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SIA VELVE WINS PRIZES IN THREE CATEGORIES OF THE 2018 LATVIJAS BŪVNIECĪBA ANNUAL AWARDS
We are proud of this achievement! SIA Velve received three prizes at the ceremony of the 2018 Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Awards, with 1st place in the ‘Production’ category, 3rd place in the ‘2018 Top New Specialist’ category and the Saint-Gobain Choice Award.
SIA Velve’s 1st place in the ‘Production’ category was for the construction of a new warehouse building for SIA Amalva Baltija at Bukaišu iela 1, Riga (designer Dalius Šarakauskas, construction design manager Zane Stiebriņa from SIA ‘OZOLA & BULA, arhitektu birojs’, building supervision by SIA ‘Būvcentrs “Eurobau-Rīga”’ assisting Lithuanian building supervisors from UAB ‘Contestus projektai’). The building has a total square area of 6960 m2, with office, utility, storage and production rooms. Its walls were built using sandwich panels, while its main Bukaišu street facade comprises glass elements mixed with concrete wall panels. The building has been assigned the energy efficiency class A.
3rd place in the ‘2018 Top New Specialist’ category went to our assistant foreman Jānis Ziediņš. His main duties include supervising construction quality in accordance with the instructions of his superior, checking documents and material amounts, graphically recording changes in project solutions, and submitting them to the design supervisor and the client. Jānis Ziediņš is a young and passionate colleague, and his most prominent personal trait is the desire to get to the core of things, which is why he is so diligent with his duties, being someone to rely on for the most experienced of our specialists: if concrete must be poured at night, Jānis will fight sleep and ensure that this work is done well, and in time. p>
Meanwhile, the Saint-Gobain Choice Award was given to our foreman Jānis Jēgers, who has been working in our industry for 17 years, and joined the SIA Velve team in 2016. Construction is more than just a profession for Jānis: this means that there is never monotony in his work, as every day brings new challenges. Over the years, Jānis Jēgers has worked on many different projects: reconstruction of the Riga Bourse building, construction of Grindeks’ factories, construction of the Zaķumuiža pump station, reconstruction of the National Theatre, Gypsum Factory, Benjamiņš House, Koka Rīga, reinforcement of the facade of the Riga Circus building, repairs in the House of the Blackheads buildings, reconstruction of the building of Tukums Court etc.
‘We are sincerely proud of this achievement. The construction sector in Latvia is growing faster with every year, and it is only natural that we see many high-quality projects completed by top professionals. This is why we are so happy that prizes went both to our workers and to one of our construction projects, being a testament to the quality of our work and our competitiveness on the market,’ Ainārs Leitēns, board chairman of SIA Velve, said.
The Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Awards contest is one of Latvia’s biggest contests that evaluate construction projects. It is organised by the ‘Latvijas Būvniecība’ magazine. This year, there were 143 applications in the contest’s 10 categories. The applications also included some foreign projects, which construction specialists from Latvia participated in. The award ceremony took place on 7 March 2019, at the Ziemeļblāzma Culture Palace, with representatives of the state and municipal government, company managers, architects, real estate developers and diplomats attending. The Grand Prix of the 2018 Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Awards went to the reconstruction of the Mežaparks Great Bandstand and construction stage A of the audience area of the Mežaparks Great Bandstand (architects: Juris Poga and Austris Mailītis, construction by PS LNK RERE), and to the construction of additional infrastructure on Krievu Island (Zilā iela 25, Riga; design and construction by PA ACB8).
SPORTSMEN OF CLUB “MX MODULS” BECOME THE WINNERS OF THE LATVIAN MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
The final stage of the Latvian motocross championship in Cēsis, moto race track “Ezerkalni” is now complete, where the sportsmen of club “MX Moduls”, supported by SIA “Velve”, demonstrated excellent results: Kārlis Sabulis won in the overall assessment of two races and became the MX2-class champion, while Edvards Bidzāns won second place and became the MX85-class champion.
Kārlis Sabulis arrived at the fifth, final stage of the motocross championship as the leader of the MX2 class. In order to win the title of champion, he had to continue what he had started during the season and demonstrate the best possible results, which Kārlis managed to do well. In the first race he finished in second place, and in the second race – victory, but in the overall assessment of the races – first place and the title of MX2-class champion. But Edvards Bidzāns won both races, becoming the MX85-class champion of 2018. This year Edvards Bidzāns also received the title of champion in the MX85 Junior Championship in Latvia, as well as gained international experience while participating in the European and ADAC stages. The new talent Mairis Pumpurs participated for the first year and in the overall assessment won 6th place in the MX125 class. “We are pleased with the living space that we build alongside our buildings and infrastructure each day – it is a better life for the entire society, with lasting values in sports, culture and education. Moments such as the victories of “MX Moduls” sportsmen in national competitions is the best proof,” says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of Construction Company “VELVE”. SIA “Velve” provides an important contribution to the development of sports in Latvia, by supporting the development opportunities of “MX Moduls” motor sportsmen and their participation in local and international competitions, as well as by supporting the Latvian Tennis Union and the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation.
WITH THE HELP OF SIA “VELVE” SUPPORT PUPILS WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO CHOOSE CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONS
To encourage young people at schools to choose studying professions related to construction in the future, for the fourth year already the campaign “Study Construction!” will take place in the schools of Latvia! SIA “Velve” is one of the supporters of this campaign. Within the campaign until May 2019, pupils and students will have the opportunity to gain useful knowledge about construction professions and their acquisition opportunities, as well as to visit the best construction sites in Latvia.
Quite often the younger generation lacks understanding of the specifics of the builder’s work, forgetting that the builders are not only masters, who lay concrete, carry out the assembly works of engineering networks, work high above the structures in cranes and carry out other works, but are also managers of construction works, who organise all works at the construction site, engineers, designers of structures, project managers, who oversee the entire construction process of the object, and construction supervisors, who control the final result.
“We are glad that together with other colleagues we can provide our support in the organisation of this campaign, taking care of forming the next generation of young builders. The professions of construction are exciting and well paid, but are also very responsible and require profound knowledge. In order for the building to be qualitative and to endure for decades and even hundreds of years, it is not enough to have a good design and strong bricks; smart, skilled builders and masters of their own craft are also needed. And also great experience is required. Therefore timely and adequate preparation of the young professionals ensures the inheriting of the accumulated knowledge from generation to generation,” says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of SIA “Velve” Board.
Construction professions can be obtained at specialised education institutions – at Riga Building College, at Daugavpils Technical School etc., as well as at Riga Technical University (RTU) and Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU).
One of the campaign’s ambassadors is Deniss Kamuškovs, Project Manager at SIA “Velve”, who graduated from RTU. Already during his studies he worked in the position of estimator and later – project engineer, so he is competent in various aspects of the work – procurements, cost calculations, financial control, preparation of contracts. Only after these positions did Dennis become the Project Manager, and now he works with large-scale objects. Under the management of Deniss Kamuškovs the reconstruction of VEF Culture Palace was implemented, which was awarded the Grand Prix evaluation of the Latvian Construction Year Award 2017, and the construction of Riga Stradins University Student Hostel was also implemented. “The position of Project Manager demands courageous, responsible and skilful professionals, because quite often you have to be able to accomplish the things that no one else in the team can. The Project Manager must be competent in the circulation of documents and in the specifics of various construction works, to be able to state faults and defects when visiting the objects and to eliminate them. Professionals who have been doing the same job every day for a long time may miss quality deviations, but the Project Manager must notice them. The builder must always be open to new knowledge, because unique things are acquired in each object, and experience about new materials and technologies is accumulated. No theory can replace practical experience,” explains Deniss Kamuškovs.
The campaign is organised by the Association “Building Design and Construction Council” (BDCC) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, Riga Technical University, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Riga City Council Property Department and Association “Zaļās mājas”.
SIA “VELVE” RANKS IN THE TOP 3 OF THE LARGEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES IN LATVIA
One of the most significant increases in growth among construction companies in Latvia has been experienced by SIA “Velve”, which has ranked in 3rd place in the “Dienas Bizness” TOP 500 of the largest construction companies according to net turnover in 2017 which has been 61.083 million euros. This is two times more than in 2016, allowing SIA “Velve” to climb from 9th to 3rd place.
Among the most significant projects implemented by the construction company in 2017 are the renovation of the facade and the construction of a new outbuilding at the Latvian National Theatre building, the repair works of the House of the Blackheads building complex and the reconstruction and renovation of VEF Culture Palace. Also during this period, the facade of Riga Circus building was preserved, and dormitories of Riga Stradins University, Depo Shopping Centre in Lithuania, and stadiums in the territories used by Riga Pļavnieki Elementary School, Mežciems Primary School and Riga Secondary School No. 89 were constructed. In 2017, SIA “Velve” revenue after the payment of taxes totalled 1.55 million euros.
“The construction sector is one of the fastest growing and most economically active business areas in Latvia. Competition is enormous, therefore our satisfaction from a successful year and the accomplished work that has allowed us to rank in the TOP 3 of Latvian construction companies, is even greater. By respecting traditions, we restore cultural and architectural monuments, as well as we construct new buildings, thus contributing to the improvement of the urban environment and the quality of life of city residents. Versatility is one of the keys to our company’s success, which allows us to compete successfully in the industry,” says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of SIA “Velve” Board.
The same as the previous year, first place in the “Dienas Bizness” TOP 500 is retained by UPB, with a turnover of 126.5 million euros, which is an increase of 9.69% in comparison to the figures in 2016. And second place, the same as in 2016, is retained by SIA “Merks”, the turnover of which has been 75.965 million euros, which is 68.3% more than the year before.
SIA “Velve” was founded in 1992 and within 25 years of operation, from the initially established restoration enterprise, it has become one of the leading construction and restoration companies in Latvia.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECT OF THE SWH OFFICE CENTRE HAD RIDGEPOLE CELEBRATIONS
On 27 November, the Ridgepole Celebration of the newly erected building, connecting the existing blocks, marked the near completion of the SWH Office Centre reconstruction works. The erection of this building was one of the most important parts of the reconstruction works of the Office Centre premises at 50A, 52, 52A Skanstes Street, which commenced last year. It is planned that after the reconstruction of the SWH Office Centre premises, the available office space at the refurbished buildings will be 12 000 m2, whereas the total space of the office centre premises offered for lease will amount to almost 40 000 m2.
Refurbishment and reconstruction of the SWH Office Centre on Skanstes Street is a huge project that anticipates dismantling and reassembling the middle part of two buildings, refurbishing the facade of the buildings, the installation of contemporary windows, reconstruction of the external and internal engineering networks, including rainwater drainage and sewage systems, water-supply, electrical power and low-current systems, as well as the erection of a new annex.
Up to now, half of the planned works have been completed, and construction of the internal engineering networks, installation of the windows, vitrines and the roof is currently taking place at the building connecting the existing blocks. The heating and interior finishing works at the building are planned to be commenced in December. The purpose of the SWH Office Centre reconstruction is not only to increase the area of the leased premises, but also to modernise the office centre and to improve its infrastructure. Commissioning of the SWH Office Centre is anticipated in April 2019.
"Reconstruction is quite often considerably more challenging than the erection of new buildings, as the project shall be incorporate technical features of the existing facilities and infrastructure. Therefore both a professionally drawn, detailed project and knowledgeable, skilled construction experts capable of prompt realisation of the reconstruction project, are particularly important. The huge SWH Office Centre reconstruction project is an excellent demonstration of synergy between these two factors. After reconstruction, the SWH Office Centre will not only become more spacious and friendly, but will also be capable of offering contemporary and functional office premises that will allow visitors and employees to enjoy the advantages of a modern working place”, says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of the construction company Velve.
After reconstruction, due to smart construction and engineering solutions, the SWH Office Centre will be able to render high-quality premises for affordable rent, which will meet entrepreneurs’ expectations in terms of the quality of premises and required expenditure. The construction works are taking place at two buildings with a total space of 16 171.00 m2.
Undalgs Mētra, Board Member of AS SWH Grupa: “Entrepreneurs of various fields will be able to create almost 1200 new, well paid and contemporary working places in the SWH Office Centre after reconstruction. We have already found leaseholders for two thirds of the new office premises, who are looking forward to us handing them over. We are pleased to have already reached the ridgepole point in the reconstruction. Our thanks goes to Velve and the other builders for the progress made so far, and may the rest of the construction works run smoothly and at a good pace!”
The Owner of the SWH Office Centre is AS SWH Grupa. The author of the reconstruction design of the three SWH Office Centre buildings at 50A, 52, 52A Skanstes Street is SIA Tectum (senior architect Alvis Zlaugotnis); the engineering solutions have been designed by SIA Moduls Engineering. The general contractor for the construction works is SIA VELVE, but the project management and construction supervision is provided by SIA Būvkonsultants.
VEF CULTURE PALACE, RECONSTRUCTED BY VELVE LTD, RECEIVES RECOGNITION FROM RIGA CITY ARCHITECT AND SOCIETY
On Monday, 1 October, on the World Day of Architecture, the annual Latvian Architecture Award was presented in Riga. In addition, the Riga City Architect's Office also awarded eight acknowledgements for excellence in the architecture of individual objects. Such acknowledgement was awarded to VELVE Ltd for the reconstruction of VEF Culture Palace (author of the reconstruction project - GRAF X bureau, architect Ruta Krūskopa).
"Public acknowledgements" were traditionally presented this year for structures that have the most likes from visitors on the Riga City Architect's Office Facebook page. One of the two “Public acknowledgements” goes to VEF Culture Palace.
In addition to this, another VELVE Ltd object was included in the top 10 - the dormitory building of Riga Stradins University.
Represented in the show were buildings from categories such as office, apartment, educational, production, commercial, transport, health care and hotel industries. From more than 900 buildings that entered into service last year in Riga, 22 constructions were put up for further evaluation.
“We are really proud of our work. The architect is the one who creates the idea; the contractor has to implement this idea in all of its glory. VEF Culture Palace involved remarkable team work, resulting in success amongst fierce competition, adding to the range of rebuilt and reconstructed cultural institutions by VELVE Ltd, which are important not only to Riga, but the whole country," says Ainārs Leitēns, chairman of the board of VELVE construction company.
The Latvian Architecture Award of the Year was awarded to the “Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah” hotel and its authors.
The jury's team of experts evaluated the prize-winning objects all summer. Criteria such as the preservation of architectural values, ensuring the sustainability of the urban living environment, the energy efficiency of buildings, accessibility of the environment and the principles of universal design were taken into account, but especially - the intellectual and economic contribution of the objects not only in the context of Riga, but all of Latvia. According to the regulations, only those objects put into service in 2017 could be submitted for the Architectural work show.
TUKUMS COURTHOUSE CELEBRATES ITS TOPPING OUT
On Monday, 10 September, Zemgale District Courthouse in Tukums, which is currently being expanded and reconstructed, celebrated its topping out ceremony. The project is being built by LP Velve un Campaign. The existing facade of the building is being restored, its functionality improved, as well as the total area of the courthouse has been expanded to 1500 m2 .
The reconstruction of Zemgale District Courthouse in Tukums and construction of the new building is one of the three projects started by the "Courthouse Agency" (CA) last year, along with projects in Jēkabpils and Ventspils, together forming the biggest construction volume in the history of Latvian law. According to the construction project, the historic courthouse, opened in 1882, will have facade reconstruction, re-planning and reconstruction of the inside layout, as well as replacement of sewerage, water supply, low intensity current and power supply systems and the heating main. A lot of work has already been done: external networks - water supply, sewerage and heating main, the framework of the building (fibo and concrete covering) and framing the roof. The insulation of the facade and assembling of the glass facade is still under construction. "We are pleased with the progress of the work: the renovated premises on the ground floor of the old building are already available for viewing; the court staff will settle there, clearing out the rest of the premises for repair. The most difficult task is to adapt to the court’s activity - during legal hearings, all construction work must be stopped to provide silence in the old building. All engineering networks have been changed in the renovated premises; an additional ventilation and conditioning system has been installed in the process. The facade of the old building, which, according to the construction project, is planned to be restored without any rebuilding, has also experienced a positive change," says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of SIA Velve. The former premises of the courthouse are being reconstructed and expanded, in order to provide a modern and comfortable environment for visitors in the near future. Since Spring 2018, Zemgale District Courthouse in Tukums has experienced truly impressive changes. While preserving the historical size and visual image of the courthouse, we re-planned the indoor layout, built entrances for employees, escorts and visitors, improved the courthouse infrastructure, increased energy efficiency and did a number of other major works. Alongside the existing building, we are constructing an extension with an area of 556 m2 for the chancellery, reading and conference room for the defence, new cells in order to provide defendants with a comfortable temporary stay at the courthouse, a room for the escorts and improved access to the courthouse by installing elevators for access to the second floor courtrooms. "We are pleased with the progress and quality of the work. I especially want to praise the cooperation between the builders and court employees and their ability to find a way to provide construction work and organize court work at the same time. Thanks to that, I am sure we will be able to move in within the planned deadline," says Santa Sausiņa, Member of the Board of the Courthouse Agency. The total costs of the reconstruction and construction of the new building of the Zemgale District Courthouse in Tukums is estimated at EUR 1,918,861.12. The construction is planned to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
A NEW SPORTS AND RECREATION AREA HAS BEEN BUILT FOR RIGA STUDENTS IN MEŽCIEMS
Last weekend a new sports and recreation area was opened by SIA Velve in Mežciems, between the Riga 89 Secondary School and Mežciems Elementary School. The area was landscaped from April to September, 2018 by adding to the infrastructure of the sports complex "Mežciems".
A soccer field with artificial turf, two multifunctional courts for various games, a gymnastics court with a soft synthetic cover and 10 exercise machines have been installed between the Riga 89 Secondary School and Mežciems Elementary School. There are three running tracks around the area with synthetic sports coverings and a long jump section with a synthetic rubber covering. A new multifunctional cycling track has been created in an area of almost 750 square meters. A playground for students of the schools and local residents has been built, pavement is installed and other landscaping jobs are complete. "One of our main values is the creation of a well-planned and quality environment. Therefore, alongside the construction of large buildings and preservation the historical buildings in Riga, we can take on new and interesting projects that will improve the quality of life for our children and youth'', pleased with the accomplishments is Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of the construction company Velve. The sports and recreation area in Mežciems was created by the request of Riga City Council Property Department.
SIA VELVE BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF HEALTH CENTRE AND THREE SOCIAL HOMES IN BOLDERĀJA
On August 28, in a solemn atmosphere, a capsule was put in the foundation of the new project as a symbol of the beginning of construction.
A complex of three connected buildings with 218 social apartments are planned to be built within the project. The first floors of the building will consist of a health centre, regional centre of Riga Social Services and a day centre of the Social Service. In addition, accommodation facilities for 16 people - orphans and children deprived of parental care - will be installed. There are already four social homes in this area, which were built around fives years ago. The contracting authority of the project is Rīgas pilsētbūvnieks, with the construction work being carried out by the construction company SIA VELVE. The object is planned to be put into service in autumn 2019
Tearing down of an existing and new building site with warehouse buildings with manufacturing and office premises
A year ago, the Velve team started working for Amalva Baltija, one of the biggest Komfovent production plants in the Baltics! In October 2017, we put a capsule in the foundation of the building, but now we are already proud of the project's successful entry into service! Komfovent will produce three different fire class valves in the new plant and will only use certified materials with declarations of conformity.
In the course of our work, dismantling, crushing and utilisation of the old factory structures was carried out. The new building was built of prefabricated reinforced concrete, the ceiling beam panels were made in a Lithuanian reinforced concrete factory “AKSA”. The building was designed and built for the most efficient use of energy resources, gas, electricity, water and heating. Ventilation equipment and compressors are equipped with recuperation (energy recovery), which is used for water heating. The whole building, warehouses and production premises are equipped with a floor heating system. The building is well thought-out, having 8 dining rooms of various sizes and access for people with movement disabilities.
In the SWH Office Centre at Skanstes Street, a capsule with a message for future generations was walled in
On 15 June with the official walling in of the capsule, the construction of the connecting section between the existing blocks of the SWH Office Centre was initiated, which is one of the most important stages in the reconstruction process of the office centre building at 50A, 52, 52A Skanstes Street initiated last December. It is planned that after the reconstruction of the SWH Office Centre the space of the office premises in the reconstructed buildings will be 12 000 m2, but the total space of the premises in the office centre offered for lease will amount to 40 000 m2.
The purpose of SWH Office Centre reconstruction is not only to increase the area of the leased premises, but also to modernise the office centre and to improve its infrastructure. According to the reconstruction plan the office buildings at 52 and 52A Skanstes Street will be connected with a new building, which will have the main entrance to both existing buildings and the entire block. It is also planned to increase the number of floors to six in both buildings. The office building at 50A Skanstes Street will have its existing sloping roofs and roof floors dismantled, by constructing 2 floors instead of them, which will result in a total of 4 above-ground floors.
“Reconstruction and rebuilding of the SWH Office Centre at Skanstes Street is a truly ambitious project, as significant changes will be experienced in both existing office buildings and also their adjoining infrastructure. Within the project it is planned to dismantle and to rebuild the middle of the two buildings, to renovate the facade of the buildings, to install windows that correspond to modern requirements, to reconstruct the external and internal engineering networks, including rainwater and household drainage systems, water pipes, electricity and low-voltage networks, as well as to construct a new outbuilding,” says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the construction company “Velve” Board.
According to the contractor the reconstruction works at SWH Office Centre are progressing smoothly, and currently the construction works of micro-piles and piles have already been completed, which are necessary to provide the functionality of the new planning, as well as the demolition works of the middle section of the buildings are nearing their completion. Along with the reconstruction of the existing buildings, concrete works in the new block, which will connect the office buildings at 52 and 52A Skanstes Street, have begun. It is planned to complete all construction works in spring/summer of 2019.
Member of JSC “SWH Grupa” Board Undalgs Mētra – “We are delighted that the SWH Office Centre will achieve the goals set in this process after the reconstruction works are completed – it will become more open to visitors, will offer a large area of new and modern office space, as well as with the help of well-considered construction and engineering solutions, will be able to provide good quality premises for affordable rent, balancing the requirements of businessmen with regard to the quality of premises and budget.”
The Owner of SWH Office Centre is JSC “SWH Grupa”. The author of the reconstruction design of the three SWH Office Centre buildings at 50A, 52, 52A Skanstes Street is SIA “Tectum” (senior architect Alvis Zlaugotnis); the engineering solutions have been designed by SIA “Moduls Engineering”. The general contractor for the construction works is SIA “VELVE”, but project management and construction supervision is provided by SIA “Būvkonsultants”.
Construction of the Philosophers’ Residence is coming to a close
Marking the beginning of the finishing stage, on 10 May, one of the most fascinating new residential complexes in Riga – the Philosophers’ Residence at Raņķa dambis 34 – held its ridgepole celebrations. Both buildings of the complex forming the emerging City zone of the capital of Latvia along with the pioneering high-rises – Saules Akmens and Z-Towers – is a contemporary architectural tribute to the 18th century German enlightenment philosophers Johann Georg Hamann and Johann Gottfried Herder, who were inspired by the surrounding environment while residing in Riga.
Construction of the residential building began in October 2017, and in a six-month period above-ground concreting work has been performed for both buildings, and also the stone building, facade finishing and construction of internal engineering systems are close to completion. At the same time all windows necessary for the buildings have been produced and set up. Plans for the upcoming months include the construction of roofs, improvement of the surrounding territory, installation of low intensity currents and electrical power networks, as well as interior work – wall finishing, painting, tiling, floor laying, etc.
"The Philosophers’ Residence is one of the most modern new projects not only in Riga, but in Latvia. During its construction phase it has already convincingly found its place in the skyline of the right bank of the Daugava and has become the symbol of the contemporary construction of Riga. The project is not only emotionally fulfilling but also challenging, as following the architectonic vision of the design authors, complicated technical solutions have to be implemented in both residential buildings. One of the greatest challenges was to construct the upper floors of the buildings, because starting from the 10th floor, the area increases,” says Ainārs Leitēns, CEO of the general contractor of the Philosophers’ Residence SIA Velve.
One of the most unique features of the project is its peculiar form resembling a pile of books when approaching from afar. To attain the desired visual effect, terraces and balconies of various sizes and directions have been used as the architectonic solution. With respect to historically significant landscapes opening up to Philosophers’ Alley and the Old City, the first residential floor has been lifted 14 metres above ground. Only the supporting pillars and a 12-metre high entrance hall has been created on ground level. Various materials have been used to finish the facade of both buildings – glass aluminium facade is intended for the first two floors; while ceramic and stone mass tiles with air purifying and self-purification features are planned for the higher floors.
Andris Kronbergs, architect: “The proximity of the ancient bank of the Daugava imposes certain obligations on architecture. We have created the lower part of the building as transparent as possible so that it does not block the view to the surroundings and the Old City. The buildings are unique because their plan is developed so that the centre of Riga and Old Riga, whose historic silhouette is protected by UNESCO, may be viewed from any apartment.”
The architect is confident that the construction of the Philosophers’ Residence will positively affect the overall development of the left bank of the Daugava. “These buildings will create a new silhouette for the left bank, and play their part in the field of urban planning and infrastructure, gradually transforming it into an area we call the New Centre. We believe that over time the south-end of Ķīpsala will become the new business centre of Riga with high-rises. The Philosophers’ Residence is a new beginning for the development of this territory,” he adds.
Aleksejs Zagrebeļnijs, the Chairman of the project developer R.Evolution City emphasises the following: “Quality of the design did not accept any compromises, and this is the first location in Riga of its kind in terms of technical solutions. From the beginning of project development we have tried to think of the comfort and needs of residents, and ensure that the technical solutions used in the building are economically feasible, permanent and will not require any future investments. Additional heating and sound proofing is provided by three-layered wall panels and windows with aluminium cover plates and double insulated glazing with a heat conduction factor of 0.5. Apartments will have uncommonly high ceilings: in apartments up to the 10th floor the ceiling will be 2.91 metres high; starting from the 11th floor – 3.11 metres, while the ceiling in living rooms in apartments on the top floors of the buildings will be 6.75 metres high. Another advantage of the project: exclusive design of the entrance and elevator hall, as well as the high quality of finishing in public access areas and apartments. Currently 25% of the premises have already been reserved, which proves that buyers see value in it. Just like with our other projects, the Philosophers’ Residence is also built with a special lifestyle in mind.”
120 premium class apartments are planned at the Philosophers’ Residence complex. Inhabitants will not only have access to 122 underground parking spaces, but also to an above-ground car park with 120 places, and libraries in both entrance halls. There will also be a basketball ground, terraces with ping pong and novuss tables, children’s playgrounds and a place for meditative relaxation with a view of Old Riga. The total area of the Philosophers’ Residence complex is 4200 m2, while the total area of buildings is estimated at 14 760.6 m2. Construction of 22 and 23-floor high buildings is planned to be finished during the second quarter of 2018.
BlueOrange has granted EUR 9.5 million for the development of the project, and plans to also continue cooperation in the further development of the complex. “We have created an attractive offer for issuing loans for such business-class apartments, facilitating a more flexible solution for the transfer to a new residential space,” explains Dmitrijs Latiševs, CEO of the Bank.
SIA VELVE RANKS No. 4 IN “DIENAS BIZNESS” BUILDER’S TOP ACCORDING TO ITS TURNOVER IN 2017
Since 2013 the turnover of VELVE has increased every year, and in 2017 was a record high – 61.11 million euros, which has doubled compared to 2016. More than 50% of the turnover in 2017 was from private orders, and this number is growing every year.
The year 2017 for SIA Velve has been rich in growth and challenges, and in general it can be assessed as successful. Last year the tendency of increased company turnover each year was retained. Within the last five years it has tripled, and also 2017 has brought an increase in turnover. During the last year SIA Velve has implemented a number of extensive projects not only in Latvia, but also beyond its borders. Among the most significant projects the rebuilding and renovation of VEF Culture Palace should be mentioned, as well as the renovation of the facade and the construction of an outbuilding of the Latvian National Theatre, the construction of Rīgas Bioenergy Boiler House at Rencēnu Street, the construction of a DEPO store in Lithuania and other objects.
“When assessing changes in the construction market last year, it should be noted that the market has become quite stressful. At this time the number of orders has increased significantly, as well as construction costs have grown substantially, which does not provide a safe and confident look into the future. And the burning lack of workforce has become increasingly apparent – currently market participants have to fight with each other to acquire the workforce so essential for their companies. Recent tax reform has also affected the field, as well as other measures which are targeted at organising the market, including the electronic recording system, changes in the laws of personal data protection, the planned general agreement of construction and other political issues,” the Chairman of VELVE Board Ainārs Leitēns comments.
When looking into the future, despite various market challenges, this year promises to be as productive for SIA Velve as the last, and the tendency of increased turnover will be retained. Also this year Velve is also working on a number of significant projects, for example the reconstruction of the Tukums Court House, the construction of an AMALVA plant, the construction of the DEPO store in Lithuania, the reconstruction of the SWH Office building, the construction of a historical new building Villa Milia in Jūrmala and other projects.
RECEIVED 2ND PLACE IN THE COMPETITION "BUILDING OF THE YEAR IN LATVIA - 2017” CATEGORY "PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION PROJECT”
On March 28, 2018, the best construction companies of Latvia were honoured in the Latvian National Library. Seventeen public organisations working in the construction industry in Latvia organised the show “Building of the Year in Latvia - 2017” that took place in a festive and bright atmosphere.
We are pleased that in this important event we received 2nd place in the category “Public Construction Project”! The award is for the Riga Stradins University dormitories construction project. It is one of the largest VELVE public building construction projects that creates a joint study and research complex in the university central building area.
The total area of the new three-storey student housing and underground parking lot is 5401.4 m2. There are 135 rooms located in the student dormatory, providing in total accommodation for 220 students. There are also rooms for students with physical disabilities. All rooms in the student dormatories are divided into three categories, depending on the comfort level and number of inhabitants. For the convenience of students there is a parking lot for 32 cars in the territory and the basement of the building has parking spaces for another 37 cars, as well as a special stand for bicycles.
“We are satisfied with everything we have accomplished and we hope that students will be able to spend their free time more qualitatively in the new complex,” tells Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of SIA VELVE.
The main purpose of the new student dormatory is to provide modern and premium living conditions for an increasing number of students in close proximity of university. While living in the new housing, students will have convenient access to the library, university auditoriums and university research centres.
Initiated reconstruction of tukums court house and construction of outbuilding
Today, on 28 March, in the presence of the Minister of Justice Dzintars Rasnačs, the official laying of the capsule in the foundations of the new outbuilding for the reconstruction of Tukums Court House and construction of its outbuilding was initiated. Within the project it is planned to renew the facade of the existing building, to improve its functionality, as well as to extend the total space of the court premises to 1500 m2.
The reconstruction of Zemgale District Tukums Court House and the construction of the new outbuilding is one of the three projects initiated last year by SJSC “Tiesu namu aģentūra” (TNA), and it is contracted to the General Partnership “Velve and Campaign”. In accordance with the construction design the existing court house, which opened its doors in 1882 will have its facade reconstructed, as well as expansion and reconstruction of the internal premises, and construction of new sewerage, water supply, low current and power supply systems and changing of the heating main will be executed.
“The current court premises do not conform to the number of employees today, as well as they have to be modernised, providing a contemporary and convenient environment for its visitors and employees. Thus within one year Zemgale District Tukums Court House will experience truly extensive changes. Retaining the historical volume of the court house and its visual image the internal premises will be redesigned, entrances for employees, escorts and visitors will be constructed, the infrastructure of the court house will be facilitated, as well as energy efficiency will be increased along with the execution of numerous other voluminous works,” explains Chairman of SIA “Velve” Board Ainārs Leitēns.
The design also provides for the construction of an outbuilding with a total space of 556 m2 so that Zemgale District Tukums Court House may provide the full execution of its functions. Court House Registry will be located in the new building, as well as the reading-room and meeting room for advocacy; new cells will be constructed providing for the convenience of short-term detention for the accused in the Court House, and also an auxiliary room for escort needs will be provided and the accessibility of the Court House environment will be improved, constructing an elevator for access to the court halls that are planned on the second floor.
“The project goal is to provide the organisation of court operation and accessibility of court to visitors in such conditions which conform to modern requirements. Several court hearing halls will be facilitated in the new building, which will be equipped with modern technologies, including, video conference and audio recording devices, and the court premises will be adjusted for people with impaired mobility. Also within the construction of the new court premises, the modern requirements of court house planning will be considered – the working area of the judges will be functionally separated from the public or visiting area,” the Board Member of SJSC “Tiesu namu aģentūra” Santa Sausiņa emphasises.
In the official event of laying the capsule, which symbolically marks the beginning of Zemgale District Tukums Court House construction and renovation works, Head of SJSC “Tiesu namu aģentūra” Santa Sausiņa expressed her greatest gratitude to all of those who participated in this quite complicated project, especially noting the successful cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the Court Administration, the responsible institutions of Tukums City, the court employees, engineers and constructors.
“Thanks to the loyalty of the involved persons to the ideas of the Courthouse Agency, the ability to implement them and the professionalism of the employees, we create lasting values today, building convenient working premises for court employees and visitors that are appropriate to the specifics of court work,” Santa Sausiņa told.
The implementation of three construction projects initiated last year by SJSC “Tiesu namu aģentūra” in the court sector in Jēkabpils, Ventspils and Tukums has already been assessed as the most extensive construction project in the history of Latvian courts up to now. The total costs of Zemgale District Tukums Court House reconstruction and outbuilding construction are estimated in the amount of 1 918 861.12 euros. It is planned that the construction will be completed at the end of 2018.
National theater facade restoration works and construction of the new annex is coming to the end
On August 15, 2017, Ainars Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of VELVE, together with Andris Ameriks - Acting Chairman of the Riga City Council, Olegs Burovs - Chairman of the City Property Committee of Riga City Council, Ojārs Rubenis - Director of the Latvian National Theater accompanied by the representatives of the media were examining the restored theater facade as well as the adjoining annex on the side of the canal.
“The restoration of the facade of the Latvian National Theater is almost completed, and on the Latvian Century Latvian National Theater will be able to expect a fully restored facade, which will not lose its glory even in the evening, because now it will be also illuminated with decorative lighting. During the project, all facade sculptures and Riga City coat of arms have been restored. Improvements have also been made to the terrace of the building, preventing from the damage the railing and the vents of the terrace, by cleansing the cracks and filling with the restoration composition. In turn, the terrace floors will be repaired with waterproofing composition and the cover laid there will be restored. All works planned for the project have been made within the specified deadlines”, informed Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of VELVE.
In turn, in order to ensure the accessibility of the Latvian National Theater environment, a new three-story outbuilding with a total area of 203 m2 is being built. The outbuilding facade is designed in the same way as the existing outbuilding of the theater's new hall, by using a similar finishing materials and glazing, preserving the uniform style of the whole theater building. The new outbuilding is being constructed on the side of the canal, with a suitable entrance for the people with reduced mobility. In the outbuilding will be also built a lift to allow the people with reduced mobility to enter the theater halls, there will be specially adapted toilet facilities, wardrobe and also a new cafe available to all visitors. Construction of the outbuilding is planned to be completed in autumn 2017.
Celebration of the Rīga Stradiņš University Student Hostel rafters raising
Today, on 7 June 2017, an official ceremony was held for the raising of the rafters of the new Student Hostel of the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU). The traditional raising of the wreath onto the rafters was attended by the Minister for Health Anda Caksa (Anda Čakša), the Deputy to the Riga City Council Chairman Andris Ameriks (Andris Ameriks), the Head of the Student Council of the RSU Arturs Silovs (Artūrs Šilovs), the Chairman of the Management Board of “Velve” Ainars Leitens (Ainārs Leitēns).
The ceremony of raising rafters traditionally marks an important stage of the construction process when the building is already beginning to reveal its outlines and the rafters have been raised. Following the Latvian traditions, the wreath put up on the roof rafters symbolises good relations between the owner of the house and the builders, as well as gives a blessing to the new building. This is the moment when all of the people involved in the construction of a building can meet each other and celebrate the first results of their joint work.
Currently the main construction works of the building have been completed, including the construction of ceramsite block outer walls, and the heat insulation of the building plinth outer walls is completed by 90%. Also, the external low-current and power network connection has been constructed, and the construction of the external water supply, sewerage and rainwater drainage networks has been partly completed. The construction of heating mains is still in process. Currently, the building windows and aluminium facades are being assembled, as well as constructions of ventilation, water sewerage, heating networks within the building, and the internal low-current network has been started. Additionally, other interior finishing works have been started.
This will be one of the biggest construction projects of a new public use building for VELVE, which will become a part of a unified study and research complex within the territory of the central building of the university. The Student Hostel building will be three-storey-high, containing an underground storey for a parking lot. The total area of the designed building is 5400 m2. The Student Hostel will have 135 rooms, thus ensuring accommodation space for a total of 220 students. It is also planned to construct a parking lot for 32 cars within the territory, and the underground storey of the building will have parking spaces for additional 37 cars.
Official ceremony - immurement of capsule in the foundations of the hydrogen fuelling station
Today, on 15 May 2017, an official ceremony was held for the immurement of a capsule in the foundations of the hydrogen fuelling station of “Rīgas satiksme” on 6 Vienības alley. The ceremony was attended by the Chairman of the Traffic and Transport Affairs Committee Vadims Baranniks (Vadims Baraņņiks), President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences Ojars Sparitis (Ojārs Spārītis), Technical Support Director of “Rīgas satiksme” Ingvars Snikvalds (Ingvars Šnikvalds), representatives of the Ministry of Economics, the Chairman of the Management Board of “Velve” Ainars Leitens (Ainārs Leitēns), as well as other representatives of the Construction Association “Hydrogenis-Velve”.
Within the framework of the project, VELVE will perform the construction of a hydrogen fuelling station, including ground replacement works, construction of reinforced concrete foundation slabs and brick stone walls, as well as construction of territory fencing and site-development works. Furthermore, VELVE will also perform the construction of water supply, sewerage and rainwater drainage networks, as well power supply and low-current networks. For the needs of the hydrogen, fuelling station VELVE will also construct an external gas network. It is planned to complete the project at the end of July.
“Rīgas satiksme” is implementing the project within the framework of the international project “H2Nodes” and is also the coordinator for this project. Riga is the first Eastern European city to introduce hydrogen-powered transportation, but the project is being implemented also in the Estonian city of Pärnu and in Arnhem, the Netherlands. It is expected that the project will contribute to the shift towards using hydrogen as an alternative fuel carrier in vehicles, thus providing more efficient use of the primary energy resources and promoting the introduction of zero-emission transportation in Europe.
The new hydrogen fuelling station will be available for both fuelling public transportation, and public use. A single fuelling session, taking up only 7-10 minutes, will enable hydrogen powered electric buses to run for 300-400 kilometres; whereas the trolleybuses, running without overhead line system, will be able to run for up to 200 kilometres; and lightweight passenger vehicles will be able to run for about 600 kilometres, and their fuelling will take up 3-5 minutes.
The VELVE representatives inform the students of the LUA about the construction processes taking place at the VEF Culture Palace
On March 29, 2017 an educational campaign Learn Construction (Mācies būvniecību) gave the 4th year students from the Faculty of Environment and civil Engineering of LUA, an opportunity to look at some of VEF Culture Palace construction processes, as well as ask questions to VELVE staff about the everyday on site duties of the construction specialists.
Students had a great opportunity to use their theoretical knowledge, acquired during studies, on the site while watching the construction processes at the VEF Culture Palace. Students asked many specifying questions amongst which were questions about individual specialist duties and daily work, which is closely related to the knowledge acquired during their studies, and lets them better realize their future careers.
For the second consecutive year, the career choice supporting campaign Learn Construction (Mācies būvniecību), once again supported by VELVE, is going to be held in Latvia. The primary aim of the campaign is to draw young people's attention to the construction industry and to encourage them to study engineering, by showing actual examples of the industry's diversity and the career opportunities. The goal of the campaign is to shed more light on the examples of good practice in building a career in the construction industry, to promote the studying opportunities in Universities and to inspire the potential students to build a career in the construction industry.
The campaign Learn Construction (Mācies būvniecību) consists of three main points: the stories of construction professionals in the booklet An exciting profession – builder (Aizraujoša profesija – būvnieks); professionals visiting schools to talk to children and students about construction – the daily developments and the satisfaction with the projects implemented; the visits of the schoolchildren and students to the most interesting construction sites in Latvia – new buildings, historical buildings, engineering structures, etc.
VEF House of Culture Open Day provides information about progress in restoration and reconstruction.
Today, February 15, 2017, an open day event took place at the VEF Kultūras pils (VEF House of Culture), during which the representatives of VELVE informed the Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, representatives of the Riga City Council, the media, and the staff of VEF Kultūras pils about the completed reconstruction and restoration works. Chairs intended for the VEF Kultūras pils conference hall and balcony were also delivered to the open day event so that everyone who attended the event could be assured of a comfortable seat. The total area of the property is 6878 m2, and since May of 2016 approximately 47% of the general construction works planned within the project has been completed, as well as the additional works to be performed which arose in the course of the construction process.
Today, February 15, 2017, an open day event took place at the VEF Kultūras pils (VEF House of Culture), during which the representatives of VELVE informed the Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, representatives of the Riga City Council, the media, and the staff of VEF Kultūras pils about the completed reconstruction and restoration works. Chairs intended for the VEF Kultūras pils conference hall and balcony were also delivered to the open day event so that everyone who attended the event could be assured of a comfortable seat. The total area of the property is 6878 m2, and since May of 2016 approximately 47% of the general construction works planned within the project has been completed, as well as the additional works to be performed which arose in the course of the construction process.
The main entrance façade of the building is undergoing construction of the granite staircase supports because during the dismantling of the main entrance steps of the building it was discovered that there were no load bearing structures beneath the steps and that the granite steps are supported only by sand bedding. Additionally, the granite boards and the plinth at the VEF Kultūras pils main entrance finishing plates will be reinforced. In turn, the granite steps and the large lanterns located at the entrance are being restored and renewed in the workshops of restorers. The finishing works of the remaining façade walls will be started once warmer weather conditions set in. Before the restoration of the building main entrance and rotunda columns were started, a technical and chemical composition inspection of the existing plaster of the columns was conducted by invited technical specialists. On the basis of their results, a decision was made to dismantle the existing plaster and construct a new layer.
its ceiling and decors restored, the stage decors have been renewed and restored, and they have also been initially painted. Wall and balcony finishing and restoration works are still in process. The main staircases are undergoing preparatory works in order to perform restoration works, and the lobby and the adjoining rooms are undergoing the removal of the existing finish and cleaning of decors. Restoration and renewal works on radiators, radiator covers, chandeliers, and bra lamps are currently in process, and the aim is for the said elements to regain their original appearance.
During the construction works, several defects and flaws have been discovered, elimination of which requires additional unplanned works. Significant defects were uncovered regarding the load bearing capacity of the existing floors and their non-compliance with fire safety requirements; therefore, all of the floors inside the building were newly constructed. Upon assessing the condition of the existing wooden floor covering, a decision was made to construct dry concrete flooring for a total area of 3000m2. Also, the design of the Large Hall (Lielā zāle) and balcony steps was changed, taking into account the unsatisfactory condition of the existing steps.
VEF Kultūras pils is a national architectural monument, and its internal planning, as well as interior finish in five styles makes it an artistic monument of national importance.
VEF Kultūras pils building was erected during the time period from 1951 to 1960, and this is the first time such large-scale building reconstruction and renovation works are taking place. The construction company “Velve” is in charge of the VEF Kultūras pils refurbishment and restoration works which were commissioned by the Riga City Council Property Department. The total project cost including VAT is approximately 11 million Euros. More than six million euros of costs is to be covered by European Union funding.
Time capsule inserted in biofuel boiler house foundations.
Today, February 8, 2017, at a ceremonial event a time capsule was inserted in the foundations of the biofuel boiler house of the joint enterprise “Rīgas BioEnerģija” formed by JSC “RĪGAS SILTUMS” and LTD “Enerģijas Risinājumi”. At the event the board member of LTD “Rīgas BioEnerģija” Romans Orlovs (Romāns Orlovs), JSC “RĪGAS SILTUMS” chairman of the board Normunds Talcis (Normunds Talcis) and General Partnership GP “Velve, Moduls-Rīga” board member Ainars Leitens (Ainārs Leitēns) put a message for future generations inside the capsule and made speeches. The newly-constructed biofuel boiler house on 16 Rencēnu Street will be the most powerful boiler house of its type in Latvia, which will be fuelled by wood chips – a fuel readily available in Latvia. This boiler house will contain state of the art equipment with a high level of efficiency and automation, and this will be the first of two of such boiler houses planned for construction in Riga.
“On behalf of the association of the builders I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to take part in such a modern project. A boiler house of such capacity, which will use biofuel, is a significant experience also for the builders and the suppliers of technological solutions. It is possible that already in the near future such sustainable engineering/technical projects will be even more common, thus allowing us maximum utilization of the biofuel available in Latvia. We join in the message for future generations and we want them to remember the saying that is well-known to us – we have not inherited Earth from our ancestors, we have only borrowed it from our children”, said Ainars Leitens (Ainārs Leitēns), board Member of General Partnership “Velve, Moduls-Rīga” at the ceremony.
Construction of a boiler house of such capacity, which will use biofuel, is also significant experience for VELVE in the segment of engineering/technical structures. Within the project it is planned to construct a boiler house of 48 MW capacity through dismantling of the existing building and ensuring a full construction process. Now the dismantling works of the existing pump house have been completed (a total of 314 piles have been constructed), and the concreting works of the foundations for the main technological equipment and building foundation concreting works in the section of the boiler house have been completed. Building foundation concreting works in the section of the wood chip warehouse are still in progress, and also concreting works of the wood chip acceptance pit and conveyor pit are still in progress. Assembly works of the primary furnace have been started, and preparatory works for assembling the boilers are currently under way. The total area of the project territory is 11125 m2. It is planned to complete the project and commission the boiler house at the end of this year.
VELVE Informs Students about the Opportunities and Benefits of Construction-Related Professions
On February 1, 2017, the Chairman of the Board of “Velve”, Ainars Leitens (Ainārs Leitēns) told several tens of future engineers and landscape architects from the Faculty of Environment and Civil Engineering of the LAU about the construction practice as part of an educational campaign “Study Construction”, with the participation of other representatives of construction companies. The meeting took place at the Faculty of Environment and Civil Engineering of the LAU, co-participated by Sandra Guste (Sandra Guste), Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture and Building of the LAU.
Representatives of construction companies and campaign organizers had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the model of Daugava, made by the LAU, as well as to come to an agreement about the building sites, which interested the students, and suitable times for excursions for the students at those sites.
Ainars Leitens: “It's prestigious and respectable to be a builder. There will always be work for professionals in the field of construction. One already has to understand during the studies of it, that this profession requires passion and dedication, which always results in a wide range of opportunities to build a career. Studies are a way to learn how to make decisions, analysing the available data. And decision-making is one of the most important skills in construction.”
Sandra Guste: “We gladly welcome representatives of construction companies to visit our Faculty with the purpose of offering opportunities for students to choose internships. The internships are a great chance to test one’s strengths, it is essential to work in actual construction, understand the processes and experience a taste of the profession.”
For already the second year in a row on Latvian scale, the career guidance support campaign “Study Construction” (“Mācies būvniecību”) takes place, which this year is also supported by VELVE. The key aim of the campaign is to draw young people's attention to the construction field and encourage the desire to study engineering sciences, showing the diversity and career opportunities of the field with real examples. The purpose of the campaign is to supplement the information space with examples of good practice, related to careers within the construction field, to popularize study opportunities at universities, as well as to inspire young people to work in the construction industry.
The campaign “Study Construction” consists of three parts: attractive stories of construction professionals in the booklet “An exciting profession – a builder”; visits of professionals to schools, talking to pupils and students about construction – for daily processes and satisfaction related to the realized projects; visits of pupils and students at the best construction sites in Latvia - new buildings, historical buildings, civil engineering buildings, etc.
The walling in of a Capsule into the Foundation of the New Dormitory of the Riga Stradins University
Today, on December 12, 2016, the walling in of a capsule into the foundation of the new dormitory of the RSU was held during a ceremonial event. During the event, a message for future generations was signed by the ceremony participants: the Minister for Health Anda Caksa, the Riga City Council Deputy Chairman Andris Ameriks, leader of the RSU Student Council Artur Silovs, Chairman of the Board of the LLC Velve Ainars Leitens.
This is one of the largest new public building construction projects from VELVE, which will create a joint educational and research complex on the grounds of a central university building. The student dormitory building will have three floors and a car park on the ground floor with a total building floor area of 5400 m2. The dormitory will have 135 rooms, providing accommodation for 220 students, there will be parking for 32 cars on the grounds, whilst additional parking for 37 cars will be built in the basement of the building.
Almost all recent projects provide a number of solutions to ensure accessibility for people with reduced mobility. This project will have a number of solutions both in specially adapted rooms, as well as in recreation and common areas.
VELVE and representatives of the Saeima (Latvian parliament) introduce the renovated Saeima building to the media
Today, on the 26th October 2016, the construction company “VELVE” together with Saeima employees presented the renovated Saeima building, located in Jēkaba street 6/8 to the media, and talked about works carried out during the construction process. The audience was addressed by Karīna Pētersone, Secretary General of the Saeima Administration, Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of VELVE, as well as Arnis Kleinbergs, the architect of “Arhis Arhitekti, Ltd.”.
Restoration and construction of the Saeima building in Jēkaba Street 6/8 lasted for almost two years. The building underwent a large volume of restoration work, with restoration of a total of 440 m2 of historic parquet and 115 m2 of historic tiles, preserving and restoring the big oak windows, as well as 40 historic doors. Some of the doors were recreated according to samples of old copies.
"This was one of the most complex projects in the Old Town of Riga, since the Old Town environment with its narrow streets and historic buildings was one of the biggest challenges. A number of important project phases were connected both with pile construction, placement of large-scale modern utilities inside the building, but a particularly challenging task was to establish an interconnection between the existing building and the new extension,” explains Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of the construction company VELVE.
This project had a very large proportion of manual work, since its location in Old Town did not allow the use of powerful machinery for delivering material around the site. One of the most difficult stages was to develop a precise technology for carrying out works, and then to implement the interconnection between the new and the historic building, according to the building project. Integration of the new extension into the Old Town’s historical environment was approved by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.
The new Saeima building contains conference halls, meeting rooms, and work rooms for several parliamentary committees complying with modern requirements, as well as a fully constructed basement and top floor which complies with the technical needs of the building.
VELVE is a company founded in 1992, which, during 25 years of operation, has grown from a restoration company to one of the main construction companies in Latvia, with further development prospects in the Baltic and the EU. The company has evolved by implementing construction projects of varying size and complexity in the fields of engineering constructions, new constructions, renovation and reconstruction, as well as by providing a full range of construction project management. Our clients appreciate the experienced team of VELVE specialists who are responsible for fulfilling every customer’s desire.
VELVE introduces the progress of VEF Culture Palace restoration and reconstruction
Today, on the 20th October, 2016 the representatives of the construction company VELVE introduced the media, representatives of the Riga City Council as well as the employees of the VEF Culture Palace with the ambitious restoration and reconstruction works of the VEF Culture Palace. It is a national monument of architecture, while its interior design, as well as the five-room interior decoration is a national artistic monument. Total area of the facility is 6878 m2 and since May 2016 approximately 25% of the project’s general construction works have been finished, as well as further work to be carried out has been defined during the process.
The reconstruction and restoration project of the VEF Culture Project includes three main objectives
• First – increasing access to the VEF Culture Palace and improving the surrounding territory, by arranging the surroundings and utilities, renovating the building facade and adjusting the building for people with special needs.
• Second – improvement of the VEF Culture Palace services, by restoring the interior, walls and ceilings, improving the stage, sound and lighting system, recording studio, as well as rebuilding the internal utilities.
• Third – improving the working conditions of the creative amateur groups. Improving workshop equipment as well as developing heating and ventilation systems suitable for the premises.
"This is a relatively complex reconstruction and restoration project, given that the VEF Culture Palace is a nationally protected architectural monument. Such a status provides a number of restrictions and specific conditions to be met throughout the whole project. One of the most difficult phases of the project includes the construction of the basement in the VEF Culture Palace lobby area. The biggest challenge of the project is to create a modern environment, while maintaining the historical and cultural values of the building and its premises," says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of the construction company "Velve".
So far, extensive demolition works, including dismantling of the attic mezzanine covering of 900 m2, have been carried out, additional 600 m2 of which were dismantled due to the critical condition of the covering structures. Approximately 70% of roofing and roof constructions have been finished; during project execution, it has been found that additional works for strengthening roof structures and replacing elements need to be carried out.
After recovering the building facade, it showed the need for masonry repair and reinforcement; furthermore, during the construction it was discovered that the windows do not have historically built lintels. Consequently, initially unplanned window lintel construction was also carried out. Before starting restoration of the building's main entrance and rotunda columns, a technical and chemical analysis of the existing column plaster was performed, by inviting technical experts. Upon receipt of the opinion, it was decided to carry out the dismantling of the existing plaster and to provide a new plaster finish coating.
While dismantling the building's main entrance steps, it was found that the steps do not have load-bearing structures underneath them, and the granite steps are based only on the sand fill. Consequently, it is necessary to create a base construction for the steps as well as to additionally strengthen the granite and plinth trim plates at the VEF Culture Palace main entrance. Currently, construction works of internal utilities are performed in the basement, and finishing works are carried out.
The VEF Culture Palace was built during the period from 1951 to 1960, and reconstruction and renovation works of such scale are carried out for the first time. The construction company "Velve" carries out the reconstruction and restoration works of the VEF Culture Palace in accordance with the order of Riga City Council Property Department. The total project cost (VAT included) is about 11 million euros. More than six million euros are planned to be attracted from funds of the European Union.
VELVE is a company founded in 1992, which, during 25 years of operation, has grown from a restoration company to one of the main construction companies in Latvia, having a chance of developing in the Baltics and the EU. The company has evolved by implementing construction projects of varying size and complexity in the fields of engineering constructions, new constructions, renovation and reconstruction, as well as by providing a full range of construction project management. Our clients appreciate the experienced team of VELVE specialists who are responsible for fulfilling every customer's desire.
The Reconstruction of Municipal Residential Housing in Riga, Ieriku Street is Completed
On October 10, 2016, took place the grand opening of a new Municipal residential housing, attended by representatives of the Riga City Council, the company Rīgas pilsētbūvnieks and the construction company Velve.
The reconstruction of the police station on 28 Ieriķu Street was carried out by the construction company Velve upon order of LLC Rīgas pilsētbūvnieks. Restoration works were commenced in June 2015. The building was commissioned in September 2016, completing the works for half a year earlier than it was provided by the contract. The amount of the contract: 1 138 458.32 EUR.
One of the main requirements of the Client was to ensure the construction of at least 70 one-bedroom apartments. Each apartment is arranged as a fire-safe compartment. Utility networks was installed to make each apartment autonomous not only in the classic sense, with control of heating and water consumption, but also additionally equipping each apartment with the heating and water consumption control system through the remote reading, which will create controllable database.
On August 17, 2015, a permission to start construction works was received. Dismantling, installation of windows, roofing, flooring, etc. works and design revisions was carried out in the course of construction works, 71 apartments were designed. The Construction Board approved design revisions. Following the acceptance of revisions, the Client decided that additional revisions should be made in the design, with the aim to arrange assisted living facilities on the first floor. The idea has been implemented and currently the building with 48 one-bedroom social apartments and 20 assisted living apartments are commissioned.
Acoustic brackets were used for noise insulation between apartments and construction of structures. Metal doors provide EI30 min fire protection (reaction to fire is 30 min.). The Thermowhite material of Austrian technology was used for insulation of floor slabs. The main purpose of application of this material is to achieve the horizontal floor level, simultaneously improving the noise insulation. The use of linoleum on the walls of sanitary facilities instead of the classic tiles can be mentioned as a non-standard solution, thus reducing the weight carried by the slab and achieving polished aesthetic of the premises. The building is equipped with a ramp. The facade is insulated with 180 mm rock wool plates. Energy-efficient building. Each apartment has allocators, which make accurate records of the heat flow from the radiators.
Increased resistance finish was used façade insulation, additionally ensuring mechanical strength of the building walls.
Modern lightning protection system is installed under the façade insulation, which is a novelty in the construction.
Construction company Velve assumed obligations of the General contractor for warranty period of ten years.
History of the building - it was built mid-20th century, commissioned in 1957. Building was used until 2013. In one part of the building, a station of the State Police was located, in the other - one-bedroom apartments. During Soviet era, it was a communal – living apartment house with shared facilities.
In 2013, the Riga City Council Housing and Environment Department was given the task by Riga City Council to reconstruct the building. An architect bureau ARHITEH LLC was contracted and the design for potential tenants, providing 45 apartments was developed after a detailed examination of the object. Following the development and submission of the design to the Construction Board, facility reconstruction was not started until the moment when it was taken under the control of Rīgas pilsētbūvnieks. Building reconstruction procurement procedure was announced at the end of 2014. The contract with Velve LLC was concluded on June 9, 2015.
Challenge: 10 years guarantee, responsibility of the General Contractor for design development and achievement of low costs.
Historical Facade and Flag Pole of Riga Secondary School No. 37 are Renewed
This year, on September 19, the Riga city flag was lifted on the renewed flag pole of Riga Secondary School No. 37, Ciekurkalna 1st Line 53
LLC VELVE concluded an agreement with the Riga City Council Property Department in April 2016 on the school's historic facade restoration, replacement of windows, and illumination of the building facade. Work costs were 450 thousand euro. All works were completed within 4 months.
The building of Riga Secondary School No. 37 is a national cultural monument. The first-floor window grills were restored during the work, and one of the windows of the building was saved and restored as historical testimony. Velve restored holders of the school's historical flag pole and installed a new flag pole. A historical balcony was renewed, from which the former President of Latvia Karlis Ulmanis delivered a speech to students at the beginning of last century. In total, 3600 m2 of facades were restored, 716 m2 of wooden windows were replaced, 115 m2 of historical window grills were restored, tin windowsills and cornices, as well as drainpipes were replaced. Lighting fixtures to illuminate the facade were installed according to the project.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: LLC „VELVE”
CUSTOMER: THE RIGA CITY COUNCIL PROPERTY DEPARTMENT
ADDRESS OF THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: CIEKURKALNA 1ST LINE 53, RIGA
CONSTRUCTION TYPE: RENOVATION OF FACADE, REPLACEMENT OF WINDOWS
Contract duration: April 27, 2016. The works were completed within 4 months.
Contract amount: 450 104.21 EUR (excl. VAT)
Opening of the newly-built sports hall in Kauguri
On August 25 in Jūrmala, 55 Raiņa Street, a festive opening of the newly-built sports hall held place. The foundation stone for this building was laid at the end of November 2014. The general contractor of the building construction is LTD „Velve”.
“One of the most difficult stages of this project was to create a modern and functional connection between the newly-built sports hall and the existing school buildings. The newly-built premises are currently the biggest and most advanced sports hall in Jūrmala complying with the FIBA international requirements, which means, it can be a venue for international floorball, handball, volleyball, and badminton tournaments” emphasizes Ainārs Leitēns, VELVE, Chairman of the Board.
The sports hall has two floors, and also one underground floor. Total area of the premises exceeds 3000 square meters; the area of the sports hall – more than 1500 square meters.
During the designing process, particular attention was drawn to the functionality of the building. The premises are planned so that their mutual configuration would not obstruct their functionality. When organizing international competitions, it is possible to deploy retractable stand systems, which provide seats for approximately 750 people. The stands form rows of steps, and, combined with the stationary stands of the second floor, ensure additional 60 seats.
The dressing room area is located in second floor premises, simultaneously ensuring convenient access to the sports hall. This area can hold up to 120 people. Dressing rooms are arranged on the second floor to ensure, that the gymnasium and primary school “Atvase” students could comfortably get to physical education classes. During the school physical education classes, the sports hall can be divided using a collapsible curtain throughout the hall. Each part of the divided sports hall has a separate entrance; therefore, it is possible to organize competitions in each area independently.
Also, new classrooms have been built for educational purposes. They are located on the first floor of the building. The classrooms can accommodate 28 students.
The lobby area is mainly designed for visitors that will want to watch games the Latvian Basketball League or competitions and sports games of a different scale. Similar to the rest of the building, this part also is designed with emphasis on complying with environmental accessibility requirements. The entrance area has an elevator, facilities for visitors, including toilets and shower rooms for disabled persons.
The sports hall is built using only the funding provided by the Jūrmala city municipal government. The total costs of the construction project are 5.3 million euros, which includes performed construction works, road covering, territorial improvement, and costs of designing and construction supervision.
“VELVE” LTD Supports the Participation of RTU Students in the Nordic Steel Bridge Competition “BRICO 2016”
For the first time, students of the Riga Technical University Faculty of Civil Engineering participated in the Nordic Steel Bridge Competition “BRICO 2016” with a self-made bridge. The competition took place from May 16 till May 20 in Tallinn.
The main concept of the competition: a team consisting of up to four people must design and construct their own metal bridge in accordance with the criteria of the regulations of the competition. In search for the most efficient design that would conform to the given criteria, the students must be innovative and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired in the university in practice. They must also solve such technical problems as manufacturing of structures and process optimization, resulting in building a realistic bridge.
The RTU team built its bridge measuring 5 metres long and weighing 160kg. Work on the bridge project commenced in December of the previous year.
A total of 9 teams qualified for the competition - 6 teams from Poland and one team each from Estonia, Latvia and Croatia.
Participation of the young professionals in the competition was financially supported by the construction company “Velve”.
Since 2015, Velve has created a corporate social responsibility programme, one of the aims of which is to support sustainable values of education. In 2015 “Velve” supported a professional education campaign “Study Civil Engineering” that opens up a different perspective on civil engineering - regarding it as a prestious branch.
Velve presents construction industry career opportunities to young people
Velve is taking part in the educational information campaign "LEARN ABOUT CONSTRUCTION!" organised by the author of the idea Building Design and Construction Council (BDCC), alongside partners such as the Ministry of Education, RD Property Department, Riga Technical University, the association "Green Home", and RERE Group.
This is the first time such a professional guidance campaign has taken place in Latvia. It involves the participation of university and college tutors, scientists, and industry representatives to promote young people's awareness about career opportunities and the various professions in the construction industry.
"The builder's trade deserves to be rehabilitated because it is no longer very prestigious, even though there are many extremely highly qualified professionals working in the industry. The campaign proposes to position the builder as an honourable profession, which is an important factor in attracting knowledgeable and intelligent young people to the construction professions. Construction creates lasting values," says the Chairman of the Board of Velve and the representative of the Building Design and Construction Council Ainārs Leitēns.
The campaign consists of an informative and original brochure in printed and electronic format that will be distributed in the largest general education schools and colleges of Latvia. There will also be meetings with young people in schools in Latvia, during which professionals of the sector will share their experience and answer questions.
The press conference about the content and objectives of the campaign and the presentation of the brochure took place on the 13th of January in "Rīdze" elementary school.
The Head of Production of Velve Igors Šenbergs commenced the meetings with Latvian school students by sharing his professional experience and the opportunities that become available in the profession of Civil Engineer.
One of the main objectives of the campaign is to increase young people's awareness of the opportunities and personal growth process: education – apprenticeship – a career in construction. Meanwhile, the social purpose of the campaign is to fill the information space with examples of best practice by promoting the opportunities to study in universities and colleges and, using the stories of career achievements of actual professionals in the field of construction, to inspire young people to study and work in construction-related industries.
Velve updates corporate identity and strengthens the leader's position in the sector
In line with the latest areas of development of the company, Velve has acquired a new corporate style design. The key motives are professionalism, accuracy, energy, dynamics, and development, aligning the updated identity with the company growth goals.
2015 is the 23rd year in the history of Velve, during which the company has transformed from what was originally a restoration society to become one of the leading construction and restoration companies in Latvia.
"Over the years, Velve has developed and expanded both its range of services and the team of specialists. This means that the logo and corporate style of the company has to change along with us. I believe that the updated logo is a natural step in the development process of the company. We are ready for more and more new projects both in Latvia and abroad, therefore it is important that the website, logo, and corporate information of the company is up-to-date and clear to all our customers," says Ainārs Leitēns, Chairman of the Board of Velve.
The projects implemented by the company have received industry accolade. The "Vietinghoff House" received two nominations in the 2008 property contest "The Best New Project": 2nd place in the category "The Best Reconstructed Building" and 3rd place in the category "The Best Security Concept". The project of reconstruction of "Rīdze" elementary school implemented by Velve was nominated by the Riga City architect's bureau for the 2014 Riga Architecture Awards.
Velve implements construction projects, which includes the implementation of civil, industrial, technical engineering, and environmental projects. The company has developed strong expertise in restoration, reconstruction, and renovation and is unrivalled in the Latvian market. Restoration methods are designed to restore the original look and condition of the building or premises, where possible using authentic materials or replacing them with modern alternatives.
Another important business area of the company is civil engineering. The list of completed projects includes the construction of water supply and sewerage systems and works at Riga Airport. These are technology-intensive projects that require a high level of accuracy and professionalism, allowing the entire potential of the engineers of the company to be applied.
At the same time, one of the important growth segments for the company are new construction projects for individual customers. These are large objects where Velve ensures full construction process management and the construction works, including residential buildings, large stores, and sports bases. Customers appreciate the experience of Velve and their professionalism in construction process management. Every customer can count on transparent and understandable construction project management, which allows one to be confident about the professional implementation of the construction projects.
Velve continues reconstruction and restoration of the Saeima building
The reconstruction of the Saeima premises and construction of a new connection is continuing in Riga Old Town. The project includes building a connection between the old building and the new extension.
The project has currently reached the middle stage, with a large part of the structural construction finished. The windows of the existing building are being restored to maintain the historic oak frames. The reconstruction process revealed decorative wall paintings which were preserved and conserved for future generations. The work is being carried out by a team of experienced restorers and specialists of Velve.
Velve project manager Ingus Baumanis points out that one of the biggest challenges is the small area of the construction site and the development of pile driving technology for the project.
A connection between the buildings has been constructed as part of the project. In close collaboration with the designers, it was possible to find the optimal solution for a secure connection between the new building and the old one.
Once the reconstruction is completed, there will be modern and functional premises available to the parliamentary groups, including meeting rooms, offices and auxiliary premises. The historic parquet will be maintained and restored in the existing building. Advanced climate control equipment is provided to ensure a comfortable climate in the entire building. As a decorative element, the safety vault in the basement will be kept and restored to full functionality.
The contract for reconstruction and restoration of the Saeima building at 6/8 Jēkaba Street was concluded on 11 July 2014 and the work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016. The scope of the contract includes the reconstruction of the building, restoration of historic interior elements and structures and construction of a new extension. The amount of the contract is EUR 3,875,875.53.
VEF Rīga end the basketball season as champions
The 2014/2015 basketball season brought the champions' title back to VEF Rīga after one year's break. The joy for the club's success is shared by Velve, one of Latvia's leading construction companies, who is supporting the team for the third year running since 2012.
In the sixth game of the final series VEF Rīga player Mareks Mejeris scored 22 points and collected 14 rebounds, while Gerald Robinson added 15 points. Jerai Grant scored 17 points for the opponents "Ventspils". This success allowed VEF Rīga to clinch the LBL champions' title by winning the series against Ventspils 4-2. This is the fourth LBL gold in the club's history, regained after one year's break.
"Ventspils" started the game more successfully and led at halftime (28-39). In the third quarter VEF Rīga reduced the deficit to a minimum (49-50) and in the final minutes managed to clinch victory with 71-63.
VEF Rīga's forward Mareks Mejeris was named the most valuable player of the LBL play-offs.
Velve launches the construction of multifunction sports hall in Kauguri
In November 2014, the foundation stone for the new Kauguri sports hall in Jūrmala was laid. The hall is expected to be completed in autumn of 2015. The mayor of Jūrmala Gatis Truksnis and the patroness of the new hall, basketball player Ieva Tāre, placed a time capsule with a message to future generations in the foundations.
The hall will have a capacity of more than 800 spectators and its total area will exceed 3,000 square metres. Total cost of the project is 4.8 million euros. At its launch, it will be the largest and most advanced sports hall in Jūrmala. The hall can host basketball, handball and volleyball matches, while its primary purpose is to serve as a space for physical education classes for the students of Jūrmala State Gymnasium and "Atvase" primary school.
The construction company Velve has considerable experience in the implementation of projects for educational institutions, as well as projects of a similar scope and profile. Velve implements construction projects, which includes the implementation of civil, industrial, technical engineering and environmental projects. Cooperation with Velve means a reliable and safe partner and a complete overview of the construction process.
The project brief involves connecting the multifunction sports arena with the Jūrmala State Gymnasium and "Atvase" primary school buildings, as well as constructing an access road and entrance from Skolas and Kauņas streets. Area improvement work will include the construction of car parking spaces, bicycle stands and a fenced-off and illuminated area.
Velve supports MX Moduls motosport team
With the launch of the 2012 motocross season, Velve becomes one of the sponsors of the MX Moduls motocross team. Having decided to support professional sports, Velve chose to sponsor motocross because it is among the sports with the strongest traditions in Latvia.
Motocross has a long tradition in Latvia and the MX Moduls team is determined to follow it and develop it further in 2012 and in the future. During this season, the priority of the team is winning motocross races in Latvia and achieving as high results as possible on the international stage.
For this season, MX Moduls team has signed the talented and promising Dāvis Līvs, Gundars Gaušis and Mārtiņš Zommers to match the ambition of becoming the leaders of Latvian motocross and making a name among the European and global motosports elite.
In 2012 MX Moduls will not only take part in the Latvian Championships and the Supercup, but also challenge the world's leading riders in the German Open ADAC Championship and the Motocross World Championship. MX Moduls will use new, custom-designed 2012 Kawasaki motorcycles that, together with the riders' skills and intense preparation period, give reasonable hope for good results during the season.
"MX Moduls team in 2012 will consist of talented athletes who already have a proven track record in Latvian motocross. We have been preparing seriously for this season. Our goal is to win the Supercup clubs classification and be in the top three in the Latvian Championship clubs classification, as well as to successfully compete in rounds of the ADAC German Championship and Motocross World Championship. Good results in this and next season are a prerequisite for successful preparation for 2014 when Latvia will host the Motocross of Nations in Ķegums," says Valdis Seratinskis, manager of the MX Moduls team.
A new addition to the MX Moduls team in 2012 is Dāvis Līvs (MX Pro, MX1) who, together with Gundars Gaušis (MX Pro, MX1) and Mārtiņš Zommers (MX13+, MX1), will fly out to the last training camp in the USA on the 21st of March to spend 12 days in California and to take part in the first race one month later: the Challenge Cup on the 14th of April.