Modern “prefabricated panel”: a new high-quality product or the legacy of the USSR?
Daniil Sharapov, chief project engineer of the Metropolis company, has commented on Novostroy-SPb on the prevalence and relevance of the construction of prefabricated houses, as well as combined technologies in the framework of one project.
A panel is nothing more than a reinforced concrete element made at the factory (prefabricated elements). Since post-Soviet times, it is generally accepted that the use of reinforced concrete panels is an economy class solution. But this is far from the case: in modern architecture, high-quality reinforced concrete products of various shapes and sizes are often used as design elements. For example, in Italy there are buildings where prefabricated reinforced concrete elements are used as imposts for stained glass facade glazing. Metropolis is also involved in projects where precast concrete elements are one of the key design elements. Of course, the use of precast concrete elements in this direction does not exceed 5% of the total market. Mostly prefabricated elements are used for the construction of residential buildings. The construction period of a house of 18-25 floors (15,000 - 20,000 sq. M.) based on a monolithic reinforced concrete frame is an average of 1.5 - 2.5 years, depending on the starting season. It is possible to build a similar house from prefabricated panels in 1-1.5 years.
Official statistics for Moscow and St. Petersburg have similar indicators in terms of volumes. In the early 2000s, the number of monolithic houses and prefabricated houses was approximately equal. Until 2014-2015, the market for prefabricated reinforced concrete houses gradually has fallen and the share of the prefabricated houses has fallen to 20%. But against the backdrop of the crisis, the volume of construction of prefabricated houses is again rising to 35-40%. The real estate market is a mirror of the financial well-being of citizens of the state and the current state of the market indicates the demand for the population in this type of housing. The rate of sale of apartments is not determined by the type of construction of which the house is built. Especially for buildings of economy class. Basically, this is a combination of factors, but as elsewhere, the main component will be the value of real estate - the cheaper, the faster it is sold.
The prejudice towards the prefabricated houses of the USSR is formed due to the quality of construction and installation works. Quite often, houses were built by the hands of people who are far from this profession. But the quality of the prefabricated panels themselves in the USSR was at a high level. And also experimental projects, such as heating pipes built into the panel (“warm walls”), were extremely interesting. There were no heating radiators at all in the apartments. There is not much fundamentally new in this technology: types of insulating materials and methods of fastening panels have been modernized. But all this is still based on buildings and the experience of implementing this technology in Soviet times. The advantages of panel house building from the point of view of an ordinary consumer are unchanged - the relatively low cost per square meter. The minuses are also unchanged: increased sound permeability, lack of flexibility in planning decisions due to the minimum number of self-supporting partitions. The advantages of panel house building from the point of view of an ordinary consumer are unchanged - the relatively low cost per square meter. The minuses are also unchanged: increased sound permeability, lack of flexibility in planning decisions due to the minimum number of self-supporting partitions. From the point of view of ordinary residents, it can be confirmed that the owner has a small number of options for redeveloping an apartment.
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