A Closer Look at Multi-Apartment Building Renovation process from the House Manager's perspective
09 January 2024
To learn from best practices and inspire others, the Association “Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia” visited the Valmiera Municipality owned Ltd. “Valmieras Namsaimnieks” at the end of November 2023. This house management company has significant experience in renovating 59 multi-apartment buildings in the region.
If we take a look at the database of the “The most energy-efficient building in Latvia” contest, where construction projects are evaluated by key non-governmental organizations in the construction industry and state administration institutions, “Valmieras Namsaimnieks” is at the top of the list of the most awarded projects. The company has received 26 awards for the most energy-efficient building in various categories, indicating assessment of experts and consistently high-quality work.
To identify the main obstacles that need to be overcome to convince apartment owners who are doubtful, reluctant, or fail to see the benefits of energy efficiency measures, we spoke to Kristina Malchukova and Inga Dukure, experienced house management specialists at “Valmieras Namsaimnieks”.
The decision about the renovation of the building usually is complicated and requires an evaluation of a large amount of data and analysis from many different perspectives. For example, the investment in the refurbishment of the building has to be evaluated from a long-term aspect, because only then the real value of the investment and advantages is visible. From this perspective, we can see the benefits that will result from the fact that the renovated building will significantly reduce maintenance costs, increase the property value of the apartment, and, of course, esthetically – a new and contemporary look for the house.
The refreshed facade of the house attracts interest among residents of neighboring houses, as they too aspire to live in a well-maintained environment. While a lot of information about renovations is available in published materials and other information channels, here is an opportunity to ask first-hand sources what it is like to live in a renovated house, how high the heating bills are, and similar aspects.
Every year, each management company conducts a complete visual inspection of the building and its surroundings to assess the technical condition of the property and identify any damage. The findings from this inspection are documented in the visual inspection report for the residential building.
Recognizing that apartment owners may be unaware or disinterested in the technical aspects of the condition of the building, these images serve as a clear and more understandable way to provide information, avoiding the complex technical terminology often used by civil engineers. This report, particularly with the included pictures, frequently becomes a significant argument in convincing residents to support the refurbishment.
When discussing the obstacles that make it difficult to manage projects aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings, the representatives of ‘Valmieras Namsaimnieks” highlighted the complexity of managing processes.
Each case is very individual. Many details need to be considered for successful project management and implementation. Then this information has to be presented and explained to the apartment owners and this is a very time-consuming process.
It is crucial to emphasize that specialists from the management company oversee the entire building renovation project. This responsibility includes negotiations with the bank or with the state-owned development institution ALTUM or other institutions and responsibility for the renovation loan—an essential and complex stage in the comprehensive implementation of building renovation projects.
By studying “Valmieras Namsaimnieks” successful approach to multi-apartment building renovation project management, the RenoWave project gains practical insights into effective strategies, challenges faced, and solutions implemented to foster renovation of multi-apartment buildings in Latvia
Information was prepared by Dace Selga, Communication manager, Baltic Environmental Forum, Latvia