a resident of a small house is more visible to the others, his behavior can be tracked by his neighbors. In such a way, an unseen social education is going on. Then, each of the residents see if their neighbor is neat and orderly, they see if his car is properly parked, they see did or did not he clean the snow. This is a big advantage.” Urban development experts J. Muliuolyte and T. Jonauskis are sure that it is possible to get public support for restructuring blocks or even neighborhoods. “It is common in Holland for the residents to participate in the project from the start. People have to
When you should not revive it A few years ago, the LNTPA president R. Dargis has shocked even a part of the architect society, by making a statement, that the State should go for more radical approach during the preparation of the cities’ neighborhood plans and demolish a part of old tenement houses. The way it’s done abroad. M. Pakalnis today is one of the few specialists in Lithiania that like the LNTPA President convinces everybody, that a part of the buildings, especially the tenement apartment renovation by insulating them is simply unreasonable. “Who would like to live in a home, where you should climb over the back of the bath tub to enter it and not from it’s side? We have only poor quality sanitary facilities and a small kitchen rooms in those buildings, which are separated from the living room. A woman is at the kitchen cooking cutlets and the man is in the living room, lying on the sofa, watching TV – this is the Soviet family concept. But they don’t even meet each other, and that is the reason of poor birth rate in the country!”, - said the urban specialist as he was joking. After that he seriously argued, that the renovation of such houses equals just throwing the State money away. “But nobody wants to speak out loud about this in Lithuania, there is no one to discuss this with”, he said with a regret. R. Dargis recognizes the fact, that it is especially hard to create a model that would help to get rid of the tenement houses without any breach of the apart-
ment owners’ rights, in Lithuania at this point of time. The cause of this is that the most of the buildings belong to private individuals. In order to demolish such a tenement house, the state must address the delicate question of ownership; it must agree with a 100 percent of all flat owners, buy all of the flats or give some other housing in return. “There are different models used in the world, but the necessary condition of all of them is a very strong self-government situation. If the amount of municipal housing reaches at least 20 percent, it gives a possibility for a maneuver, there is a possibility to temporarily move the people to that municipal housing, buy the apartments for the remaining price and then demolish the building, etc.”,- said R. Dargis as he explained the situation. “- And we lack that self-government as western countries understand it, that solves 80 percent of a person’s problems. In Western countries the municipality has it’s own rights, duties, and most importantly–property: land and real estate which it may use to generate a better way of life for people. It is incomprehensible, why didn’t we develop self-government for the last 22 years, why don’t we allow true leadership to show itself.” R. Dargis argued, that Lithuania might use a similar model: “Some tenement houses contain approximately 20 percent of empty flats, because a part of the residents have died, some of them emigrated, the third ones ran away from the utility taxes to suburbs. Municipality could start a buying process and take the social role, which it could really accomplish and successfully finish. The role would be to transfer residents from some of the houses, take proper care of their old building, change its status to municipal housing and in such a way grow a base needed for larger changes. But in order to do so, two things are required: strong self-government and a strong desire to act”.
Demolishing is an emergency measure According to T. Jonauskas, in Holland and many other different European countries, the decision to demolish a building is being made only in dire situations: “Me and Justina share the same view–you must first “reuse” the
building as many times as possible, by changing their functionality. Only the most degraded neighborhoods in Holland get demolished. There were cases, when the decision was made, that the architecture, the inappropriate planning and other deficiencies of the block created social problems, such blocks became acceptable only to specific social groups, and that was the reason the decision to demolish them was made. Such a decision may be made by Lithuania sometime, if strategic regeneration of the neighborhoods won’t be in action.” According to the President of the LNTPA, the most natural way of doing so, is to grant permission to build new houses in the tenement house blocks. That will make the old real-estate property cheaper and the state could buy it one by one, demolish it and build new houses. “This is a cheaper way to rebuild the city comparing to expanding it to the suburbs. At this point of time, when the world no longer can predict the future of energy supply we should cease expanding the city to it’s borders, we must live in a compact environment, take care of the maintenance costs, make them lower. There are lots of territories in the city, where new houses may easily be built”,-said R. Dargis. The businessman evades the term “compaction”: “The general public accepts that term badly. Let’s call it effective city infrastructure use. This is the meaning of the above mentioned word.”
The Image is important The State and municipalities should learn from the private sector as they return people from suburban emigration to the city that is what J. Muliuolite and T. Jonauskis are offering. “I’ve read a presentation of new apartments written by one of the construction companies, where it was never ever mentioned. They’ve written only about two things–the place and what you could see from your windows. But the old blocks, especially the older blocks of Vilnius, also do have qualities that one can cherish: a nice location, comfortable transportation. The only things you need to do is just renovate the block’s infrastructure and create a clever advertising company. In this advertisement, I think the advertisers, should firstly explain – what benefits
would a person gain if he lives there. Creating a right image is a part of the city regeneration process. Each block or neighborhood could acquire a nice public image if you create one properly.”, - said J. Muliuolyte. T. Jonauskis and J. Muliuolyte are convinced, that the most appropriate advertisement for a complex bloc renovation would be the residents, who would see, that the State cares not only for the shortterm (a year or two) aim to insulate the houses, but also, cares about the long-term strategy and has a territory development vision. A great complex neighborhood regeneration could be made of the Uzupis region or the “Northern city”. “At the moment such things are not carried out in Lithuania, but people need to be provided with exact information on what steps we should take now, and what should we do in five or ten years. It is very important to name the possibilities and changes that will appear after each stage has been completed. In such a way, people would see that even small interventions can radically change the situation the neighborhood is in. We need to create a strategy and win many battles, if we want to come out victorious in this war”,- said T. Jonauskis. The opinions of both of the experts that came back from Holland agree upon this: house insulation may be the first step in neighborhood regeneration, but it should be followed by the second and third ones–new jobs should be created, public spaces should be reorganized and so on. “Unfortunately, Lithuania still carries out its single function policies– each neighborhood and/or block has it’s own purpose, just as this was during the Soviet era: the center part, the administrative center, residential areas, the gardens, etc. But each of the capital’s neighborhoods has the potential to become a small organism that will be able to satisfy all of its daily needs, where there would be working places and leisure areas and a lot more, because everyone has good roads, public transportation, spaces, where you can install new functionality. If you judiciously, assess all tasks, the city begins working as a fine engine. Excessive ambition fill Vilnius’s urban plans only ruin this vision”, - lamented T. Jonauskas.
Modern standards Experts seek possibilities to save energy-inefficient historical buildings Jurgis ZAGORSKAS Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
Increasing the energy-efficiency of historical real-estate cultural heritage buildings is relevant not only to Lithuania. All over the world people look for possibilities to provide as much comfort for inhabitants of such buildings, as possible. Sometimes–by maximizing energy saving efforts, and most importantly–people try to solve the problems without sacrificing the most valuable feature of the building–it’s authenticity. But the possibilities aren’t limitless, so sometimes, radical decisions are being made The needs are growing Lithuanian cities, just as most of the cities of the Baltic Sea region, are distinguished by the typical historical brick buildings, which were built prior to the great oil crisis of the 1960ies, when the very concern of energy consumption for building heating appeared. Historical objects were built at the times of different heat sources and prices for fuel, and the people who lived there had a different view on comfort. The paintings of older times show us people walking inside the house with cold-season outside clothes and stoves or fireplaces being operated in the rooms, people working their jobs in the center of the room, as far away from the cold outside walls as possible. But now, we are used to temperatures of at least +15°C at any given time, and the premises being heated not only during winter time, but increasingly often, even during summer. Some people state, that at the time there are approximately 2 billion of such comfortable homes and the prediction is, that there will be 3 billion
more people who could uphold and buy such living premises that meet the current standards by 2050.
A tricky choice All of these changes can become a serious pretext to demolish the energy-ineffective buildings, because at some times it is far more expensive to renew the building (for it to be consuming less energy), than to demolish it and build it again from modern construction materials. Unfortunately, modern buildings no longer have a historical character of the area they are built in. Most often, those buildings are being built in global architectural style with the use of modern technologies. The uniqueness of different cities is decreasing, and it’s a recognized fact. In order to prevent the destruction of historic brick buildings, a project is being developed in the European Union (EU), it’s aim is to help to adapt the modern technologies to historical buildings, without compromising their authenticity or value. Create a legal and regulatory
base or recommendations for renewing the historical buildings and increasing their energy-effectiveness. This project is conditionally called “CO2olBricks”, with the name coming from energy costs reduction (energy consumption can be measured by CO2 emissions to the environment) and historical brick houses.
The relevance of the problem The effective building space per capita is steadily increasing in Lithuania, just like any other Baltic sea region country. The energy is getting more expensive, and that raises great concern amongst the population trying to cope with the building maintenance costs. Buildings that were built in older times and by lower standards of construction are renovated more often. The Statistics department of the Lithuanian government does not provide data on what part of the construction works is renovation, compared to the construction of new buildings, but a rapid increase in this ratio is detected in Europe. In Germany, renovation accounted for 30 percent of all construction works volume in 2008, in 2011 this figure was already 60 percent. In recent years, the standards were also changed quire intensively, according to the growing prices for energy and the increased comfort level people would like to acquire. During the last couple of decades the requirements of energy efficiency for all newly built buildings have been raised for two and more times while the old buildings remained on the same energy efficiency level. In recent decades many new ways to save energy in buildings became popular. It is the use of the solar energy, very good wall insulation, high-class
Jurgis ZAGORSKAS Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
People always have to look for a compromise between the profitability, saving the buildings authenticity and the comfort level while renewing an old building.
window installment, regenerative systems and personal heat pumps installation. Passive homes or even homes that create more energy than they consume became increasingly popular. Energy efficiency certificates have been issued and were used to evaluate buildings. The difference between the modern and historical buildings, in terms of energy saving became as large as it has ever been. This means that the historical buildings have become unprofitable; they have to be renovated or in some extreme cases, as it is being more commonly done in Europe – demolished. Judging the possibilities of the building to serve future generations may include many criteria: the general price of the building; cultural value; what level of energy efficiency and comfort can be achieved in a specific building; whether it will pay off economically. People always have to look for a compromise between the profitability, saving the buildings authenticity and the comfort level while renewing an old building. Usually whenever a building is becoming energy-efficient it is hard to save all of its beauty. It’s a particularly acute problem with the brick facades, typical for houses all over the Baltic Sea region and the outside insulation. Although there are many ways to do so by using costly brick imitations, such walls are never quite the same as the real brick walls.
Modern insulation materials would allow to insulate buildings without losing a lot of space, 5 centimeter thick layer of vacuum plate or aerogel is enough to insulate the wall as good as 20 centimeters of rock wool or polystyrene would do. But then the problems of moisture and dew appear. The historical buildings’ walls should be ventilated, they should be a little warm, so that the moisture coming from the outside and condensing from air, could evaporate and not stay in the walls. A lot of modern materials have very good insulation properties but are absolutely impenetrable to water vapor – moisture, which should come to or leave the buildings walls depending on the year’s season. If we insulate the wall of the building too much from the inside, the walls begin to “sweat” and the moist brick begins crumbling after a few cycles. “Co2olBricks” project expert group has examined the currently used means to renovate the historical buildings and are still studying the effects of some of the commercial products. Experts have reached a conclusion, that not all means are good for historical buildings. Although individual measures should be applied to different buildings, experts have come up with the list of the most effective and cost-effective means at the current time (see the table).
Lithuanian experience shows that you need no expert conclusions, for the people to begin applying the least costly and most effect-generating measures. This is clear after we investigate the window conversion boom or one of the effective least costly measures used by people with smaller income – properly sealing off door and windows cracks.
Summary 1. Energy efficiency, which can be achieved in historical buildings without sacrificing it’s authentic elements is far beyond standards used to evaluate modern buildings. 2. The energy-efficiency certification according to the STR (construction regulation) 2.01.09:2005 is not mandatory at this point of time for buildings that are included in the cultural heritage list, if the changes would affect their special features or the look of the building. This eradicates legal problems with cultural heritage buildings renovation projects, but ignores the energy-efficiency and comfort of the residents.
3. There are quite a lot of authentic buildings, which are not included in the cultural heritage, but have valuable features that should be preserved. Such historical buildings’ energy efficiency certification could provide more information to their residents, would help them to evaluate energy losses and promote everyone to search for all kinds of power saving possibilities. 4. According to the Western European country experience, the building energy performance certification system can be applied to historical buildings, but the requirements would have to meet the cultural heritage protection regulations, so that the unique identity of our city would not be destroyed. Most likely, that the truly authentic buildings that have retained may protected features, the energy efficiency level could be raised by one or two categories. This article has been created according to the “Co2olBricks” international projects ‘ seminars, the author is the projects’ expert.
Billions for railway projects Darius BABICKAS
The main Lithuanian railway transport network aim is to create a modern, balanced, safe, interconnected, competitive, environmentally friendly railway road system which will effectively meet the needs of both business and the country’s residents. That is the opinion of the Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevicius. He told “Statyba ir architektura” (Constructions and architecture), that the technical state of the main railway lines determines the possibility of the railway carriers to transport goods and passengers, especially on international routes.
Stasys Dailydka The General director of the “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” (Lithuanian railroads) company
A lot of investments are needed According to the Minister R. Sinkevicius, if you assess the railroad infrastructure, you will come to a conclusion that there are a lot of things to be improved, renewed and perfected. “The project main railway line passage speed is 120 km/h. But in the most parts of the network the speed is being limited by 100 km/h and somewhere to 80 km/h or even less. The reason behind this is the weary technical condition of the railway roads that should be modernized. A large part of the signal equipment is old and does not comply with the European Union (EU) standards. A lot of bridges were built 50 or even more years ago and do not comply with the modern load requirements. As the volume of transported goods and passengers and the weight of the passing trains’ increases, these bridges should be reconstructed. There is no infrastructure diagnostic system in the railways, which would be able to detect defects in a timely fashion and thus, help evade accidents from occurring. It is also needed to renew the extreme and critical railway situation management system, buy proper mechanisms and equipment”, said the Minister. He also mentioned, that at this point of time the most intensively used railroad directions are the IX B, D corridors, thus they need the most of the attention regarding their renewal and modernization. The traffic flow is not that intense in the I corridor because of the different railroad tracks in Po-
The essential question in the debate regarding the renovation of the railroad infrastructure is the question of proper financing of the cause. By addressing to the EU provided financial help, during the period of 20042006, projects worth more than 1,2 billion Lithuanian Litas have been implemented in the field of the railroad infrastructure modernization. The EU structural funds help accounted for almost 700 million Litas. “These investments were the reason we have made a firm step forward – we have modernized
land and Lithuania and because of the poor condition of the infrastructure. The Lithuanian railroad transport sector, as in many other Central and Eastern European countries, is far behind technically, economically and technologically compared to the modern and interconnected EU state member railroad transport systems. The General director of the “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” (Lithuanian railroads) company – Stasys Dailydka did not want to agree, that the railroad infrastructure is in bad shape at this time. According to him, the essential question in the debate regarding the renovation of the railroad infrastructure is the question of proper financing of the cause. By addressing to the EU provided financial help, during the period of 2004-2006, projects worth more than 1,2 billion Lithuanian Litas have been implemented in the field of the railroad infrastructure modernization. The EU structural funds help accounted for almost 700 million Litas. “These investments were the reason we have made a firm step forward – we have modernized the data transfer, communication and automation infrastructure. We have also renovated more than 60 of the most crucial railroad constructions, including Kaunas railroad tunnel amongst them. During the period of 2007-2013, approximately 1,9 billion Litas of investments are planned to modernize the infrastructure of the Lithuanian railways. Of these, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has already issued 1,2 billion Litas of EU structural funds
the data transfer, communication and automation infrastructure. We have also renovated more than 60 of the most crucial railroad constructions, including Kaunas railroad tunnel amongst them. During the period of 20072013, approximately 1,9 billion Litas of investments are planned to modernize the infrastructure of the Lithuanian railways. Of these, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has already issued 1,2 billion Litas of EU structural funds support for 26 infrastructure modernizationprojects.
support for 26 infrastructure modernization projects” , - said S. Dailydka. The head of “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” states that the implemented railway infrastructure constructions development and traffic management technology projects will help to increase the traffic flow capacity of stations and railroad stretches between them and reduce travel time. The electrification works in the railroad line Naujoji Vilnia-Kena-State border-Gudagai have already been started, this will help to increase the traffic flow between the states of Lithuania and Belorussia. During the 2014-2020 financing period, “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” plan to invest more than 7 billion litas. This amount is needed in order to fully electrify the double-tracks of the IX corridor railroad. If such a result would be achieved, goods would be transported from Belorussia to the sea-port of Klaipeda by using electricity driven trains and passengers would travel from Vilnius to Minsk, Vilnius to Kaunas and Vilnius to Klaipeda and the other way back, by high-speed electricity driven trains that could go as fast as 160 km/h. “Our company has no possibility to invest such an amount by itself, so the EU structural funds support in modernizing the railroad infrastructure and it’s development is really important”, - S. Dailydka noted.
Largest projects in known history The Transport and Communications Minister R. Sinkevicius stated, that if
Rimantas Sinkevicius Minister of Transport and Communications
Railway transport infrastructure projects are complicated and require significant time and financial costs. The mere preparation of the technical documentation for the implementation of the projects lasts for a period of 3 to 5 years. Different institutions and municipalities come up with significant and sometimes unreasonable demands.
we compare Lithuanian railroad transport system with the transport systems of other EU countries, our would appear to be less electrified than the others. The operating electrified railway line length in Lithuania is 122 kilometers, out of them 4,98 km of single tracks (one-way) and 117,02 km of double tracks (a total of approximately 7 percent of total railroads length in Lithuania). “Passenger rail transport no longer meets today‘s requirements for speed and convenience. Passenger rail transport is not as popular as in other EU countries because of the small amount of railroad lines and relatively small distances of travel. The other reason is that the railroad connection with other EU countries through the territory of Poland is rather underdeveloped. Our railway network also has very limited local transportation possibilities, so at this point of time there is a certain lack of integrity and interaction between passenger rail and public road transportation. Unlike the old EU member states, in Lithuania railroad transport revenue does not even reach 5 percent.”,- said R. Sinkevicius as he named the areas that need improvement. Taking the above mentioned in account, while we were implementing the 2007-2013 EU structural assistance use strategy, the main measures, related to the railroad infrastructure, were aimed at the trans-European railway transport corridor infrastructure modernization – the renovation of railway stations and state significance
railroad lines, by increasing their traffic capacity and improving their general state. During the period of 2007-2013 the largest amounts of money were spent on railway modernization and development in the history of Lithuania as an independent state. Each and every country takes special care for the development of this type of transportation, which is the reason we are keeping up with them. The newest and most advance technologies are being installed and modern traffic control center is being currently built.
Priority – “Rail Baltica” The head of the “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” S. Dailydka stated, that the current priority railroad infrastructure modernization project is “Rail Baltica”. There are plans to reconstruct the current railroad infrastructure from the border with Poland, to the border with Poland through the cities of Mariamplole, Kauas and Siauliai . During the reconstruction of the railroad infrastructure from Poland to Kaunas – the 1435 mm wide railroad line will be either built or reconstructed and the 1520 mm wide railroad line will be built or reconstructed on the stretch from Kaunas to Latvia, so that the passenger trains could travel at the speed of 120 km per hour, and even 160 km/h on the stretch from Gaiziunai to Siauliai. This project is considered to be of a special importance in Lithuania. “We have already completed the
larger part of the technical projects and are currently carrying out public procurement for construction works. After we implement this project we will meet all of the conditions to act as a transit country in delivering goods and passengers not only from East to West, but also, from North to South and the other way around. Passengers will be able to comfortably travel to Latvia or Poland”, - said S. Dailydka The Minister of Transport and Communications has also named the “Rail Baltica” project a very important railway infrastructure project. He also mentioned some other projects: The Klaipeda city railroad hub development, second railroad and intermodal terminal construction, which is required for the creation of public logistics centers in Vilnius and Kaunas. “Railway transport infrastructure projects are complicated and require significant time and financial costs. The mere preparation of the technical documentation for the implementation of the projects lasts for a period of 3 to 5 years. Different institutions and municipalities come up with significant and sometimes unreasonable demands. These and other factors cause the delay in the implementation of the projects, they also increase the amount of investments needed. Sometimes public procurement participants declare much higher prices than the ones that were planned. For all of these reasons EU support finances were assimilated more slowly”, - said R. Sinkevicius. The minister highlighted the fact,
that the 2014-2020 EU structural funds finances must be used for the causes of Lithuanian railway net safety, environmental safety and railroad infrastructure development in order to meet the aims and priorities, men-
tioned in the 2001 White Book issued by the European Commission. In order to achieve such goals we must reduce the CO2 emission, promote the use of renewable energy sources in railway transportation, install means of traffic
and environmental safety, modernize the current and develop the new two track railway system infrastructure and rolling stock, develop interaction between different types of transportation and the railway transport.
Bridge Flellet, Norway (2010).
Horse riding arena in Prienai (2008).
The company “Jūrės medis” was established in year 1974 when the factory of glue laminated timber (glulam) was built. From the beginning the main activity was manufacturing of high technical level glue laminated timber products for public, industrial, agricultural and residential purpose buildings. “Jūrės medis” has experience almost 39 years of manufacturing that. Our company believes that innovation is a key for success. In 2008 the company completed modernization and reconstruction of the factory. More than 11 mln. EUR investment was made; a new modern production line was installed. As result of this project production capacity has increased almost twice and “Jūrės medis” has become one of the biggest and most modern glulam manufacturer in the Eastern Europe. As well new products were implemented. “Jūrės medis” has good experience in the foreign trade. The company exports about 80% of total sales to 12 countries. The main export markets are Germany, Italy, Poland, Norway, Russia, as well the company exports to Sweden, Japan and South Korea. Sales managers speak english, german, russian, polish languages. ”Jūrės medis” is ﬂexible and very customer oriented company. It has long experience to deal with special products for various projects or manufacturing customized products.
Sports Hall, Checiny, Poland (2012).
In addition “Jūrės medis” can provide the following services: Pre –design and consultations, Preparation of technical and detailed design, Suply of connection parts, Treatment and painting of wood, Delivery, Erecting of structures. “Jūrės medis” manufacturers glue laminated load – bearing timber structures, posts, straight and curved beams, varying cross-section beams, arches, frames, trusses. As well “Jūrės medis” manufactures glue laminated logs and log’s houses. Products can be made of spruce (white wood), pine (red wood) and larch. “Jūrės medis” has German issued by MPA Stuttgart Otto – GrafInstitut certiﬁcate and can offer glue laminated timber of the following strength classes : GL24 (BS11), GL28(BS14), GL32(BS16). “Jūrės medis” is certiﬁed for FSC as well for ISO9001 and ISO14001. UAB „Jūrės medis“ Medelyno str. 4, Jures vil. LT-69446 Kazlų Ruda
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Chaotic image of the suburbs Bite RIMKUTE
I am tired of working as a taxi driver for my kids. I am tired of burning the stove. I am tired of cutting the grass. I am sick of calling the eldership, asking them to clean the road. I don’t have the time to enjoy the life in the wild… The mass-media stories of people, who found the new quality of life in the country, are changed by confessions of the people who came back to the concrete jungle.
Failed expectations These confessions reveal that you should evaluate not several but tens and dozens of factors when you make a decision on where to live. They also reveal the truth about the frightening number of people that have been misled by the statements of real estate developers or public servants, regarding the engineering and social infrastructure development plans. It is mostly disappointing for people who went to the countryside seeking not the beauty of nature, but because they believed–that this is the only possi-
life cost several tens of kilometers away from the center of the city. “People imagine a life, where all of their concerns would be to connect to an electricity grid line, build a well, and construct a local sewage system. But they are then forced to spend a lot of money on car fuel , one of the family members can’t go to work because he or she has to take the kids to the school and back from it, and so the social problems start rising”, - said the “Vilniaus planas” architect.
Infrastructure does not pay off
bility for them to have their own home, since real estate is cheaper there. People began looking towards the suburbs because they could not afford to buy housing in the central parts of the cities, they planned to build their houses with their own hands on cheap land plots, as they have started looking in the same direction after the beginning of the crisis, hoping for a cheaper cost of living. Maybe this is the reason the most newcomers reside in garden areas with bumpy roads. The municipal company’s “Vilniaus planas” (Vilnius plan) Chief architect Mindaugas Pakalnis is convinced that people then and now do not understand how much does
Later, the new suburban residents begin asking the following questions: “When will public transportation system reach their residence, when will a school be built nearby, when will better roads be built? These questions are of course addressed towards the municipal or state officials. “But there will be no public transportation there, because it doesn’t pay off at all. And there will be no school in the area, unless there are 800 children, who would go there. And if we would build a school in that village, we would have to tear down a school somewhere else, because it wouldn’t be needed anymore. The other problem is that we still want the child to reach the school without crossing even one street. It may be possible in the city, but not if you reside outside of it”, - explained M. Pakalnis. It is estimated, that infrastructure actually pays off if there is more than 30 people per hectare (other parameters are also taken in account in calculations). The average density of people living on one hectare is 39 (if counting the areas with structures already built on them, where the distance between houses does not exceed 200 meters, for example, the Nemencine forests are not taken in account). The estimated population density falls below the required as far as mere 6 kilometers away from the center. Gulbiniai, Verkiai, the southern part of Vilnius –in all these places the population’s density is only 2-4 people per hectare. “The problem is, that people are not informed of the fact, that engineering and social infrastructure network will not be expanded to the place they reside”, - says former Klaipeda district territorial planning and state construction inspection senior specialist, Silute region chief architect Edmindas Benetis, as he shares his convictions with us.–It should be made clear–you may build your house in the countryside or
suburbs, but the State will not connect it to the engineering network and will not solve your social problems. But you need to have a strong backbone, political will and backup to do so publicly. This is the reason for some of the specialists to criticize the Lithuanian waterworks strategy ambitions. Tens of kilometers of drinking water and sewage pipelines laid in the ground for just a couple of houses provide unjustified expectations, that the State will broad heartedly take care of other suburb and countryside residents problems.
Waiting for the search for solutions Although a part of the suburban residents are already looking towards flats in tenement houses, the movement the other side around has yet to stop. As it was before, the central part of the city is usually being left by the younger people, the infrastructure built to serve their needs moves with them: leisure places, secondary and high schools, kindergartens. By the way, people bring their children to the kindergartens and schools, but pay the revenue tax to other regions. So, the center of the city becomes occupied predominantly with people of elder age, who are usually not very pleased with all of the infrastructure created for the younger people, we can use neighboring noisy entertainment venues as an example. The problems with the upside-down urban development scenario are getting even more sensitive, say the urban development specialists. It should be noted, that in foreign countries, residence in the suburbs usually chosen by the elder people who have already brought up their children and have enough revenue to uphold several cars, people who want to live in clean and calm surroundings. They often also have flats in the city. If younger people decide to live in the suburbs they are sure to have enough money to hire people to drive their kids to school and / or to receive other services. The answer to the problems of Lithuanian cities is still somewhere out there, waiting to be found. It is clear that the analysis of motifs of people travelling out of the cities should be the one of the keys to finding the solution. The task is clearly not a simple one: to find a way to create a suburban life plan that would correspond with the current needs of people and state possibilities, in the current stretched-out suburbs of our cities.
A look on the city is like a look into one’s self Should the identity of the city change along with the identity of its inhabitants? Inga LUKSYTE
Experts link the migration of people, if not abroad, then at the very least to Vilnius, with reasons apart financial problems. Sometimes people just look for a more interesting and colorful life, because they want to experience something more than meeting neighbors in the most lively (according to one urban development expert) place of some of the towns of Lithuania – the second hand clothes shop. Means to model the Image of the city Sometimes cities just “die-out” because there are no people to remind others, that to create and nurture the distinctive face of your city is just as important as patching a hole in the road. Pride in your city’s distinctiveness is one of the motives forcing young people to search for opportunities to stay close to their roots more persistently. By the way, experts say, that the smaller the town is, the easier it is to find it’s identity. The meaning of “identity” and “distinctiveness” is still quite conservative and has a formal meaning that the literature holds calmly. And the identity itself is usually tied only to the history, protecting some heritage and cherishing the habits of the residents, forgetting the realities of these days. That, of course, leads to differ-
ent conflicts: politics against businessmen, architects against heritage protection groups, environment protectors against town communities and so on. According to the head of the “Aketuri architectai” (A-four architects) studio, architect Lukas Rekevicius, the city’s identity can be determined by splitting this term to three main groups. Those are–identity signs created by nature, such as the terrain, water sources, plants and trees; social and cultural identity signs – the main type of local business, the race and nationality of the inhabitants of the city or area, education, public safety, form of governance; and in the end–man created identity signs, for example, urban signs, architecture, public spaces. The last of the three layers of identity is a dynamic one, the one that is relentlessly renewing, changing along with the people that create it.
The city can be a typical one, that has nothing to be distinguished by, but it may be situated in a very beautiful area. So the natural environment becomes its distinguishable trait. The terrain and nature don’t change much or often, although when it does change it matters a great deal. For example, after the Kaunas hydroelectricity plant was built, and the water stopped by the damn flooded the Nemunas river valley, a lot of people from the flooded area were evicted from their homes, their habits changed, and the current natural environment of the Kaunas Reservoir lake attracts flocks of holidaymakers. According to L. Rekevicius, social and cultural context is less visible, but changes the most. For example, the inhabitants of cities and towns that feel safe in their societies build lower fences, if the first thing you see in the area are high fences, that means, that people do not feel safe. Architect Tomas Grunskis has discussed the archi-
Lukas Rekevicius Architect
The identity of the people has changed, but the city’s identity is being kept from changing, some people try to preserve the museum, formalin-soaked mood of the long gone ages. I offer to react to the changing identity of the residents in an adequate way by using means of the XXI century.
tecture of dictatorship in his works; he believes that the city is the best thing that shows the type of the society it has been built by. For example, dicta-
torship style architecture is known for straight and clear axes, vertical, dominant monuments, long alleys. “A city is smooth when all signs of iden-
750th anniversary of the city in 1986. There were truly interesting architectural decisions in this “Sun city” image creation process: some have been implemented, others remained on paper. Some became symbols of the city and the others are long forgotten. Architecture in such cases becomes the sole instrument, which can help to visualize the chosen image on the face of the city. The sustainability of the city’s image forced from the top depends on the city’s inhabitants to accept it.
It seems that the image of the City of sun is still used to base the idea behind the city of Siauliai, but I haven’t heard anybody saying “I’m a man from the city of Sun”. As a historian looking on the images and identities of cities being currently constructed I think that their authors overestimate their engineering abilities and the power of their decision-making, trying to offer the society things that have no historical basis and is a questionable value for the residents of the city.
Dr. Dangiras Maciulis Historian, XX century history department researcher of the Lithuanian history museum, Klaipeda
I doubt, that a city can have an identity in the narrow sense of an urban formation; I think that we should talk first of the city’s residents’ identity or identities. I would probably pass the questions of “What is the modern Vilnius or Siauliai identity and what are their differences” to the sociologists, although I have doubts, that they would find it difficult to find a clear identity divide even after conducting research. I think we may speak of cities’ images in a more definite way, the past, present and currently developing images. For example, if we look back to the Soviet era we would find an incredibly focused intent to form Siauliai’s identity as the “City of the sun” which has lasted for over five years till the jubilee
Jekaterina Lavrinec Interdisciplinary city studies and creative initiative platform “Laimikis.lt” creator, the Assoc. Dr. of the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) chair of Creative business communication
The impression, that the city leaves, is being formed by a number of hardly classified emotional and physical everyday experiences. We remember cities where it is easy and comfortable to walk, rest and work, the cities where public spaces are interesting and accommodate unexpected, interactive elements, the cities whose residents are nice and friendly, with joy. These are the cities we would like to come back to someday.
tity fit together. Only if we understand what are the parts of identity of a particular city, and how they complete each other, can we purposefully plan an integral urban, architectural, economic, cultural, social, image model, that is needed to attract tourists and emphasize the city’s or the area’s identity, for its sustainable development.”, - assures L. Rekevicius.
What does the history offer? In 2012, the Lithuanian marketing association (LiMA) has conducted a study, which showed that Jonava is still being linked with chemical industry and Panevezis is linked with gangs of criminals. According to L. Rekevicius it is not enough just to just decide one day, that Lithuania will be “A home of the brave”, such an image would be, seem and look artificial. “The image of the city must be born through it’s identity and it’s strong features. You cannot create an image artificially, and even if you would succeed, it would be interesting only to a bus of tourists from China”, - the architect commented. However, the image of the city signals of the artificiality itself. A whole other thing, according to our guest is the city’s stories, it’s narratives. They are a part of the city’s cultural identity layer, which can be highlighted and developed even if there is no other distinctiveness in the city. Maybe the town is an old center of Jewish culture, maybe–a war camp of the Napoleon wars era, maybe it is known for homemade vodka or smugglers, or maybe, that 80 percent of people have left it, or it is just the most boring place
in the world. Everything is worth telling about, according to L. Rekevicius. There are no examples of great architecture in small towns, but there are rural farmhouses that perhaps, might be as valuable. There is the natural environment, and maybe some historical events have happened here earlier–all of it is sufficient to cherish and strengthen the small-town identity.
Society is the axis Parts of the identity that depend from the people are the ones that change most – architectural and urban environment and the sociocultural context. What happens when excessive regulations are applied to architectural and urban environment development? What happens, when the structure and architecture of the old towns or the old parts of the cities is preserved while forgetting that there are still people living there, people that are quite different from the ones that have built those places. For example, there is a movement to preserve the fishermen’s village in Neringa, although most of the Neringa’s inhabitants work in Klaipeda, communicate via email, have their own businesses. “People are not fishermen anymore, and they are attracted not by fishermen villages, but by the unique natural environment and services which they can get”, - L. Rekevicius suggests strongly. “So a quite strong city identity is poisoned, because somebody wants to make it artificial. The identity of the people has changed, but the city’s identity is being kept from changing, some people try to preserve the museum, formalin-soaked mood of the long gone
ages. I offer to react to the changing identity of the residents in an adequate way by using means of the XXI century.
A rare occasion in practice Interdisciplinary city studies and creative initiative platform “Laimikis.lt” creator, the Assoc. Dr. of the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) chair of Creative business communication Jekaterina Lavrinec agrees with the opinion of L. Rekevicius: the first thing that has to be done while creating the city’s image, is to identify the current potential of the city, you must first look closely to the naturally formed traditions. “The representation of the city must correspond with the lifestyle of the residents of the city, not be in conflict with it. The existing practices, for example, the trade happening at the town market, is a kind of a backbone, that you can develop other activities around and finally grow some creative activities on top of them. Only the short-sighted actions of the city authorities can eliminate this viability source of the town. After all, if we were to watch from the town strategist perspective, the town market looks more like a place of disorderly and chaotic economic relations. The city’s image should not be sterile and shiny: its attractiveness is determined by the local practices of the residents – the distinctiveness of the lifestyle and activities of the city’s inhabitants.” - J. Lavrinec commented. According to the VGTU lecturer, is frequently identified with exclusive architecture, recognizable architectural objects become symbols of the city. But
they alone are not enough to create an attractive and lively image of a city. “A couple of years ago I was communicating with the municipality of a town called Sterling on Scotland, with their business and local community representatives – we have discussed questions related to the creation of their city’s image. The popular type of tourism in this region is to travel through as many Scottish towns as possible, briefly explore the old castles and enjoy the sites of the suburbs of the city but not go to the center for long. Even an impressive old castle does not guarantee tourist investments into local economy”, - said J. Lavrinec
New ideas for the city A lot of attention in the recent debates about the city’s image-making strategies is being drawn to the idea of the city’s “festivalisation”: festivals are known to attract flocks of tourists and contribute to the city’s reputation. Bet they cannot become an image factor by themselves. In smaller towns, festivals are known to often create temporary festival ghettoes. If the local residents don’t participate in the organization
of the festival or don’t participate in it, such type of a celebration is just a mere temporary intervention. The current urban science practice knows of a place making concept that, according to K. Lavrinec, can become a part of the city’s image creation arsenal. It is oriented to reorganizing the city’s small public places in small scale, with the help of local residents – the aim is to transform urban spaces to be more comfortable, friendly and emotionally attractive.
“The impression, that the city leaves, is being formed by a number of hardly classified emotional and physical everyday experiences. We remember cities where it is easy and comfortable to walk, rest and work, the cities where public spaces are interesting and accommodate unexpected, interactive elements, the cities whose residents are nice and friendly, with joy. These are the cities we would like to come back to someday.”, - a belief J. Lavrinec shares with us.
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WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MAYOR THAT ENLIVENED SPORTS LIFE IN UTENA OR WHY THE FLU EPIDEMIC WAS NOT DECLARED IN UTENA DISTRICT Famous for industry, well-groomed parks, great beer, with the best mayor of the country in 2013 and one of the oldest cities in Lithuania today Utena is rushing to become a real Mecca for sports and wellness. New sports complexes and fields, modern stadiums and sports halls, swimming pool and a reborn horse sport - it’s just a part of projects that have been, are been and will be implemented providing additional points to the town where is good to live and stay, forming new cultural and sporting traditions in Utena land. It all started from persistence and obstinacy of Utena District Municipality mayor Alvydas Katinas. Due to these characteristics of the mayor in 2009 the multifunctional sports centre emerged in Utena, stimulated new “sporting” ideas and new projects. Moreover, the sports centre has been recognized as the best Lithuanian sports building of 2009. It was declared by the Department of Physical Education and Sports Department that held a competition “Sports Building of the Year”. Multi-Sport Centre - probably the most expensive building in Utena, have cost nearly 40 million Lt. According to the mayor Alvydas Katinas, we should be happy that it did not become into a monument for “stupid” government and similar to Vilnius stadium. In this case, this government is unlikely to be forgiven by demanding people of Utena, sports lovers ... Now the different cultural and sporting events bring together more than one thousand people under the roof of Sports centre, it was difficult to think about it in the past. Let’s mention the professional basketball team of Utena “Juventus”, when people in overcrowded hall are watching matches.
In 2010 besides the Sports Centre appeared a versatile sport area after using 1.7 million Lt from European Union funds (municipality contributed 7.5 percent), where people of Utena is playing mini soccer, tennis, basketball. The fields with all necessary sports equipment and platforms for viewers let see how their neighbours or family members are playing. Of course, this sporting area is most loved by children and young people, moreover the second ramp (the first - by Dauniškis gymnasium) is installed for skaters and extreme sports enthusiasts. The European Union together with the municipality’s 7.5 percent assigned 120 thousand Lt. To start rolling from the second ramp toward Vyžuonos park is very convenient, because the park is near and 2.5 km built paths for cyclists and skaters in winter time are turning into trails for skiers. So, in big winter and summer sports complex everybody can find something to do as well as every resident of Utena can exercise after work. The mentioned complex embraces the multifunctional play-field in K. Donelaičio street established in 2012. It was installed by Utena District Municipality
which allocated 800 thousand Lt from budget. Because of cold spring up to now hockey fans and skaters are hosting there. As soon as the weather became warmer they will be changed by football, tennis and exercise-loving people of Utena.
Both professionals and amateurs This year Utena will enjoy another sports facility - Utenio stadium - the opening is planned in September after reconstruction. Waiting for the festivities people of Utena consider: if the multifunctional sports centre led to appear the professional basketball team “Juventus”, the new stadium will definitely revive “Utenis” football team. Many residents of the city cheerfully are waiting this recovery still remembering well-aimed attacks and strong kicks of famous footballers. The works of stadium reconstruction today are in the final stage. According to the head of Planning and Construction Department Nerijus Malinauskas, the work has already been done for 10 million Lt, about 7 million are left. As already was mentioned, the reconstruction of Utenio stadium - one of the largest projects implemented by Utena District Municipality. In September, after cutting the opening ribbon it will be the stadium conforming to international standards, placing three thousand football and athletic fans, with the main football field, the modern platforms
2013/1 2013 NR. 4 MANO SAVIVALDYBĖ
Mayor A. Katinas take care of the development of sports infrastructure in Utena district.
and several multifunctional playing fields for trainings and competitions. - The main field will be covered by natural grass, multifunctional areas by special artificial surface - said Nerijus Malinauskas. - Running tracks will be covered by three layers covering with springy ground cloth preserving the joints of runners. We have chosen the natural grass for the main ground because the concerts and other mass events are planed to held here, on a synthetic surface we will not be able to build the scenes or other devices. In addition, the artificial surface is suitable not for all branches of athletics. Reconstructing the stadium one of its main functions was not forgotten - to meet the needs of Utena society to do sports and spend their leisure time purposefully. So in the stadium will be installed outdoor fitness equipment, playground for children, comfortable and spacious car parks. People of Utena will be able to spend their free time coming alone, with families and guests. Moreover near the stadium is almost finished remodelled another attraction - the hippodrome Rašės, it will invite to the opening even before Utenio Stadium - in June. Utena district municipality for racetrack reconstruction has attracted private investment - JSC “Cassandra Group”. The hippodrome meets European standards with a great race track, the stands for spectators, spacious stables and comfortable guest houses. Horse riders, people of Utena and visitors were able to see it last year during the first trotting horse race. It is expected that the aspiration of Utena District Municipality to revitalize the horse racing tradition will be implemented. - The complex of Utenio stadium and Rašės hippodrome - a modern infras-
tructure created in open space for active recreation and sports, providing excellent facilities to spend leisure time for families, to educate children and young people in the spirit of sports, to participate in various events, competitions, - said Nerijus Malinauskas. - As told by the ancient Romans, healthy body - healthy mind. The more Utena residents will do sports, enhance their health, the less they will be sick and the expenses to treat will be less. So it is not surprising that this winter the flu epidemic has not been declared in Utena district...
Focusing on high school stadiums Utena school stadiums also meet the needs of residents who go in for sports. Firstly, Dauniškis gymnasium stadium by the lake in the place liked by Utena residents is ready for it. The Ministry of Education gave 800 thousand Lt for reconstruction of the stadium last year. This May it will invite the first athletes. - After the reconstruction the stadium changed substantially - said the head of Planning and Building Department. - The quality of surface of running paths and playground are not different than Utenio stadium. We believe that the older people of Utena will come jogging to stadium and softened surface with springy deck of running paths will be suitable. Of course, the stadium will be able to develop various sports competitions, organize international championships. Now we are waiting for warming and planed works will be done. The works are left: hedge off the street, lighting installation, which gave the additional sum from municipality (70 thousand Lt) and second layer of paths. After installing the lighting it will be possible do sports late in autumn. Preparing the second phase of reconstruction of Vyžuonos Park was involved the stadium of Adolfas Šapoka Gymnasium. It is popular among close Aukštakalnio neighbourhood residents, so after the reconstruction, the rest of city residents will enjoy to do sports there. The technical project of the stadium is currently being finalized and the works should begin this year. Covering of sport field and running paths will be replaced, lighting will be renovated and beach volleyball court, the platform for 100 viewers will appear. EU has allocated 2 million Lt for all works.
The stadium of “Saulės” gymnasium is waiting for its reconstruction, which is particularly needed. According to Nerijus Malinauskas it would be very nice that the Ministry of Education pay more attention to the state of stadiums of educational institutions and possibilities for students to exercise qualitatively. The Lithuanian Football Federation could contribute to the company worrying about the state of stadiums. After all in those stadiums the generation of young athletes of Lithuania is growing and preparing to storm the heights of sport.
After the farm work - lots of sports - We have a lot to enjoy in rural areas, said the leader. – In five district towns Tauragnai, Saldutiškis, Vyžuonos, Užpaliai and Daugailiai – the project of public infrastructure is being implemented. Vyžuonos people will enjoy the first results of this project. It is planed in the project not only construct water and sewage networks, set and install new squares, paths, parks, but also establish a multifunctional sports grounds, where the local residents could play football, tennis, basketball or just play after the farm work. There is no doubt that this infrastructure will contribute to the life of local residents, improvement of recreational quality, meeting sport and cultural needs. On October 2012 in Sudeikiai was opened the football field with synthetic universal covering. It was the gift of Milda Petrauskienė, the Seimas Member for students and residents of Sudeikiai. Utena district municipality contributed to its installation giving almost 10 thousand Lt. She also thought about the sportsmen of other towns: Užpalių people got the same surface for football field 6 years before and the basketball team of town wining the laurels in various district competitions got the sport clothing. - The developed sports infrastructure in Utena district makes excellent facilities organise sports camps in various branches of sports, - said Nerijus Malinauskas. - We have the possibility to welcome athletes from neighbouring or foreign countries and offer them qualitatively rest and train. Moreover the Utena land has a natural, attractive nature, tempting tourists from many European countries.
Concrete road surface – a problem or an alternative? Doc. Dr. Audrius VAITKUS, Master Rita KLEIZIENE VGTU Environmental engineering faculty, Road research institute
The need to choose sustainable pavement
The economists have proven, that the communications infrastructure state is a reflection of a countries’ economy in general. The developed countries spend a significant part of their budget for maintenance and development of their communications infrastructure, because a properly developed and maintained connections infrastructure does not only guarantee safe, convenient and fast trips, but also, represents the country to the guests of the state.
There is a lot of procedures and measures needed to keep up the good quality of the infrastructure and it’s sustainable use over time. If we are talking about one type of communications infrastructure buildings – the roads of the Republic of Lithuania – we should point out a couple of main issues. The rapid growth of motorization, the continuing growth of car transport traffic, cargo traffic volume, insufficient road maintenance and development financing, all of these
factors are issues became challenges for us to overcome. Roads that were planned and paved or reconstructed a mere 10-15 years ago are considered insufficiently functional at this moment: they can uphold less traffic, they are insufficiently sustainable, safe and informative. That’s why while developing and renewing the state property automotive roads, we must apply innovative principles. One of them is the use of sustainable road pavement. Road pavement design is a multi-layer system, consisting of different layers of pavement and base, installed on the increased density embankment surface. The functionality of this system is espe-
cially dependent on the upper constructional layer (pavement) material type and characteristics. Automotive roads’ and streets’ pavement is divided into three main groups, according to their type: • Non-rigid – one-layer or multilayer asphalt pavement, on top of banded or non-banded mineral base layer; • Semi-rigid –asphalt pavement on top of a rigid pavement (base) layer; • Rigid– concrete coating layer on top of non-rigid base layer.
Alternatives to asphalt pavement Both in Lithuania and abroad, the most frequently used type of pave-
ment is non-rigid (asphalt). It is important to notice, that this pavement is planned for 15 to 20 years of use, but defects appear on the first year of usage and the damage is steadily increasing year after year. An average asphalt pavement needs repairs on the 8 to 10 year of operation: damage is repaired, the surface of the road receives treatment, the loose layer is replaced by the new one. It is also important to notice that the worn out layer is also being changed by a new one on the 15 to 17 year of the pavement’s operation. Depending on the operating conditions there is often a need to change the bottom and sometime even the base layer of such a road. In the case of properly prepared rigid (i.e. concrete) pavement, the road is to withstand 40 years of operation, and if it is properly maintained, it can be operated even longer. The typical repair works on the 20 to 25 year of a concrete pavement operation is just repairing the joints, the further maintenance works depend on the surface condition. Usual maintenance works include: joint repairs, inserts change, putting some additional concrete on the road, and other works that renew the operational characteristics of the road’s surface. The European concrete pavement association EUPAVE states, that the negative environmental impact of concrete pavement production, installation and maintenance is approximately 9,6 times smaller than in the case of asphalt pavement. Concrete pavement is light, thus it increases nighttime visibility – the amount of electricity needed to light the concrete paved road at night is up to 31% less, compared to asphalt. The light color of the road or the street heats less than the black asphalt, so concrete temperature is up to 12°C below its main competition. Concrete pavement rigidness does not change because of the effects of temperature or it changes very slightly, but the asphalt pavement rigidness decreases at high temperatures, resulting in plastic deformations.
Conflicting opinions The main reasons to think about concrete road pavement as an alternative to asphalt one is the steadily increasing heavy load traffic, the volume of trans-
ported goods and great weights that destroy asphalt pavement faster than it would harm the concrete one. The constantly growing road maintenance expenses motivate to think about the way concrete pavement may be used in the Lithuanian automotive road and streets construction. However, the opinions on this issue are controversial. There is an opinion that the concrete pavement will fail because of the heavy load traffic being too small to compensate the high cost and complexity of operating a concrete paved road, the other states, that the concrete road is inconvenient and unsafe to drive. Are these doubts reasonable? Are todays concrete paving technologies do not guarantee good driving conditions? Is it true that concrete pavement isn’t cost-effective? Or maybe, concrete pavement is a modern product, promoting the use of local materials: sand, gravel, Portland cement?
Applicable for heavy traffic Austrian scientist Giunter Breyer states, that the concrete pavement is undisputedly more efficient and cost-effective if there are more than 8000 heavy vehicle (buses, lorries, trucks) passing by the road per day. Whenever the heavy vehicle traffic is changing between 5000 and 8000 vehicles per day, cost effectiveness studies must be performed. But he also notes, that whenever the pavement is under some special load (whenever vehicles are being stopped in a specific stretch or they increase their speed on it, the pavement is under static load, experiences slow or (and) continuous heavy vehicle traffic), concrete pavement may be more efficient with even less heavy vehicles passing it by per day. Concrete pavement is usually used as the main pavement choice for airfields, embankments and storage spaces’ surface. It is also used to pave highways or high-speed traffic roads, where there the heavy vehicles’ traffic is intense, the heavily loaded street intersection zones and public transportation lanes. Most of the concrete road surface pavement is installed in China – approximately 2460 thousands of kilometers, USA – with 130, 4 thousands, Russia – with 8,1 thousands. Concrete pavement is widely used in Europe: Belgium has approximately 22,5
thousands kilometers of concrete paved roads and Germany with approximately 5,5 thousands of kilometers. Recently it is often used in road construction in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Use in Lithuania There is only 72,5 kilometers of concrete paved roads in Lithuania and this accounts for less than 1% of the total road length in Lithuania. The highway A14 Vilnius – Utena concrete pavement road construction was started in 1975 and was open for operation in 1987, so we are looking at approximately 26 years of operation now. And although the road is not very comfortable to drive by, because of the increased size of deformational joints, there are no plastic deformations to be detected. In this case the concrete coating has not been justified because of the possibly improper installation and maintenance and so, it formed controversial opinions regarding concrete pavement. Concrete pavement is used not only in roads in Lithuania; some 30-40 years ago it was used to cover a part of the Vilnius airport runway and the whole of Siauliai military airport runway. Precast concrete panels were used to build the Kaunas airport runway and platform. We should also rejoice the fact, that during the year 2010, Lithuanian road construction companies used paver on the sliding formwork technology to successfully pave concrete coating on the Siauliai airport airplane docking places. Modern technology was used, as there were transverse and longitudal expansion joints installed in the pavement.
Different technologies Concrete pavement is classified to four major groups, depending on the installation and reinforcement: • Connected concrete slabs pavement – from unreinforced concrete, which is cut to 3,5÷6,0 meter slabs while it is hardening. These slabs are later connected with special bars (inserts). The pavement is cut to rectangular pieces of the same dimensions in order to avoid the appearance of unpredicted cracks; • Connected reinforced concrete
slabs pavement – where 10-15 meter long reinforced concrete slabs are connected with anchored rods and inserts. This type of coating may be paved by using a number of interconnecting elements, produced at the plant or on the road; • Continuously reinforced concrete pavement – a type of pavement made of concrete which is reinforced all the way from the start to the end of the stretch, with reinforcement rods being anchored on the ends of the stretch (connection with other types of pavement, buildings, bridges, viaducts etc.). This type of pavement requires the assembling of the reinforcement rod structure first. There are no deformational/expansion joints in this pavement, because the micro-cracks, that have naturally formed during the hardening of the concrete are rigidly held by the reinforcement bar net; • Dispersed reinforcement concrete pavement – made of concrete reinforced by special metal fibers. This pavement is being installed the same way as the connected concrete slabs pavement, by pouring concrete and cutting it into slabs, with the connections between them being improved by the fibers. This type of pavement is used for low traffic load roads. The most commonly used type of pavement is the connected concrete slabs pavement, because paving a road that way is the most cost-effective and takes the least time. In order to monitor and control the concrete pavement contraction (during the curing of the concrete) and the expansion/contraction of the concrete slabs (while the environment temperature changes) stress, special deformational transverse and longitudal expansion joints must be installed. After the concrete reaches the normative strength and becomes rigid and hardened, the deformational expansion joints must be sealed away with bitumen mastic or a special type of silicone. The distances between the joints depend on the concrete pavement layer thickness and base layers, along with the strength of the road’s embankment, but usually, the distance is 5 meters. Modern connected concrete slabs pavement is created by the help of the paver on the sliding formwork principle. The newly-laid concrete pavement
density is being increased by deepened vibrating mechanisms, itâ€™s texture is formed by a trowel at the end of the paver. The pavement should be protected from drying up too quickly and the effects caused by excessive moisture (rain). After the concrete starts hardening, but not later than two days since the layer was laid, the deformational/expansion joints should be cut out. When the concrete reaches itâ€™s normative rigidness, the joints are being sealed away.
Based on the research results In order to determine if the concrete produced in Lithuania can be used in road pavement, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) Environment engineering faculty Road research institute accredited Automotive roads science laboratory has conducted concrete compressive strength tests. The laboratory used concrete produced by different companies that had different rigidness classes, the control samples were taken during different constructions works. During the course of the research, the scientists found out, that the compressive rigidness of the concrete, produced in Lithuania, depends on the way it was prepared by the producer. In order to use concrete in road pavement, and in order to provide the homogeneity of the concrete pavement, the scientists recommended to carefully check the quality of the concrete products and to regulate the concrete production
process. After continuing the scientific research, the specialists of the Road research institute carried out an aggregated economic evaluation of both asphalt and concrete used as road pavement on a high traffic capacity street. The specialists used the Vilniusâ€™ high-speed road (Savanoriu av.) 100 meter stretch reconstruction and maintenance during 35 years as a test environment for calculations. The current asphalt pavement is degraded, worn out and contains 50-70 mm deep tears that appeared because of the temperature fluctuations. The project loads were calculated for a 35 year operational period, prospective heavy traffic intensity variations were taken in account. It has been found out that the project stretch construction class of the reconstructed stretch should be SV. During the economic evaluation, the following choices were evaluated: three layer asphalt pavement with a total thickness of 28 centimeters and a single layer 26 cm thick concrete pavement, with transverse contraction joints installed every 5 meters and transverse expansion joints installed every 30 meters. Reconstruction costs were evaluated according to three criteria: preparation works, pavement installation and repair services during a 35 year operational period. Asphalt pavement repairs are planned on the 15th, 23rd and 29th years of operation and the concrete repairs are planned on the 20th and 30th year of operation. The research has shown, that the
repair costs of a concrete pavement stretch, during a 35 year long operational period are a whole 80 percent less than the repair costs of the asphalt pavement during the same period. The total cost to reconstruct a 100 meters long, 12 meters wide (3 lanes) pavement stretch with concrete pavement is 37 percent (479 745,26 Lt) smaller than the asphalt pavement cost (758 915,51 Lt). Taking the costs of operation in account, a properly installed and maintained concrete pavement can be economically very attractive. The rapid depletion of oil resources make oil prices rise, and a lot of the economists state, that it should grow even higher in the future. That is why it is very important to seek alternatives and ways to reduce road construction costs but still pave the road in an innovative, safe, sustainable and cost-effective way. Concrete pavement can be more effective than asphalt one in some cases and can be used to pave roads and streets. All the more, it would promote the use of our domestic resources. In summary, we can state, that model where concrete pavement is used in automotive roads and street construction in Lithuania, should be based on the experience of other countries, scientific research and experimental development principles.
Waiting for rehabilitation Architects trying to dispel the oppressive impression left by the Soviet era buildings
A history of bad experience It’s because of the above mentioned reasons, that we do not have any open concrete surfaces – concrete or reinforced concrete is usually hidden: covered with plaster, clinker tiles or covered with other finish. “The concrete was really horrible during the Soviet era and the people are still afraid of it – they say they don’t want that experience anymore. And it’s a pity, because we lose the ability to benefit from the positive traits of this material. “, - comments G. Natkevicius. “Although it’s true, that it’s hard to apply this material as finish and nobody wants to acquire better knowledge of the concrete casting technology, no one wants to develop their skills.” There aren’t a lot of these projects. Colleagues name architect Audrius Ambrasas as one of most successful in using this type of material. G. Natkevicius also notices, that one of the first, or at least one of the brighter post-soviet period objects, was the commercial building on the intersection of the Kestucio and D. Poskos streets, planned by theh Dalius Nainis and Jurate Raguckiene and built in 1999. Their work was evaluated by the “Architectural nail” prize of the architect’s union in 2002.
Errors provide warmth
For a large number of people the grey color of concrete is associated with the gray and slovenly Soviet era neighborhood reality. And architects Gintautas Natkevicius and Rolandas Palekas say that this is the main and understandable cause, why this material is often greeted with skepticism.
Concrete is a very popular substance and its casting technique is far more advanced in countries that speak German language, Switzerland and even Great Britain. “Maybe it is related to their older concrete casting traditions or maybe, our technological literacy is worse than theirs is. But probably anyone would say: we can’t cast concrete in such a beautiful way that they can. It’s a rare occasion for the construction workers to properly model the formwork and fulfill the technological part in an impeccable way.”, - said R. Palekas as he acknowledged the problem. In fact, everything depends on the errors being made while casting concrete. Both architects interviewed by the “Statyba ir architektura” (Constructions and architecture) are more likely to tolerate them, saying that this is the way this material comes to life and reflects the human skills by perpetuating a shake or a natural movement of the human hand and that it’s true identity is really charming. Supporters of natural materials find the unique image of the concrete attractive; it can be compared to a never–recurrent
wood rings pattern. Furthermore, if we are to evaluate it in a pragmatic way, it is a resilient and robust material. G. Natkevicius and R. Palekas sympathy towards concrete is not just a declarative one–they have works in their portfolio to support their passion. The exceptional Kedainiai crematorium planned by G. Natkevicius has open concrete surfaces both inside and outside of the building, so the contractors had to complete a very tough and hard work – pour triple-layer concrete. It was nominated on the architect association “Zvilgsnis I save 2010-2012” (View at yourself 2010-2012) awards. “When the concrete is used on the facade of the building, it should be of an appropriate 6-8 centimeters thick, there should be insulation under it and only after that comes the inside construction material. You need to understand lots of technological nuances in order to complete the work with quality. By the way, the construction workers, are usually not very happy with the fact that penmanship begins at the start of the works”, - G. Natkevicius explained. “Everybody is more comfortable with molding a curved wall, then stick foam or rock wool to it and only after that, in the very end, work with the finish.” Although some errors were not avoided during the pouring of the triple-layered cement, the architect was convincing us, that the work of his contractors is worth respect. The architect calmed down the customers who found cracks in the concrete with the same arguments–that this is just
Gintautas Natkevicius Architect
The concrete was really horrible during the Soviet era and the people are still afraid of it – they say they don’t want that experience anymore. And it’s a pity, because we lose the ability to benefit from the positive traits of this material.
an evidence of a human hand touch that provides warmth to the object.
Clients sometimes lack trust G. Natkevicius notes that concrete needs tailored environment. It looks well when there is a good quality material nearby: wood, glass or carpets. The architect is happy with his idea to use triple layer concrete slabs while building the “Yvabalte” agricultural equipment trade and service center in the Kedainiai region. He used pre-fabricated concrete slabs, which were colored during their production. The Yellow center that was opened last year can be seen from afar.
Rolandas Palekas Architect
It’s a rare occasion for the construction workers to properly model the formwork and fulfill the technological part in an impeccable way.
“Although it’s true, that the customer was a little scared of the color unevenness. We figured that he imagined the end result a little differently and the crowd of assistants suggested to paint the building evenly. But this is not plastic, this is watercolor, a live, changing color. I’ve recently driven past it, it really looks well: a soft, comfortable building”, - assured G. Natkevicius. R. Palekas finds a place for natural concrete fragments almost in all of the projects he designs, and the Vilniaus’ University Scientific communication and information center that was opened two months ago is not an exception. The concrete is used to form the entrance
tambour in this project. The material showed its capriciousness this time too, but the small problems were taken care of with much more ease than during the 2005-2006 construction of the new “Litexpo” exposition center building, where the wall and the columns near the entrance were entirely made of concrete. At that point of time the clients insisted that all of the traces of the cement jelly on the surface should be removed. “I personally would have never done it, but in that case we have chosen the emulsion that changes the natural concrete sense the least, and used it to cover the wall to even out its color”,- the architect commented. The “Victoria” business center, that was built from 2004 to 2005 and was designed by the R. Palekas team, should also contain a tribute to concrete – it should have been used to finish the whole communication center: the staircases, the elevator sites, etc. “For certain reasons we could not leave the natural concrete without plaster finish, so we just made a joke and covered the walls with photography of the same concrete in that space”, - told us R. Palekas. The visitors see the concrete pores as moon landscapes. A couple of years earlier R. Palekas and his colleagues have designed a building completely made of concrete – it was a design of the culture center in Sigulda. “We had even designed the formwork, but the project is not implemented because of the economic crisis”, - lamented R. Palekas. “It would also be a very hard task. Sometimes it’s only after you make the final sketches is when you realize that the construction workers do not have the needed capabilities and just would not be able to construct it”.
that are popular overseas
have found their niche in Lithuania Inga LUKSYTE
The long-term (2025) Lithuanian transport system development strategy, approved by the Government in 2005, focuses heavily on the modern public logistics centers (PLC), or the possibility to build freight villages. The “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” (Lithuanian railways) company, which has become the founder of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda cities’ PLC, is absolutely ready to begin implementing the projects: the construction of the first two Vilnius and Kaunas PLC will begin in the near future.
The project seems very advantageous The PLC project is considered to be of a high importance by the state. Minister of Transport Rimantas Sinkevicius states, that the decision to build PLC’s with at least one intermodal container transfer terminal, a place to store them and a logistics park, where companies could provide additional services, near the international transport corridors, industrial areas and main transport nodes, that was made five years ago, was important in order to maintain the cooperation between different types of transport systems and create a possibility to manage the flow of goods. “While developing international trade, you can’t miss the notable advantage of Lithuania: employees, here, are educated, the infrastructure is well-developed and there is plenty of knowledge and experience of long-term work relations with countries both from East and West. This ensures a good connection with the European Union (EU) trans-
for it in Vilnius and Kaunas: possibility studies have been carried out, territory planning work is completed, special and detailed plans, technical projects, all have been already prepared. At this stage “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” is already choosing contactors for this work. The Siaulial PLC is quite different from the rest, as it is being founded according to the municipality’s initiative. The “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” has founded the State enterprise “Vilniaus logistics park” in 2011 to take proper care of the creation of the logistics park. This enterprise has been entrusted with the task to prepare land areas for the needs of potential investors – build warehouses and other logistics infrastructure and buildings.
The construction projects of the PLC’s in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipe-
The benefits of transporting goods by rail have long been proven. According to the “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” Logistics project department Head Mindaugas Butnorius – it has been calculated, that a diesel train emits a far smaller amount of greenhouse effect causing gases and causes less accidents than road transport. In addition, railways usually swing around the outskirts of towns and cities, that is the reason why their residents are less irritated by the noise and the streets of their settlements are less jammed with traffic. The Vilnius PLC 7,2 hectare territory will be used to build the intermodal terminal in the first stage of it’s creation. It will be used to transfer goods and shipments from one type of transport to another, namely from trains to trucks
da are implemented in several stages, so the terms and financing is planned separately for each one of them, according to R. Sinkevicius. EU funds finances are planned to cover approximately 85 percent of the project’s cost, the other part of the costs will be covered by the founders of the PLC. The logistics centers along with the successfully developing railroad, automotive road, water and air transport interaction are planned to take a role in implementing the EU transport policy objectives – to transport 30 percent of all freight that should be transported for more than 300 km by railroads or water transport instead of roads. This figure should exceed 50 percent by the year 2050.
and the other way back. The terminal will be used to store containers, transport vehicles, to rent containers to export your produce or to divide it into shipments and send those to the nearby cities or supermarkets. Such logistics centers or shipment villages are usually created near large cities, where the largest consumption goes hand in hand with the largest pollution and traffic jams. Approximately 40 percent of all Lithuanian GDP is produced in Vilnius, its region borders with Poland and Belorussia where there is a known lack of storage areas. But it also is very important, that there is a southern capital road bypass, which goes near the Vilnius PLC, so the transit traffic will be detoured from the city’s center and sur-
It will be built in stages
port system. Today, however, you cannot be limited by just these qualities, so the search for better ways to become the most attractive transit and logistics state in the region never stops. The idea is bright, but the newly-built PLC’s will not bring profit as planned if international political relations, state institution and business conducts, car, train, seaport and airport infrastructure will not be wisely improved”. – noted the Minister of Transport, R. Sinkevicius. The “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” (Lithuanian railroads) company is assigned to be the founder and manager of the Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda PLC’s . The main objective of the construction of these PLC’s is to install modern intermodal terminals. Everything is ready
Railway is the most effective mean of transportation
rounding neighborhoods, to the easily accessible PLC. There are plans to extend the bypass and connect it with the highway to Minsk.
Inspired by the experience of other countries Foreign experience has been examined and taken into account during the planning stage of the Lithuanian PLC’s, logistics centers in Berlin, Bologna, Graz, and the services they have to offer, such as: repairs, catering, accommodation, insurance, etc., were examined and analyzed. Logistics centers in EU countries are created according to a certain need and the place of creation, says R. Sinkevicius, but they all have a couple of distinctive characteristics: they all are made for the use of different types of transport and for quick reloading of goods from one mean of transportation to another, the possibility for public and private companies to settle there and use the centers’ infrastructure, easy accessibility of all of the transportation and logistics functions, a wide variety of shipment management possibilities, public use storage areas, customs services, gas stations, car and truck technical repair services, catering, accommodation, insurance services and others. While picking a place for the PLC, one of the most important criteria is that it should be near to some interconnection of different international transportation corridors used by different types of transport. This facilitates the interconnection of different types of transportation, promotes the long-range transportation (to distances of over 300 km) of goods by railways and sea transport, and decreases the cost of transportation as well as the traffic load on the country’s roads as well as pollution. Vilnius PLC is connected with one of the largest and most modern Vaidotai distribution railway station. According to the “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” representative M. Butnorius, this place has been picked because of its proximity to the city’s center (it is only 15 km away), and the fact that it will soon be interconnected with the Vilnius city southern bypass. Vaidotai railway station is in the IX trans-European transport corridor, which connects the West with the East
through the Klaipeda sea-port and near the I trans-European transport corridor, that connects the South of Europe with the Northern countries. Two intermodal trains are passing through the Vaidotai station, namely: “Vikingas” (the Viking) and the “Saule” (the Sun). A part of the southern Vilnius city bypass road is planned to go near the Vaidotai railway station. It is debated that in the end of the year 2014 there an intermodal terminal will be created with four load/unload railway tracks and a container storage area near the Vaidotai train station. The PLC and administrative customs building and a place to safe keep empty containers are also expected to be built by the year 2014. There are plans made for a modern automatic gate control system, so that the driver would not have to stop near the gate each time to show his documents. All of the needed engineering systems will also be connected to the intermodal terminal. The logistics park Vilnius PLC is founded together with the capital’s municipality. Thirty one hectare is already assigned to future investors. Companies that will choose to do their business in the PLC will have the possibility to build warehouses or other buildings that they need for transport vehicles, or any other activities directly or indirectly connected with logistics. It is planned that after some time a gas station will be built there, along with a truck wash, heavy vehicle technical service facilities, areas where people could rent a truck trailer, catering companies, banks, investment bureaus, small hotels and the likes of it.
Problems only made them stronger The future Vilnius PLC will be built on the former peat turf territory, so a lot of ground works lay waiting for the founders. The territory is sometimes flooded during summer time, so a water collection system should be installed. “Vilnius PLC territory can be used only as a complex, by starting works from the railway station and steadily moving towards the Voke river.”, - explains the representative of “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” M. Butnorius. While there are a couple of years of hard work laying in front of the project, the Minister of Transport and
No competition between them Vilnius logistics center activities are primarily associated with services offered to the Vilnius region and the Belorussian market. Kaunas logistics center is associated with the continental flow of goods (instead of the transport sea corridor) most of which will come from Germany, Italy, France and travel to Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia and beyond. The terminal is planned to re-load the containers from one track to another, that’s why Kaunas sees the “Rail Baltica” project as important as the PLC one. Klaipeda’s logistics center project in the northern part of the “Draugyste” railroad station was the last to be launched. It is planned to finish its projects this year. Klaipeda logistics center is inseparable from the city’s sea-port. The intermodal terminal in the logistics center will be designed for both local and export markets. Money and time will be saved when an intermodal terminal, that could accept and unload a whole container train, will be built near the port. It would greatly benefit the city, because at this point of time it takes almost two days to take the container out of the sea-port. The public logistics centers that are currently founded will not compete with each other, each will have it’s own function and cargo flows, says the Head of the “Lietuvos gelezinkeliai” logistics projects department – Mindaugas Butnorius.
Communications R. Sinkevicius is sure, that the State and private companies will really benefit from these works: they will improve the quality of transport services, will promote local transport services market development, will create a basis to develop all types of additional value services and secure the access of public transportation and logistics infrastructure for small businesses. It will also provide effective interaction between different types of transport and will take part in reducing of pollution and the amount of traffic incidents, will increase employment and create an attractive environment for foreign investment.
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