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Interview with LLC (SIA) “VELVE” Construction manager Marta Rimaševska in the magazine “Būvinženieris”.
Marta Rimaševska joined the “VELVE” team less than five years ago, but already last year she won the biggest laurels of the construction industry, winning the prize “Pamatakmens” in the “Young Engineer/Architect of the Year 2022” category. In the magazine “Būvinženieris” Marta Rimaševska finds answers to some questions that help to understand why actions speak louder than words!
68% of the second building at the VERDE office complex leased; topping-out celebrated
Several important milestones have been reached in the development of Riga’s greenest office complex VERDE. The leased area has significantly increased – in Building A it has already exceeded the 80 percent mark, and in Building B it is close to 68 percent. Meanwhile, a topping-out ceremony has been held for Building B by putting the symbolic crown atop its roof. It means that the construction of the second building’s supporting structure has been completed and work will soon begin on waterproofing the roof. Just like the first building, the second building has 11 stories and it has been constructed using over 3,000 tons of reinforcement and 12,000 cubic meters of concrete.
At present, general construction works are ongoing at Building B, with engineering works like installing electrical wiring and a cooling system going on inside the building. Other engineering networks will also be provided soon. Meanwhile, construction processes necessary to prepare the buildings for work in winter conditions are nearing completion.
Iveta Lāce, VERDE Commercial Director: “A year has passed since we announced the launch of construction of Building B. As far as construction is concerned, it has been a challenging time, but we coped with everything successfully, for which we are thankful to everyone involved in the construction process. At the same time, intensive work continued during this year to attract tenants. As a result, 74 percent of the office complex has been leased already. Undeniably, in the current economic situation, a decision to open a new office requires courage and resolve even for the strongest companies. We will therefore support our existing and future tenants as much as we can, providing them with modern and energy efficient premises for the growth of their businesses and wellbeing of their employees.
VERDE office complex, commissioned by its developer, Lithuanian company Capitalica Asset Management, is being built under the leadership of Notus Developers, a subsidiary of SBA Group. The project’s team of architects includes Andris Kronbergs and Jānis Zvejnieks from ARHIS ARHITEKTI in collaboration with the architect bureau AROUND and landscaping bureau ZALA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS. Building structures are being designed by ARENSO, Forma 2 provides construction supervision and the project’s general contractor is one of Latvia’s leading construction firms Velve.
Vineta Verika, CEO of VELVE: “We celebrated the topping-out at Building B of the VERDE office complex in a special atmosphere. For the construction industry, this year has been full of challenges not only in Latvia but all over the world. Therefore, on behalf of our company, I would like to thank the project’s developers and other cooperation partners for the excellent work they have been doing together so far, and I am confident that we will be able to keep cooperating just as successfully until Building B is opened at the end of next year.”
As reported, the investments in the development of VERDE office complex exceeds EUR 65 million. To date, its tenants include companies like Swisscom, Decta, KPMG Latvija, Swetch, Merito Group, Workland, Enefit, VIA SMS Group and Veselības centrs 4, among others. The exclusive rent and management partner of “VERDE” is the leading Latvian real estate agency Colliers. The first building, which was completed in the summer of 2022, became the only A class business center to open in Latvia this year. The second building is scheduled for completion in a year.
Project of the Year award of the real estate forum “Baltic Real Estate Leaders Forum” presented to the office complex “Verde”
During recent years, building one of the most complicated and exciting projects, we are satisfied that the work has also been assessed by the jury of the real estate forum “Baltic Real Estate Leaders Forum” (BREL forum), which has recognised the office complex “Verde” as the project of the year.
The building also received the public choice award according to the vote of local residents!
So far, we have completed the stage of construction of the first building of the office complex and put the building into service, whereas, construction of the load-bearing structures has been completed for the other building.
“Verde” is the first project implemented by “Capitalica Asset Management” in Latvia. Building A of the office complex “Verde” has 11 floors, an underground parking area and courtyard, its total area is 22,000 square metres, while the area to be leased out and common-use area is 15,000 square metres. “Verde” has been granted the BREEAM “Excellent” certificate, and the complex will meet the nearly zero energy building “Nearly zero energy building” standard.
Two more wastewater sedimentation tanks reconstructed at the biological treatment plant “Daugavgrīva”
Continuing the implementation of an important project in the field of maintenance of environmental quality, reconstruction of two wastewater primary sedimentation tanks has been completed at the biological treatment plant “Daugavgrīva” – in the presence of representatives of the Austrian manufacturing company, engineering organisation and builders, on Thursday, 29 September, these plants were tested in operation.
Māris Zviedris, head of the biological treatment plant (BTP) “Daugavgrīva”: “Biological treatment plant “Daugavgrīva” has been operating uninterruptedly for many years, treating the wastewaters generated by the residents of Riga and taking care of ensuring that these wastewaters enter the environment in a treated and harmless condition.”
There are 16 wastewater sedimentation tanks at the BTP “Daugavgrīva”: six for primary sedimentation (two of them have been reconstructed in previous years, two more waiting for commissioning), and ten secondary sedimentation tanks (two of them reconstructed, and work is to be commenced on the next one soon) – these specific tanks form a very significant section in the wastewater treatment process. Reconstruction of both primary sedimentation tanks was commenced back in October 2021, and the works were completed in less than a year. The works were performed by the construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve”. The total costs of the project were 2.7 million euros.
“In a comparatively short term, the team of “Velve” has completed a significant amount of works to ensure the further successful performance of the wastewater sedimentation tanks. Within the framework of the restoration works, two reservoirs with a diameter of approximately 40 m and depth of 4.5 m were equipped with new stainless steel metal constructions, the concrete protection layer was renovated, a new pipeline system was built, and new electricity and automatic management systems were installed. Furthermore, new scraper constructions with metal coverings over the reservoir perimeters were supplied and installed. Approximately 1,000 m3 of concrete and nearly 60 t of reinforcement were used. Today, the major construction works have been completed, and we can commence the last stage before commissioning the object – testing cycle. Within the framework of this stage, “wet tests” will be performed to complete testing works of installations and automatic adjustment systems under real operating conditions. Thanks to our employees and cooperation partners for quality and professional work”, stresses Vineta Verika, Chairperson of the Board of LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
Wastewater sedimentation tanks form a significant stage in the chain of wastewater treatment. Wastewaters flowing from the city through the sewerage pressure pipes first arrive in the BTP “Daugavgrīva” acceptance chamber, followed by mechanical bars, where coarse pollution is separated (plastic packaging, various products, etc.), then — in sand catchers, and then to the primary sedimentation tanks, where the mechanical wastewater treatment stage ends. Reinforced concrete reservoirs are used for sedimentation of the remaining undissolved suspended substances to be further directed to the biological process aeration reservoirs, where wastewaters are biologically treated within 24 hours with the help of active sludge. The last wastewater treatment stage consists of secondary sedimentation tanks used for wastewater sedimentation and the hydro-static separation of active sludge. Afterwards, the fully treated wastewaters are discharged to the Gulf of Riga — from the shoreline at a distance of 2.4 kilometres, and at a depth of approximately 15 metres.
Reconstruction of all 16 sedimentation tanks is planned within the framework of the LLC (SIA) “Rīgas ūdens” wastewater treatment and sludge management optimisation project. They have been in operation for over 30 years, and the operating service life is coming to an end. Within the framework of reconstruction of the sedimentation tanks, their concrete constructions are renovated, and the rusted metal constructions are replaced with stainless steel materials, new scrapers are built, but, for the secondary sedimentation tanks, sludge suction pumps are replaced, and other technological improvements are made.
Construction Industry Grand Prix Pamatakmens has determined the winners
On 27 September, the “Construction Industry Grand Prix 2022” award ceremony took place for the tenth time. Among thousands of Latvian engineers and architects, twelve prizes, Pamatakmens, were awarded to the best of the best, the most professional and the most erudite specialists. Those whom their employers, non-governmental organisations and cooperation partners want to thank at a national scale. For their loyalty to the profession, reliability, uninterrupted learning, enthusiasm and inspiration to others around them.
By signing under each word and completed work, with her certainty of 101%, Marta Rimaševska, Assistant Manager of Construction Work at LLC (SIA) “Velve”, proved herself this year as the best candidate within the nomination “Young Engineer/Architect of the Year 2022”, obtaining the highest professional assessment of the industry – Pamatakmens. Whereas, Andrejs Žvaļikovskis, Manager of Construction Work at LLC (SIA) “Velve”, was awarded a diploma in the category “Engineer/Architect of the Year”.
Egils Levits, President of Latvia, congratulated the winners of the “Construction Industry Grand Prix 2022” at the VEF Culture Palace, stressing that the construction industry is one of the most important industries in the national economy of Latvia: “You say that the foundation stone (pamatakmens) is the energy centre of the structure. I can say that you, builders, are the energy centre of these structures, because you lay this foundation stone. You create the space where we live and where we can feel good. You are the best of the best; therefore, it is a great honour for me to be here with you. Thank you for the work you are doing for people!”
Ilze Indriksone, Minister for Economics: “We have professionals whose performance we can highlight and be proud of! The key to the development and success of the construction industry is highly qualified specialists who create space for every one of us and ensure both the necessary personal well-being and comfort, and permanent value for the next generations, thus also creating a material technical basis for other sectors of our national economy, which characterise the economic development of the country. For several years, the construction industry has also become a significant guide of changes within the industry itself and in dialogue with the government. On the part of the Ministry of Economics, we will continue our cooperation by implementing measures which are important for the development, competitiveness and export capacity of the construction industry.”
Artūrs Toms Plešs, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development: “Now that the measures of energy efficiency and promotion of modernisation are of special importance, it is necessary to act smartly to increase our self-sufficiency in all fields. Up-to-date solutions in the construction industry already enable the building of smart, sustainable and green buildings, and this trend will become more topical in the nearest future – use of green energy, reasonable resource management, broader involvement of digital tools in daily work. These and other tools are of vital importance for our common growth – both in work and our daily lives. This is teamwork which involves various professionals and experts of the industry; therefore, I would like to especially praise the important work done by each and every person involved in the creative process!”
On 27 September, the Grand Prix Pamatakmens was awarded at the VEF Culture Palace: in the category Lifelong Contribution to the Construction Industry — to Aivars Caune, Board Member of LLC (SIA) “LBS-Konsultants”, building engineer, length of service in the industry: 50 years; Inese Reitāle, lecturer, director of the study programme Architectural Technology at Riga Building College, length of service in the industry: 45 years; Juris Veiss, Board Member of LLC (SIA) “RIMTS”, length of service in the industry: 46 years; Rūdolfs Gruberts, leading bridge building engineer at JSC (AS) “Ceļuprojekts”, length of service in the industry: 51 years; architect Zaiga Gaile, head of LLC (SIA) Zaigas Gailes birojs, length of service in the industry: 47 years; Juris Smirnovs, Professor of Riga Technical University, Faculty of Civil Engineering, length of service in the industry: 40 years.
In the book “Pamatakmens. Būvindustrijas lielā balva” (Foundation stone. Construction industry Grand Prix), published under the aegis of the LLC (SIA) “Velve”, you can read the story of the experience and inspiration of Ivo Brālēns, Board Member, and Edgars Briedis, Project Manager, of LLC (SIA) “Velve” on their road to Pamatakmens.
Vineta Verika, Chairperson of the Board of LLC (SIA) “Velve”, explains: “Our quality of life is created by the environment around us. Whether they are buildings of functional character, architectural pearls, engineering structures or territorial improvements, they all create our living space, making our daily lives more comfortable and pleasant.
However, without the third important component – builder – intents of the developers and visions of the architects would just be beautiful sketches without a physical outline.
In 2022, LLC (SIA) “Velve” celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. By combining experience, knowledge and highly qualified specialists, we have become the second largest construction company in Latvia, providing a significant contribution to industry development during those years.
It would not have been possible without competent and professional experts who have left a significant footprint in the provision of our well-being and comfort with their persistent work and constantly high demands for work quality.
Greeting the industry professionals with this publication, we as a company are satisfied that two of these specialists are currently part of the team of experts at the LLC (SIA) “Velve”, and proud of both their individual achievements and the possibility to work and develop together!”
Business centre “Novira Plaza” marks topping - out celebrations
On 14 September 2022, the business centre “Novira Plaza” marked ridgepole celebrations; the project is to be completed by August 2023, and the total costs of the project exceed 55 million euros.
“Topping - out celebrations are a significant conclusion of a cycle for builders in every object. They allow one to look back at the completed work and draw the overall outline of the building. So far, concreting works in the volume of 10,000 m3 have been fully completed at the construction site “Novira Plaza” using 24,100 t of concrete, and 70% of masonry works. At the moment, glazed aluminium constructions are in the process of manufacture, and roofers are starting their job. In parallel, the installation of utilities is taking place on the floors, as well as heat insulation of the basement and decoration of rooms. Seeing the enormous volume of work completed in less than nine months, I must thank the team of “Velve” and our cooperation partners, which have proven their professionalism and competence in these complicated times showing a high-value performance, including by working in a restricted area in the very centre of Riga with dense traffic and pedestrian flow in the adjacent areas of the object”, stresses Ms Vineta Verika, Chairperson of the Board of LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
“The offer of modern office buildings in the centre of Riga has been very limited. The best location in the very heart of Riga, near the main railway station and the Old Town, is one of the main reasons why we see such high potential in the project “Novira Plaza””, says Ms Jolanta Jurga, partner of “Evernord Asset Management”, adding that, so far, nearly all the offices in the centre have been arranged in reconstructed multi-apartment buildings, whereas, the newly-built offices are mainly located farther than walking distance from the city centre. The completion of “Novira Plaza” will be an important factor for the creation of Riga central business district. Business centre “Origo” defined this as a location for high-class offices, and, together with “Novira Plaza”, SEB headquarters and the central railway station which will see investments worth 500 million euros, will make this the most popular place in the centre of Riga.
“Novira Plaza” will be a sustainable Class A office building developed according to LEED standards, and only the highest class materials will be used in building it. The objective is to obtain a LEED platinum certificate during the first years of operation of the building. All the modern technical solutions will be used for the creation of the office rooms, ensuring convenient and flexible design. The building will be modern and energy-efficient, it will have several green zones and developed infrastructure suitable for both pedestrians and cyclists, as well as drivers. The first floor will accommodate trade premises, whereas, two underground floors will provide parking spaces for approximately 200 vehicles, which is a significant factor in such a central location.
“Novira Plaza” office building combines smart architectural solutions, well considered interior design and high-quality decoration materials. “Novira Plaza” design is being developed by a team of well-known and experienced professionals. Architects of the building are Ms Dace Putniņa and Mr Andris Kalinka from the architect bureau “BB Studija”, whereas, Estonian architect Meelis Press has been chosen for the development of interior design. Construction of “Novira Plaza” is provided by LLC (SIA) “Velve” as the general contractor.
LLC (SIA) “Velve”, part of the “MN Holding” group, is one of the largest construction companies in Latvia and the Baltics, with nearly 30 years’ experience in the field. The company has completed more than 250 major construction projects, including shopping centres, industrial objects, hotels, public and residential buildings. LLC (SIA) “Velve”, with its nearly 30 years’ experience, is one of the leading construction and renovation companies in Latvia.
“Novira Capital” is one of the leading Estonian real estate developers, the newest projects of which include 4 large office buildings in the centre of Tallinn and more than 300 high-class apartments.
Honoured ridgepole celebration of the ZEISS BIROJI office building
On Friday, 2 September, marking the construction of roof load bearing structures, the ridgepole celebration of the Class A office building ZEISS BIROJI was honoured, thus commencing the last stage of construction of this building. The project is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of 2023.
Developer of the ZEISS BIROJI project is Mūkusala Business Centre, whereas, construction works at the object are performed by the construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve”. Construction works were commenced in spring 2021 — currently, all six floors of the ZEISS BIROJI office building have been completed, and it was honoured by the ridgepole celebration ceremony – the traditional wreath was raised on the roof of the building.
“The ridgepole celebration of the ZEISS BIROJI office building is an important step in the development of our territory. As one of a few real estate developers with Latvian capital in Riga, we have set as the most important objective for all our objects, the fusion of indoor and outdoor space, the game between the historical and newly created items, as well as the combination of various functions, thus obtaining an alive multi-functional environment by using quality and sustainable materials”, says Mrs Iveta Bahmane, Chairperson of the Board of Mūkusala Business Centre. “ZEISS BIROJI office building is being constructed according to all our objectives, and now we can clearly see that this building has also changed the features of Riga.
The office building with a space of approximately 5,600 square metres will be certified according to the requirements of the BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate – the project includes Class A energy efficient air cooling, ventilation and heating systems, as well as solutions friendly to the users of the building to ensure an ergonomic working environment. Total construction costs of the project are estimated to amount to 9 million euros.
“The ridgepole celebration means a significant reference point for the builders marking a completion of certain stage. In this object, the celebration points to the completion of construction works of the main building structures, at the same time reaching the highest point of the building and outlining the building’s overall shape. Along the way, they provide the opportunity to also get to know the new panorama of Riga on the left bank of the River Daugava, where the building will leave a permanent value”, explains Mrs Vineta Verika, Chairperson of the Board of the LLC (SIA) “Velve”. “At the moment, I can proudly say that we have fully completed the concreting works of the building envelope of 3,000 m3 and construction works involving 50 tonnes of metal, but, before the commissioning of the building, facade works and interior works are still to be completed. Therefore, I would like to thank all the team of “Velve” and our cooperation partners for what has been achieved so far and wish them a smooth pace regarding the works yet to be done.”
The developer of the project is Mūkusala Business Centre, and, once the project is completed, the total area of the office premises will exceed 35 thousand square metres; its territory accommodates offices of companies such as “Tele2”, “Bolt”, “Delfi”, “Cognizant”, “Civinity” and others. The roofs of the buildings within the business centre house the biggest solar power plant in Riga, delivering all-green energy for the lessees of the business centre.
LLC (SIA) “VELVE” RECEIVES TWO AWARDS AT THE EXPOSITION “THE BEST BUILDING OF THE YEAR IN LATVIA 2021”
Each award given is backed by the best professionals of the sector, teamwork and impeccable accuracy. On 25 August, at the exposition “The Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2021”, both projects of LLC (SIA) “Velve” nominated for the final were awarded. In the “Industrial Building” category, 2nd place was awarded to the biologically degradable waste recycling unit at the waste polygon “Getliņi”, but, in the “Wooden Building” category, 3rd place was granted to the Jaunmārupe Kindergarten “Zīļuks”.
From 7 January, “Getliņi EKO” commenced independent management and maintenance of the biodegradable waste (BDW) recycling complex. At the moment, approximately one third of household waste consists of biological waste, therefore the sorting of such waste is not only a sustainable, but also economically beneficial approach, as it would reduce the frequency of removal of household waste. The planned annual recycling capacity of the complex is 125,000 tonnes of biological waste, thus producing up to 100,000 tonnes of compost. The complex is the largest recycling facility of its kind in the Baltic states.
“This ambitious project has been very significant for our company, not only professionally, but also emotionally. We intentionally choose to engage in the implementation of technologically complicated objects, thus attesting the performance and knowledge of our specialists. Furthermore, the matter of sustainability is also particularly significant. The awareness that implementing this project will enable us as a company to reduce the negative environmental impact, gives true satisfaction both to the company and all of our specialists, who have participated in the development of this project”, says Mr Ivo Brālēns, Board Member and Technical Director of the construction company “Velve”.
Whereas, “Zīļuks” is the largest kindergarten in Mārupe Municipality with the total territory of 3.4 ha, and building area of 6,200 m2. Overall, 18 rooms for groups have been created, as well as a multi-functional hall for joint activities and social events, dining room, premises for sports activities and musical development, as well as the administration building. 384 little residents of Mārupe will have the opportunity to acquire pre-school education at the kindergarten under the leadership of professional teachers. The kindergarten will provide the most favourable conditions for the growth of children in a modern, suitable and developed indoor and outdoor environment.
“In the building process, we used a “Ribbed” base plate and made a steel frame to build bearing and non-bearing external walls from BAUROC aerated concrete blocks. Similarly, individual monolith concrete structures were built. There are glued wooden beams at the premises that divide groups of premises by using rotating doors. There are wooden wall panels that melt into the built-in wooden furniture in almost every room of the building. Siberian larch was used for finishing the premises, while constructing both terraces in the courtyard with an improvised stage and outdoor terraces at playgrounds”, says Ms Marta Rimaševska, Assistant Construction Work Manager at LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
Heating of the spacious indoor area of the new building is provided by ground source heat pumps from 24 drill-holes at a depth of 100 metres. The environmentally friendly heat supply system utilises ground source heat pumps to heat the spacious building, even at outdoor temperatures of minus 20 degrees, and the gas heating system will only be turned on in case of necessity. It has been calculated that, despite larger investments required to build such a heating system today, savings will reach 100,000 euros within 15 years. It is planned to install solar panels in the future both for generating electricity and water heating purposes.
“The project was created in such a way so as to not only make this building a contribution to improving the educational level in Mārupe Municipality, but also make Mārupe a more sustainable town. The new building of the pre-school educational institution “Zīļuks” is the most energy efficient building in the municipality and was built applying special construction technologies,” says Ivo Brālēns, Board Member of the construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
The architectural concept of the kindergarten building is based on motives of the fairy tale “Zīļuks” [Little Acorn], written by Margarita Stāraste. The arrangement of the complex of buildings depicts the varied adventures of the small Zīļuks on the road of life, which was rich in various events. This symbolises the winding road of a small child towards knowledge. The specially created “green classroom” in the backyard of the building is surrounded by glazed walls.
Ergonomic and multi-functional playgrounds have been arranged in the territory of the kindergarten with climbing and rope amusements, sliders, balance tracks, swings and other constructions for the development of motor skills and strength in movement of children. A football pitch and a path of feelings have also been arranged, as well as a miniature town with small two-storey houses on the sides of the streets marked according to traffic regulations, thus creating a wonderful environment adjusted for the development and improvement of children.
SIA VELVE SUBMITS FOUR APPLICATIONS TO THE MOST PRESTIGEOUS BUILDING TENDERS
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, SIA Velve has started this year with the Construction Industry Grand Prix 2022 awarded to two distinguished specialists in the area. While the final show of the Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2021 presents both nominated projects by SIA Velve - Jaunmārupe Kindergarten Zīļuks and the biologically degradable waste processing unit at the waste polygon Getliņi.
For ten years in a row, enterprises have selected their strongest specialists for participation in the Construction Grand Prix 2022 and to compete for the highest individual approval in the construction industry, the Cornerstone. This year, SIA Velve selected the assistant construction manager Marta Rimasevska /Marta Rimaševska/ for the category the Youngest Engineer/Architect of the Year 2022 and construction manager Andrejs Zvalikovskis /Andrejs Žvaļikovskis/ for the category Engineer/Architect of the Year 2022.
“I made the first steps in the construction sector in June 2018 when I decided to join SIA Velve. I still remember my first project at 165 Maskavas Street for reconstruction and rebuilding of the building. At that time, I was a 1st year student of the Civil Engineering Faculty of Riga Technical University; however, I was absolutely sure that I’d be able to combine work and studies. By now, I have participated in the development of the project for the installation of a water boiler heated by bio fuel, construction of the new building of the Jaunmārupe Kindergarten, and now I busily work at the construction site of the trading and business building Novira Plaza. My functions include the registration of completed construction works in the construction daily log, conduct of labour protection inspections, preparation of production certificates, acceptance of works, verification of compliance with monthly performance goals and coordination of troubleshooting after the building has been commissioned,” explains Marta Rimasevska /Marta Rimaševska/, the construction manager.
Marta Rimasevska /Marta Rimaševska/ accurately follows the instruction and plans the works to cope with tight deadlines and workloads. She is responsive in the case of changes in building designs, open to negotiations, and helps to find constructive solutions. Marta is not afraid of responsibility and relentlessly searches for and offers various solutions.
Andrejs Zvalikovskis /Andrejs Žvaļikovskis/ joined SIA Velve in 2018; however, he has already worked in the construction sector for fifteen years and has had an independent practice certificate for more than 10 years. Andrejs Zvalikovskis /Andrejs Žvaļikovskis/ started his work at the company with small tasks such as the construction of tennis courts ENRI at 207 Kalnciema Street, construction of the Clothing Wholesale Building with Office Premises Ceļārēs 2 in Spilve, Babīte Rural Community, steadily growing and continuing his work by constructing well-known facilities such as Trading House Kurši at 6 Zviedry Street in Salaspils and the New Building of Rimi Store at 89 Rīgas Street in Līvāni.
Starting with the first working day, Andrejs proved to be a knowledgeable specialist and talented construction manager who continuously develops, perfects himself and follows the newest sectoral trends. He is able to organise the initial and following stages of work at the construction site, as well as coordinate and control various construction processes relating to work organisation, management and control. He is able to identify short-term and long-term risks and is well familiar with the design documentation and regulatory requirements, which allows him to make correct decisions and maintain an uninterrupted production process.
“The first facility was in Lithuania, with the construction of Depo supermarkets in Vilnius. I had considerable previous experience and knowledge, which allowed me to start actively implementing projects and dynamically working as a construction manager from the very first day. Naturally, work in another country with different laws and construction process, traditions, habits and established labour relations was a great challenge not only for each worker involved in the project, but for the entire enterprise. However, we are used to saying “yes” to any challenges in our lives. Starting my first project outside Latvia, it was important to my colleagues and I to position SIA Velve as a strong, competitive, and professional construction company. We succeeded in this task and later constructed two more Depo supermarkets,” says Andrejs Zvalikovskis /Andrejs Žvaļikovskis/.
Today, Andrejs works on the largest and most expensive project in his practice that will improve the image of the Centre of Riga, preserving this historical value in the modern context – the Trading and Business Building at 2 Marias Street and 2A. The facility is clearly visible in the very Centre of Riga, thus, this task requires maximum responsibility.
After having considered the facilities during two rounds, the jury and sectoral professionals of the Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2021 included both of the nominated buildings constructed by SIA Velve in the final. Jaunmārupe Kindergarten Zīļuks will compete for awards in the category Wooden Building and the biologically degradable waste processing unit at the waste polygon Getliņi in the Industrial Building category.
Constructed by SIA Velve last year, Jaunmārupe Kindergarten Zīļuks already triumphed in the Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2021, having taken third place in the Public Building – New Building category. Each of the kindergarten rooms we built has been specially adjusted for the well-being and convenience of children, supporting the development of children’s imagination, creativity and motor abilities. The capacity of the premises and the territory will allow the accommodation of 386 residents and pedagogues of Mārupe Municipality, with the total area reaching 3.4 hectares, but the building’s area – 6200 square metres.
Marta Rimasevska /Marta Rimaševska/, the assistant construction manager, says about the construction solutions at Jaunmārupe Kindergarten Zīļuks: “In the building process, we used a “Ribbed” base plate and made a steel frame to build bearing and non-bearing external walls from BAUROC aerated concrete blocks. Similarly, individual monolith concrete structures were built. There are glued wooden beams at the premises that divide groups of premises by using rotating doors. There are wooden walls and panels that match wooden furniture at almost all premises. Siberian larch was used for finishing the premises, while constructing both terraces in the inner yard with an improvised stage and external terraces at playgrounds.”
In turn, works on the largest in the Baltic states and only Latvian bio degradable waste processing plant at Getliņi waste polygon were completed in April 2021. The capacity of the plant will be 100,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste per year. In the course of construction, the Velve team installed the bio waste technological system that had never been used in Latvia before and considerably decreased the time needed for processing.
“The implementation of the bio degradable waste processing plant is a contribution to the priority area of the EU Baltic Sea Strategic Objective: Saving the Sea. The goal is to decrease the use and impact of hazardous substances. In the course of processing, biogas that will be used for power generation activities at the polygon, replacing the previously used fossil energy resources, was extracted and collected,” says Ritvars Balins /Ritvars Bāliņš/, assistant construction manager, explaining the contribution of SIA Velve.
First building of the Verde office complex has been commissioned
In the development of the Verde office complex, the greenest in Riga, the most significant development point has been reached so far – the construction of the first or A building has been completed and it has been commissioned. Thus, the developer of the complex – SBA Group’s Capitalica Asset Management, has implemented the first investment project in the Latvian capital, the total value of which will reach more than EUR 65 million. At the same time, this new building has become the first and so far the only A-class office completed in Latvia in 2022.
"We started the project in November 2020, and as we originally planned, the first tenants will move into the complex already this summer. This eleven-story A-class office building is located on a 1.3-hectare plot of land in the most promising area of the modern Skanste business block, at the intersection of Hanzas and R. Hirša streets. Verde building, From sustainable architecture and energy-efficient management solutions to abundant greenery in the adjacent territory makes Verde indeed the greenest office complex in Latvia," emphasizes Andrius Barštys, CEO of Capitalica Asset Management.
The client's idea of "green" commercial spaces was facilitated by the recognized Latvian architects Andris Kronbergs and Jānis Zvejnieks from ARHIS Architects, and landscape architect Linda Zaļā from Zala Landscape Architects. The structural engineer of the complex is Matīss Apsītis from Arenso. The technical construction supervision of the construction was carried out by Forma 2. The BREEAM "Excellent" level certification is in the process, and its evaluator is VESTA Consulting. The manager of the construction process of the object is Notus Developers, a subsidiary of SBA Group, and the general builder of the project is the construction company Velve.
Colliers, which is currently the exclusive leasing partner of Verde, will take care of the management of the building. Furthermore, additional comfort in everyday business matters will be provided by the modern on-line management platform Pingin, which will be available for the first time in Latvia at the Verde office complex.
Looking back on what has been completed, the board chairwoman of SIA Velve Vineta Verika explains: "For the company, this has been one of the most exciting and complicated development plans in recent years. In the construction of the A building of the office complex, we have used 20,000 m3 of concrete and constructed facade glazing on an area of 7,000 m2. In addition, almost 10,000 plants have been planted during the greening works. Furthermore, the entire construction process, in the implementation of which we have also involved about 100 subcontractors and suppliers, was coordinated and carried out in accordance with the strict requirements of the BREEAM standard "Excellent" certification level for sustainable construction. We are pleased that, despite the difficult conditions that the construction industry is currently experiencing, we have managed to ensure the construction of this building in the highest quality."
The total area of building A (11 floors, underground parking and yard) is 22,000 m2, and the leasable and common areas are 15,000 m2 in total. It is significant that at this moment the building's tenant composition is already 75% complete, and several companies have almost finished furnishing their premises and are preparing to move in.
Sustainable engineering solutions and modern management
The first building of the Verde office complex is equipped with the highest quality heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for indoor climate control. The building has air purification solutions, air humidification systems, cold beams and CO2 sensors. That is why Verde meets class A energy efficiency and complies with nZEB, or almost zero energy building standards.
"VESTA Consulting is honored to be a part of such a project, especially noting the excellent cooperation between all parties involved. During the design and construction, a lot of attention is paid to the aspects of ecology and the comfort of the building's users. The greening of the project has been designed keeping in mind the concept of a city garden - many fruit trees that attract birds and increased biodiversity - bird cages, meadows, and greenery also on the terraces of the highest floors. At the same time, the trees in the area were protected during the construction, which Velve handled perfectly. Such solutions not only help combat the effects of climate change by reducing the so-called "heat island" effect, but also provide additional value to the users of the building by applying the best biophilia design principles. During the design process, passive design aspects such as solar exposure, the influence of prevailing winds on the thermal comfort of the building and the territory, and the use of daylight in the building were also analyzed. The results of the analysis were used in the design of building placement and facade solutions, which can also be seen after construction,’’ added Aļona Purvlīce, VESTA Consulting architect and chief sustainability consultant.
Riga’s greenest A-class offices
On the fifth floor of the building, there is a 600 m2 shared terrace for tenants, equipped with outdoor workplaces and lush greenery, including several 5-meter-high trees. The terrace offers a panoramic view of the Skanste neighborhood and the historical center of Riga. In addition, tenants will be provided with such additional services that facilitate their productivity and well-being, such as a spacious atrium with a reception desk, a shared kitchen with a coffee corner, shower rooms next to the bicycle stands, a conference center with a capacity of up to 60 people and other A-class level extras.
Employees and other visitors of the A building are already greeted by lush greenery throughout the area - new fruit trees, shrubs and perennial flowering plants, as well as older trees that have been purposefully preserved and cared for throughout the construction period.
Changes to the Board of the construction company “Velve”
Changes have been introduced to the Board structure of one of the largest Latvian construction companies “Velve” – from 9 June, the position of Chairperson of the Board is occupied by Ms Vineta Verika. Alongside her, Mr Valters Sičevs will join the management team as the company’s Board Member and Chief-Financial Officer. Board Member and Technical Director Ivo Brālēns will continue to work in the management of the company, maintaining responsibility for the development of construction and production.
Previous Chairman of the Board Kaspars Rokens terminates his legal labour relations, with the company taking up new career challenges. We highly appreciate his contribution to the development of LLC (SIA) “Velve” and wish him success in his further professional path.
Vineta Verika has vast experience in company management, business development and team leading.
“I have deep respect for the experience accumulated by the company “Velve” during this 30 year run, and I highly appreciate its achievements by being able to be the second largest construction company in Latvia in these complicated times. It is undeniable that this would not be possible without high-class professionals, a strong team and well-considered company management. At the same time, I am aware that the growth of every company mainly depends on the ability to adapt to new conditions. Therefore, now that all of the construction industry is in a force majeure situation, taking over responsibility for the further direction of “Velve”, the priority areas where I see my contribution to the company’s management will be change management and promotion of the company’s growth under unforeseeable market conditions. In order to achieve these objectives, together with the team, we will search for non-traditional approaches to challenges by developing and implementing know-how based solutions, thus being able to excel even further”, explains the new Chairperson of the Board of the LLC (SIA) “Velve” Vineta Verika.
Previously, V. Verika managed the municipal company LLC (SIA) “Rīgas nami”, but prior to that she was a Board Member at the company LLC (SIA) “Merks” working in the field of construction and real estate development. Her previously acquired education in architecture and business administration provides the knowledge required to administer and skilfully manage a company operating in the challenging construction industry, while at the same time dealing with development issues.
Former colleagues of Ms Verika characterise her as a great team player, orientated towards results and achieving the set objectives.
Ridgepole celebration at Stradins hospital – the highest point of the new hospital building has been reached.
Today, on 9 June, the builders of the new building of the Stradins hospital from “Velve” construction company celebrate a job well done and a ridgepole celebration. A ridgepole celebration traditionally marks an important stage in the development of the construction process of a building, when it reaches its highest point, and construction of the load bearing structures of the building envelope has been finished. This is the building which will serve as the heart of the hospital in a way, where a wide emergency aid centre and operating rooms will be accommodated, and where births will be given.
Mr Rinalds Muciņš, Chairman of the Board of the hospital, admits that the new building of the hospital will be able to resolve a number of acute problems, including those highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, unsuitability of the old infrastructure for the break-out of infections: “The old buildings were constructed a long time ago, and they were intended for a completely different approach to the patient, and when working in these buildings we are no longer able to provide appropriate conditions, either for the patients or employees. An unsuitable ventilation system, narrow wards and hallways, without the possibility to separate flows of patients, worn-out staff leisure rooms and locker-rooms – this is only the most visible part of the problems faced by the hospital staff on a daily basis.
At the moment, the construction process is well on schedule and within budget. “A Ridgepole celebration is one of the most significant turning points during the process of construction work. This celebration indicates the end of a certain cycle affirming the huge volume of construction work completed and providing the outline of the building”, explains Mr Ivo Brālēns, Board Member and Technical Director of “Velve” construction company. “At the moment, I can proudly say that we have properly finished phase 2 of the new building A of the Stradins hospital by constructing the load bearing structures of the building frames. Along the way, we have also managed to perform the building facade works in an area of 1,250 m2 and installed the majority of the internal and external network of engineering communications in a total length of 89.3 km. Within the framework of construction works, more than 1,500 tons of metal and 9,165 m3 of concrete have been used for construction of the object. These numbers show the scale of the work carried out. Therefore, I would like to give huge thanks to the whole “Velve” team and all of our collaboration partners for the job done during this complicated time at the object which is not such an easy task, but a significant one for all of Latvian society.”
The new building is the most significant infrastructure development project of the Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital. Moving to the premises of building A, phase two is planned by 2024. Building A, phase two will accommodate the emergency medical centre (admissions), operating theatres, surgery and neuro-surgery departments, neurology department and stroke unit, maxillofacial surgery, as well as intensive therapy and a women’s and children’s clinic combined with a maternity ward. In the new building, treatment will be provided in premises which meet modern requirements. The majority of wards are planned to be for either one or two patients (to limit the spread of infections).
The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund within the framework of the Specific Aid Objective 9.3.2 “Improving access to quality health care, especially for those at risk of social and territorial exclusion or poverty, through developing the health care infrastructure”, within the state budget.
KINDERGARTEN “ZĪĻUKS” WINS THIRD PLACE IN THE CATEGORY “PUBLIC BUILDING – NEW CONSTRUCTION”
The annual construction industry competition “Latvian Construction Annual Award 2021” has resulted in the announcement of the best buildings and most outstanding managers. In 2021, LLC (SIA) “Velve” built the largest kindergarten in Mārupe Municipality called “Zīļuks” and won third place in the category “Public Building – New Construction” among 17 projects.
“The construction of every building is exciting, responsible and valuable work, but the weeks and months dedicated to the construction of a building are of even higher value, if the building is an element of a larger structure, which is significant for the development of the future of our state. When constructing an educational institution, we are well aware that this is not just a building. It is a space, which must inspire children and encourage the learning of new skills, inquiring about the world, and developing their own potential. We are truly proud that we had an opportunity to create such an environment for the children of Mārupe Municipality, and we sincerely hope that this environment will inspire them to do great things for Latvia as soon as they are grown up!” said Mr Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of the construction company “Velve”, expressing his satisfaction with the completed work.
Each of the rooms we built has been specially adjusted for the well-being and convenience of children, supporting the development of children’s imagination, creativity and motor abilities. The capacity of the premises and the territory will allow the accommodation of 386 residents and pedagogues of Mārupe Municipality, with the total area reaching 3.4 hectares, but the building’s area – 6,200 square metres.
“The project was created in such a way so as to not only make this building a contribution to improving the educational level at Mārupe Municipality, but also to making Mārupe a more sustainable town. The new building of the pre-school educational institution “Zīļuks” is the most energy-efficient structure in the entire municipality, built using special construction technologies”, pointed out Mr Ivo Brālēns, Board Member of the construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
The awards ceremony of the competitions “Latvian Construction Annual Award 2021” and “Construction Engineer of the Year in Latvian 2021” took place at Āgenskalns Market on 11 March 2022. 121 project applications were received in total in 10 various categories. LLC (SIA) “Velve” would like to express special thanks to the jury and sectoral professionals for their assessment, as well as the entire team for their excellent work!
Construction company “Velve” continues supporting the Latvian national volleyball team
On 23 May at Rimi Olympic Centre, a press conference was held during which it was announced that the successful cooperation with the national team’s general sponsor LLC (SIA) “VELVE” was set to continue; furthermore, the Head Coach of the national team marked readiness for the European Golden League.
The press conference was opened by the speech of Mr Jānis Buks, President of the Latvian Volleyball Federation, who said: “Today, our cooperation with LLC (SIA) “VELVE” steps into the second selection cycle of the European Championship. The Latvian sports system is really on a top financial diet at the moment. Our pride, and here I mean all kinds of sports, is the national team. Proper preparation of these teams is only possible with the support of private sponsors. In this situation, I want to say that VELVE, its owners and the company’s management have proven themselves as patriots of Latvia and Latvian sports, as well as Latvian volleyball. They have demonstrated with their works, not with useless talk, that they really care for the sustainable development of the society of Latvia and volleyball. Therefore, I would like to thank Kaspars very much for the company being able to undertake social responsibility and share with society. At the moment, it is especially appreciated taking the current difficulties in the construction sector into account.”
Afterwards, the President stressed that the Latvian Volleyball Federation and all the persons involved have done a lot to organise the national team’s stage of preparation as well as possible, and wished the players good luck in the European Golden League: “We have a very young team, but an experienced one, as well as a wonderful team of coaches. I consider that this team in front of us already has a strong presence in the European elite and that Latvian men’s volleyball is an integral value of European volleyball. I believe that these guys will chain thousands of viewers and volleyball lovers to their TV screens, and I invite everyone with volleyball in their hearts to come and support our national team in Liepāja, Daugavpils, Jelgava and Valmiera. I sincerely wish success in the European Golden League, that they play to the limit of their abilities, and show their best game. Your families, friends, and volleyball veterans are behind you guys. And, what is especially important, the new generation is also behind you trying to emulate your performance. Thank you for what you do, and I believe that we will make it together.”
Whereas, Mr Kaspars Rokens stresses that it is important not only for the sportsmen themselves, but also for society to confirm the importance of sports, since it teaches both the value of team and purposefulness: “Men of the Latvian national volleyball team, with their toughness, have shown us that diligent and tenacious work leads to success sooner or later. Their commitment to achieve even more excellent results and their strong willpower matches the values of our company; therefore, VELVE is happy to keep being part of this team. Continuing our cooperation, we can serve as support to give an opportunity to grow and develop for both experienced sportsmen and new Latvian volleyball players, including those who have already managed to show themselves on Europe’s largest volleyball stages.”
Chief Coach of the national team, Mr Mihails Gogols started intensive work with the national team back in April, when the official list of candidates was drawn up, with 18 players being invited to the training camp. The young, but experienced coach admits that he is very happy with the boys: “They want to be here, and that is the most important thing. They practice every day and are happy with this opportunity. Of course, the workout is intensive and occasionally exhausting, but we share the same goal, and it takes a lot of hard work to get there, and the boys are very well aware of this.”
Present at the press conference was also Mr Gustavs Freimanis, the first tempo forward of the Latvian national team, who had spent his first season with an Italian club. Being asked about the current workout process compared to that of a year ago, Gustavs says: “These are two completely different things. Everything is very different, and the overall atmosphere is very good.”
The Latvian national team will spend the European Golden League tournament in group C, where their competitors will be the well-known Estonian team, last year’s fellow group members, national teams of Belgium and the Czech Republic, against which the Latvian national team has not played so far.
BRONZE AWARD IN THE “SAFEST COMPANY VEHICLE FLEET 2021” COMPETITION
Within the framework of the “Safest Company Vehicle Fleet 2021” competition, organised by the JSIC (AAS) and the Ministry of Transport for the ninth year”, awards have been presented to companies, public institutions, and local governments of Latvia, which have dutifully and responsibly managed their vehicle fleets all year long, thus proving they sincerely care about traffic safety. During the competition, the LLC (SIA) “Velve” gained not only significant experience and recommendations for the improvement of the vehicle fleet, but also a bronze award in the “Lowest Risk and State and Municipal Vehicle Fleets” category.
The jury has highlighted the determined focus of the LLC (SIA) “Velve” on the wishes and needs of employees to provide individually adjusted features and regular vehicle maintenance, thus enhancing safety and wellbeing on the roads. Likewise, the jury highlighted as a positive aspect gradual movement towards the green deal – the LLC (SIA) “Velve” is planning to replace the majority of diesel- and petrol-powered vehicles by hybrids.
“Thanks to our colleagues for their effort and work contributed, as well as for their constant desire and aspiration not only for the improvement of the vehicle fleet of the LLC (SIA) “Velve”, but also for their joint contribution to the enhancement of safety on the roads of Latvia! Assessment by professionals and the comments provided will greatly help to prepare the company’s fleet for 2022”, explained representatives of the Procurement Division.
The main topic of the “Safest Company Vehicle Fleet 2021” competition were the three basics of safe traffic: Vehicles, Business and People. Awards were presented to vehicle fleets of 29 companies, public institutions and local governments in total, which actively and responsibly engage in the enhancement of road traffic safety. Among the company vehicle fleets given awards this year, especially recognised were those which, along with their care for the technical condition and features of vehicles, have demonstrated such solutions which have ensured survival or even growth during the crisis and preventive elimination of sectoral challenges on a daily basis.
The “Safest Company Vehicle Fleet” stands for socially responsible companies, which, by managing their fleets in their daily operations, prove their sincere care for the overall traffic safety. This includes involvement of the company in risk management, human resources management, company policy and action in relation to road traffic accidents, supervision and management thereof, as well as analysis of the parameters characterising the fleet, and the technical equipment.
Construction preparation works commenced for the new correctional service training centre at Olaine
Representatives of the Norwegian Directorate for Correctional Services together with the chief of Olaine prison and representatives of the Ministry of Justice attended the construction area of the new correctional service training centre at Olaine to acquaint themselves with the construction preparation works commenced in that area.
According to the construction intent, the territory of Olaine Prison is to accommodate a new training centre and model building of the open prison with the purpose to improve the training environment available to the correctional service staff for acquiring theoretical knowledge and practical skills, thus facilitating further training of the staff, and, consequently, ensuring modern sentence execution, as well as improvement of the resocialisation system for convicts at prison institutions. This project is implemented by the Prison Administration with the support of Norwegian grants.
The construction object was attended on 22 February 2022 by Mr Kim Ekhaugen, Head of the International Cooperation Department of the Norwegian Directorate for Correctional Services and Ms Kristin Franklin Saunes, Senior Consultant with the Directorate, as well as Mr Dmitrijs Kaļins, Chief of Olaine Prison and representatives of the Ministry of Justice.
“Currently our greatest challenge is the establishment of a modern and proper staff training point, which would meet the needs of the improved staff training system. For the purposes of achieving this goal, a significant role is played by successful cooperation both with our Norwegian colleagues and with construction partners for the creation of new infrastructure”, stressed Mr Dmitrijs Kaļins, Chief of Olaine Prison.
During the visit, representatives were acquainted with the consequence of the main construction works and the previous progress concerning the implementation of the intent.
Having familiarised himself with the progress of the works, Mr Kim Ekhaugen, Head of the International Cooperation Department of the Norwegian Directorate for Correctional Services, expressed his satisfaction over the progress of the project and stressed fruitful cooperation with the correctional services of Latvia while improving not only the infrastructure of penitentiary institutions, but also contributing to the development and implementation of staff training programmes.
The project is implemented by the construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve”, with which a contract on the development of construction design for a new building, construction, author’s supervision and ensuring of a warranty period for the training centre in the territory of Olaine Prison was entered into on 17 February 2021.
“Currently we are actively working to prepare the territory for the planned construction works. At the place where the new training centre will stand, we are dismantling the current eight buildings and various engineering structures, including the current road surfaces and engineering networks. In parallel, intensive work on designing the construction intent is also in progress, including premises to ensure training processes, an amphitheatre style conference hall with 200 seats, hostel with 40 double rooms, as well as outdoor sports facility with a stadium and tiers, basketball court, outdoor gym machines and a shooting-range”, explains Mr Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of LLC (SIA) “Velve”, stressing that the company is satisfied to be able to work with an intent including the implementation of full-cycle construction, from designing to putting into service, since this is the way to guarantee implementation of the intent in the highest quality.
Completion of construction works of the new training centre is scheduled for the first half of 2023.
Time capsule immured in the “Zeiss offices” building
On Thursday, 20 January, during a solemn ceremony, symbolic time capsules were immured in the foundations of the class A “Zeiss offices” building. The modern office building will be located at 2 Dēļu Street, and construction works of this building performed by the construction company “Velve” will be completed at the end of 2022.
Following strict epidemiological safety measures, the event was attended by the project developers – co-owners of the Mūkusala Business Centre Mr Klāvs Vasks and Alvis Krasovskis, Chairperson of the Board Ms Iveta Bahmane, Chairman of the Board of the construction company “Velve” Mr Kaspars Rokens and honoured guests.
Attending the event, among the honoured guests were Mr Jānis Lucaus, Chairman of the Board of the insurance company “Balcia Insurance” and Mr Agris Bitāns, partner of the law office “Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns”, who, by participating in the Christmas charity auction organised by the gallery and auction house “Birkenfelds” and donating funds for the society “Latvian movement for independent life” [“Latvijas Kustība par neatkarīgu dzīvi”], gained an opportunity to prepare their individual capsules, placing their own messages there.
Joint capsule of the Mūkusala Business Centre and the construction company “Velve” not only contained messages for future generations in various formats, but also various relics. For example, representatives of the construction company “Velve” placed in their capsule, an issue of the “Diena” newspaper and the coin “Linden leaf” issued by the Bank of Latvia and symbolising nature in the urban environment and balance, which must be complied with in the environment. Whereas, representatives of Mūkusala Business Centre placed a message in their capsule jointly created by the employees and a photograph of the team, as well as 30 drawings made by children and depicting future Riga – created, inter alia, by children of lessees of the Mūkusala Business Centre and employees of the construction company “Velve”.
“The situation of the new construction on the small plot of land with intensive traffic artery – Mūkusala Street – on one side and the nearby office building on the other side will be conditions that require constant planning and adjustment to new situations by our team. It is crucial for us to perform our work by organising it in such a way so as to affect both the daily activities of the office employees and the traffic to the least possible extent”, explains Mr Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the board of the LLC (SIA) Velve. “For the construction works of this 57,000 m2 large six-storey building, which is equal to 135 basketball courts, we will use 50 tonnes of metal constructions, concreting works are planned in the area of 3,000 m2, while facade and roof construction works will cover 2,500 m2 and 1,000 m2, respectively. The building will have 200 windows and glazing, three lifts, and the total area of interior decoration works will cover approximately 15,000 m2. Therefore, both the supply of materials and the construction process itself must be organised in a very well-considered manner. Therefore I think that the construction of this project will provide our team with a new level of work planning experience, and I have no doubt we will be excellent at this!”
The “Zeiss offices” building has been named after the Karla Zeiss optics factory, which was located at this very place at the beginning of the 20th century – references to the former building will also be found in the facade design of the new building. The historical building, built back in 1912, was the first industrial reinforced concrete construction building in Riga. During the interwar period, Leibovitz radio factory was situated in this building, but after World War II – Riga Radio Factory.
According to Mr Klāvs Vasks, co-owner of the Mūkusala Business Centre, seven various architects were involved during project development, and seven various intents were developed on what this building should look like.
“This is the longest project of my life. Both of my daughters have grown up during this time, one of them has already graduated university, and we have built at least four other buildings in this territory. But my message concerns the fact that every individual needs their own goals. And, if you believe in this goal, approach it and never give up, you will achieve it sooner or later. My wish for all of us and also the next generations is to set high goals, not to be afraid of challenging tasks and to start every day with the thought “How do we get closer to our goals?”, he says.
The building has been certified according to the requirements of the BREEAM Excellent sustainability requirements, and the project includes class A energy efficient air cooling, ventilation and heating systems, and sustainable and environmentally friendly materials are used for the construction thereof. The total cost of construction is expected to be 9 million euros.
“Getliņi EKO” commences independent management of biodegradable waste recycling complex
From 7 January, “Getliņi EKO” commences the independent management and maintenance of the biodegradable waste (BDW) recycling complex. This complex is the largest recycling facility of its kind in the Baltic states. The planned annual recycling capacity of the complex is 125,000 tonnes of biological waste, thus resulting in the production of up to 100,000 tonnes of compost.
“This ambitious project has been very significant for our company not only professionally, but also emotionally. We intentionally choose to engage in the implementation of technologically complicated objects, thus confirming the performance and knowledge of our specialists. Furthermore, the matter of sustainability is also very significant. The sense that the implementation of this project will enable us as a company to reduce the negative environmental impact, gives true satisfaction both to the company and all of our specialists, who have participated in the development of this project”, says Mr Ivo Brālēns, Board Member and Technical Director of the construction company “Velve”.
Biological waste means, for example, food leftovers, vegetable and fruit waste, tea and coffee sediment, flowers, cut grass, tree leaves and small branches. At the moment, approximately one third of household waste consists of biological waste, therefore sorting is not only a sustainable, but also economically beneficial approach, because it would reduce the frequency of removal of household waste. From 1 January 2024, sorting of biological waste will be mandatory for all residents of Latvia.
“Taking over the biological waste recycling complex from the builders is a significant turning point in our previously commenced movement towards the implementation of the world’s most up-to-date waste management methods in Latvia. Recycling biological waste in fermentation tunnels allows one to obtain technical compost and biogas used in the Getliņi energy block for the production of electric power and thermal energy. During the period of nearly nine months since putting the object into operation, we have satisfied ourselves that the complex will facilitate the circular economy in the long term. It is also foreseeable that, in the nearest future, sorting of biological waste in our daily lives will be as normal a habit as the sorting of glass, plastic and paper”, recognises Mr Imants Stirāns, Chairman of the Board of the LLC (SIA) “Getliņi EKO”.
Designing, construction and testing of the complex was implemented by the General Partnership “MRKV”, which unites the LLC (SIA) “Velve” and the LLC (SIA) “MRK Serviss” and with which a contract was concluded in October 2018. Engineering technical supervision and construction supervision was implemented by the LLC (SIA) “P.M.G.”. The goal of the project “Establishment of Biodegradable Waste Recycling Plant at the Landfill “Getliņi”” is to develop the recycling of biodegradable waste and promote the reuse of waste in the Greater Riga waste management region. The total cost of the project is EUR 39.22 million (excluding VAT), including support of the European Union Cohesion Fund in the amount of EUR 29.55 million.
The construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve” is a part of the “MN Holding” group and the second construction company in Latvia with experience in this particular sector spanning nearly 30 years. The company has implemented more than 250 major construction projects, including shopping centres, industrial objects, hotels, public and residential buildings.
LLC (SIA) “Getliņi EKO” is a joint venture established by Riga and Ropaži (previously – Stopiņi) Municipality and managing the largest volume of municipal solid waste. Investments in waste management and power generation made over the span of several years in the landfill “Getliņi” have confirmed their efficiency, financial return and favourable environmental impact. The landfill is currently one of the most up-to-date in Europe and is under development as a modern and safe waste recycling centre.
LLC (SIA) “Velve” to build the office building “Novira Plaza” for 38 million euros
The Latvian leading construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve” has signed a 38 million euro contract on the construction of a new and sustainable class A trade and business building in the centre of Riga, at Marijas Street. Total investments of the project exceed 55 million euros, and the project will be completed by June 2023.
Total building area of “Novira Plaza” is 5,008.4 m2. Building solutions and construction process is implemented in accordance with LEED requirements, and the goal is to reach the golden level. Development of the office buildings will be performed by applying modern technical solutions ensuring flexible room design. The building will be energy-efficient, it will have several green zones and developed infrastructure suitable for both pedestrians and cyclists, as well as drivers. The first floor will accommodate trade premises and restaurants, whereas, the two underground floors will provide parking spaces for approximately 200 vehicles, which is a significant factor in the centre of the city.
“The high requirements of this project in relation to innovative solutions, construction volumes and recognisability of the intent, without any doubt, makes the construction of “Novira Plaza” one of our key projects for the next year and a half”, explains Mr Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
For the purposes of designing, a team consisting of well-known and experienced professionals from Latvia and Estonia has been established. Architects of the building are Ms Dace Putniņa and Mr Andris Kalinka from the architect bureau “BB Studija”, whereas, Estonian architect Meelis Press has been chosen for the development of interior design.
“We believe that the modern, quality and environment-friendly vision of LLC (SIA) “Velve” is especially suitable for building one of the most visible business districts in future Riga”, said Mr Andres Linsoo, Chairman of the Board of “Novira Capital”.
LLC (SIA) “Velve”, part of the “MN Holding” group, is one of the largest construction companies in Latvia and the Baltics with nearly 30 years’ experience in the field. The company has completed more than 250 major construction projects, including shopping centres, industrial objects, hotels, public and residential buildings. LLC (SIA) “Velve” with its nearly 30 years’ experience is one of the leading construction and renovation companies in Latvia.
“Novira Capital” is one of the leading Estonian real estate developers, the newest projects of which include 4 large office buildings in the centre of Tallinn and more than 300 high class apartments.
FIRST TOPPING OUT CELEBRATED AT VERDE OFFICE BUILDING
On Wednesday, 15 December, the first topping out ceremony took place at the Verde office building. The most important and technologically complex stage of assembling the building structures of the project has been completed. Meeting all its deadlines, SIA Velve has built all 11 floors of the building, its underground car park, the lead-bearing structure of the roof, and completed the facade work for the first five floors where general and finishing indoor work is currently taking place.
The facade and terrace of Verde, Riga’s greenest office complex, will be decorated with 600 m2 of trees and plants. The building will be equipped with low-noise ventilation systems, while letting in as much daylight per workplace as possible. Its indoor design will be flexible and adaptable to individual needs. The building will have innovative utility systems such as raised floors and a modern console system for air cooling. There will be green terraces on the fifth floor of both the buildings. The project will involve the use of renewable sources of energy meeting the strict modern construction requirements and the requirements of the NZEB (nearly zero-energy building) standard.
During its design stage, Verde was awarded a BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate, confirming that the offices at Verde will be constructed following the highest standards of sustainability. The complex has also been praised for its environmental, land use, transport, water and waste management aspects.
‘We have completed a big and important stage of construction, and I am really proud of how our team and our partners have performed together so far. I’d like to give special thanks to the client for the trust they’ve put in us, and for their sustainable mentality. Verde has received a BREEAM Excellent certificate, as its construction takes place in compliance with all BREEAM construction and environmental protection requirements, making it the most promising and eco-friendly office complex in Riga. It’s worth noting that the construction of this building has been one of the most interesting challenges in the history of our company: its complex structure, technical solutions, and innovative utility systems keep demonstrating that we are one of the most capable construction contractors in the Baltics,’ Kaspars Rokens, Velve board chairman, said.
Despite the winter conditions, SIA Velve has completed the earthworks and is currently beginning with the landscaping tasks and installing the utilities.
‘Almost 200 experienced and professional construction specialists work on building VERDE every day. This is a very big team, exactly what we need to achieve the ambitious goal we’ve set for ourselves: to not just become the only Class A office complex in Riga that becomes available to its tenants next year, but also to become a benchmark for future offices, setting the standard for sustainable architecture and productivity not only in Latvia, but in all of the Baltic states,’ Andrius Barštys, VERDE investor and developer, CEO of Capitalica Asset Management, said.
The total area of the project, including the underground car park, will be as extensive as 45 thousand square metres. The construction of the complex with two Class A business centres is taking place on a 1.3-hectare plot of land in the Skanstes neighbourhood of Riga. The construction of the entire complex is to be finished by the end of 2023.
LLC (SIA) “Velve” has closed last year with a 32% increase in turnover and awards in sectoral competitions
LLC (SIA) “Velve” has managed to retain a stable position among the 10 leading construction companies in Latvia thanks to excellent profitability indicators. The company’s gross profitability reached 12%, while turnover in 2020 has reached 69.85 million euros, representing 32% over the indicator of 2019.
“Just like every year, also in 2020, we paid particular attention to the formation of a team consisting of qualified professionals and provided training for the current staff. Our key value, which allows the company to grow and achieve outstanding results, is motivated, highly precise and competent employees who are fully dedicated to their work and satisfied with what has been achieved. I’m truly proud of our team, the results and the trust of our customers, which made 2020 the most rewarding, unforgettable and exciting year in the company’s history!” says Mr Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of the LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
In 2020, LLC (SIA) “Velve” completed several voluminous construction projects in Riga, providing a significant contribution to education, science, culture, social, environmental and other sectors of Latvia. Projects like the reconstruction of the “HOFT” building and newly built residential building, rebuilding of the laboratory buildings of Riga Classical Gymnasium and newly built laboratory building of Riga Zolitude Gymnasium, construction of three social residential buildings and building of Riga Social Service territorial centre, day centre and health centre in Bolderāja, rebuilding of the historical stable of Riga Stradins University into a museum building at Kronvalda Blvd 9 and others were implemented.
Participation in several prestigious competitions has been successful, receiving significant awards and the recognition of specialists of the sector both in Latvia and on a wider scale. One of the most awaited ceremonies in the construction sector is “Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2020”, where, competing with six other buildings, LLC (SIA) “Velve” obtained second place in the category “New Residential Building”, for the residential building “HOFT” (House of the Flying Trees). Good success was also achieved in the competition “Latvian Construction Annual Award 2020”.
The company’s success is not only stimulated by the team in its entirety; individual achievements also matter. LLC (SIA) “Velve” is proud of the work performed by the Project Director Ingus Baumanis: he received three awards in the “Great Award of Construction Industry” ceremony – panel award in the category “Engineer/Architect of the Year”, “Thermo White” special award and the Engineer of the Year award, conferred according to the assessment of voters.
The company’s goals for 2021 are: to become a leader of the construction industry market, to keep growing turnover, as well as to create a sustainable Latvia in terms of construction and other sectors.
Construction of the building of Mārupe pre-school educational institution “Zīļuks” completed
With the opening celebration at the end of September, construction of the building of the pre-school educational institution “Zīļuks” has been completed. The new premises will welcome 384 little residents of Mārupe Municipality, who will have an opportunity to acquire pre-school education in a modern and sustainable building. This is the largest and most energy efficient pre-school educational institution in Mārupe, and it will ensure an increase in the level of sustainability and education in Mārupe Municipality.
During the opening ceremony on 30 September, the solemn speech was delivered by Mr Andrejs Ence, Chairman of Mārupe Municipality Council, who was joined by Mr Mārtiņš Bojārs, First Deputy Chairman of the Council, Mr Kristaps Ločs, Executive Director of the local government, as well as Mr Ivo Brālēns, Board Member of LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
“The project was created in such a way so as to not only make this building a contribution to improving the educational level in Mārupe Municipality, but also in making Mārupe a more sustainable town. The new building of the pre-school educational institution “Zīļuks” is the most energy efficient building in the municipality and was built applying special construction technologies,” said Ivo Brālēns, Board Member of the construction company LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
“Zīļuks” is the largest kindergarten in Mārupe Municipality with a total territory of 3.4 ha, and building area of 6,200 m2. 384 little residents of Mārupe will have the opportunity to acquire pre-school education at the kindergarten under the leadership of professional teachers. The kindergarten will provide the most favourable conditions for the growth of children in a modern, suitable and developed indoor and outdoor environment. Overall, 18 rooms for groups have been created, as well as a multi-functional hall for joint activities and social events, dining room, premises for sports activities and musical development, as well as the administration building.
Heating of the spacious indoor area of the new building is provided by ground source heat pumps from 24 drill-holes at a depth of 100 metres. The environmentally friendly heat supply system utilises ground source heat pumps to heat the spacious building, even at outdoor temperatures of minus 20 degrees, and the gas heating system will only be turned on in case of necessity. It has been calculated that, despite the larger investments required to build such a heating system today, savings will reach 100,000 euros within 15 years. It is planned to install solar panels in the future both for generating electricity and water heating purposes.
“During the implementation of the project, successful cooperation was developed with the architect and designers, as well as our team of builders. Each room has been specially considered to make its design suitable for the wellbeing and comfort of children. Little residents of Mārupe will not be bored here, because places to spend time have been created across the kindergarten territory, thus enhancing their imagination and creative thinking,” points out Ivo Brālēns.
Architectural concept of the kindergarten building is based on motives of the fairy tale “Zīļuks” [Little Acorn], written by Margarita Stāraste. Arrangement of the complex of buildings depicts the varied adventures of the small Zīļuks on the road of life, which was rich in various events. This symbolises the winding road of a small child towards knowledge. The specially created “green classroom” in the backyard of the building is surrounded by glazed walls.
Ergonomic and multi-functional playgrounds have been arranged in the territory of the kindergarten with climbing and rope amusements, sliders, balance tracks, swings and other constructions for the development of motor skills and strength of movement of children. A football pitch and a path of feelings have also been arranged, as well as a miniature town with small two-storey houses on the sides of streets marked according to traffic regulations, thus creating a wonderful environment adjusted for the development and improvement of children.
Total costs of the entire construction project of the new building amount to 11.9 million euros, including a 4.6 million euro loan from the Treasury and 7.3 million euros of co-funding of Mārupe local government.
HOUSE OF THE FLYING TREES HOFT WINS ANOTHER AWARD
On 21 September one of the most awaited ceremonies of the construction industry in Latvia – “The Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2020” – took place. Competing with six other structures, the residential houses HOFT (House of the Flying Trees) created by LLC (SIA) “Velve” won 2nd place in the “Newly erected residential building” category.
The project of the houses of the flying trees consists of two buildings – reconstructed historical building with two additional floors and a new 7-storey building. The complex is located in a facilitated territory with an area of 2,020 square metres and consists of 42 flats with a total area of 6,671.9 square metres and height from 2.90 to 4.40 metres.
“The unique building concept with 36 vertically placed trees on the construction of the building is remarkable. Together with our team, we are proud that experts have also evaluated it as great! Construction and implementation of a building is a rather complicated process: coniferous trees were transported to the floors of the building using helicopters, therefore the complex received the name “House of the Flying Trees”. The recognition gained not only from customer, but also in the form of properly earned prizes inspires and motivates us to create lasting values in the future as well!” says Mr Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of LLC (SIA) “Velve”.
The residential houses HOFT have won two awards this year. Experts of the “Latvian Construction Annual Award 2020” recognised the project as the best in the “Newly erected residential building” category, but in the ceremony “The Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2020” HOFT won 2nd place in the “Newly erected residential building” category.
The total number of projects submitted for the competition “The Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2020” was 90, and the majority of them were from Riga and the nearest vicinity.
Construction contract signed to build new Zeiss office building at Mūkusalas Business Centre
On 14 May, the developer of the project, Mūkusalas Business Centre, and construction company VELVE signed a contract for the construction of a new Class A office building, called Zeiss Offices. Its location will be at Mūkusalas Business Centre, at Dēļu iela 2 in Riga. The project is to be completed by spring 2023.
The new Class A office building will be set up at the site of the historical Karl Zeiss optics factory, whose building will be renovated and expanded with new and modern architectural elements. As pointed out by its developers, the project will combine the historical mood of the place, latest technologies and modern construction solutions. One of the biggest advantages of the building is its strategic location at the corner of Mūkusalas and Dēļu streets, with a view of the Daugava and the Old Town steeples. The Business Centre will also get a new multi-storey car park, more greenery for pedestrians, and amenities for car drivers.
‘The Zeiss Offices project is an addition to Mūkusala Business Centre that has seen a long period of planning. The history of the Karl Zeiss factory building spans over more than 100 years, and it has inspired us to renovate it and turn it into a comfortable office that meets modern requirements, and not only offers the latest technical and energy efficiency solutions, but also integrates the best ideas about workplace and amenity design, which new tenants of the building will certainly appreciate. We have demonstrated that locally-owned companies, too, are capable of building and managing major real estate projects that, for decades, have functioned as a place for new ideas and start-up businesses to grow, and will continue to do so in the future, turning this area into a hub of activity on the map of Riga,’ Mūkusala Business Centre co-owner Klāvs Vasks said.
‘We’ve been growing together with our clients for twenty years, and lived through different economic phases. I think the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that it is adaptability that makes it possible for businesses to survive all kinds of crises. I believe that many people want to go back to working in their offices, which not only cater to their individual working habits, but also allow them to separate home from work, which they can do in rooms actually intended for such purpose. Working at Zeiss Offices will mean wellness, loyalty and growth among the employees of the companies that will become tenants for the new offices,’ Mūkusalas Business Centre board chairwoman Iveta Bahmane pointed out.
The contract includes the construction of an office building with a total floor area of 5600 square metres; in terms of sustainability, the building will be BREEAM Excellent-certified, with Class A energy-efficient heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems, sustainable and eco-friendly finishing materials, as well as a number of solutions that make the building more convenient and friendly to its users, from lighting and openable windows, to ergonomic workspaces. The building is also to have a conference centre with enough capacity to accommodate 80 people. The total cost of construction is expected to be 9 million euros.
‘The construction of this new office building is not only interesting, but also challenging in a way, because it will take place in an area that already has a few office buildings, intensive traffic, and is close to a major city traffic artery, Mūkusalas Street. The construction site includes adjacent buildings, which use access roads extensively, sometimes leading up to the facade of the building itself. Working in such conditions requires a lot of care in planning the delivery of materials and the technical work. During construction we will have to take the operation of the nearby buildings into account, and make sure that the visitors and workers there can easily access those buildings. In fact we have considerable experience handling similar projects, and we’ll be able to carry this one out as planned,’ Velve board chairman Kaspars Rokens pointed out.
Once the project is completed, the total area of the office premises at Mūkusalas Business Centre will exceed 35,000 square metres, with its tenants including companies such as Tele2, Bolt, Delfi, Cognizant, Civinity and others. The roofs of the buildings within the Centre house the biggest solar power plant in Riga, delivering all-green energy to the tenants.
Capsule with a Message for Future Generations Walled in the Foundations of the New Construction of PSKUS A2 Building
Celebrating the successful course of construction works, on 7 April, the construction company “Velve”, together with the representatives of Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, walled in a message in the foundations of the new construction of PSKUS A2 building.
Construction is in active progress at 13 Pilsoņu Street, where LLC (SIA) “Velve” is constructing a modern, cosy and functional new building of the hospital. The total area of the project comprises 38,456 m2, and the following facilities will be arranged in the new building of the hospital:
• Spacious emergency medical aid centre;
• Modern surgery blocks;
• Surgery, transplantology, internal medicine, neurology and other centres;
• Obstetrical and gynaecological care;
• Consultative polyclinic and outpatient reception.
“Building the welfare of Latvia is our common task on a daily basis. A truly strong country may be created by a strong and healthy society with no shortage of labour force, energy and a future vision filled with hopes. Health is one of the resources, which may not be manufactured in a factory and that money can’t buy; however, health is something we can save and take care of to strengthen our country through our power and inexhaustible energy. When constructing medical facilities, visual and aesthetic categories are no less important than technological solutions. It is only by combining these elements that we can create an inviting, modern and therapeutic environment that is easy to work in for medical staff, while also being pleasant for patients. To expand one of Latvia’s biggest and most important hospitals – Stradiņš hospital – means much more to us, the team of LLC (SIA) “Velve”, than only the construction works: this is a lasting value, to be enjoyed by future generations”, said Mr Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of the LLC (SIA) “VELVE”.
Mr Rinalds Muciņš, Chairman of the Board of the hospital, pointed out that the new building of the hospital will provide a solution to a number of acute problems, including those highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic – unsuitability of the old infrastructure for outbreaks of infections. “The old buildings were constructed a long time ago, and they were intended for a completely different approach to the patient, and when working in these buildings we are no longer able to provide appropriate conditions, either for the patients or employees. Unsuitable ventilation system, tight wards and narrow hallways, without the possibility to separate flows of patients, worn-out staff leisure rooms and locker-rooms – this is only the most visible part of the problems faced by the hospital staff on a daily basis,” said Mr Muciņš.
On 1 October 2020, the delivery-acceptance certificate of the construction site of Stage Two, Building A was signed. According to the conditions of the contract, after signing this certificate, the 30-month period for the execution of construction works began. Total costs of the project amount to 88,364,300 euros, and the deadline for the completion of construction works is 31 March 2023.
Topping out of the new building of Mārupe Municipality Pre-School Educational Institution “Zīļuks” is celebrated
On 16 March, in the presence of municipality representatives and the builders – the representatives of SIA “Velve”, the new building of Mārupe Municipality Pre-School Educational Institution “Zīļuks” celebrated its topping out. The building will be one of the most energy-efficient new municipality buildings in the region. The construction works were begun in July 2020 and are scheduled for completion in August 2021.
The new kindergarten will be the largest in the region, providing the opportunity for 384 young residents of Mārupe to acquire pre-school education. By topping the roof ridge with a wreath of oak leaves, the first stage in the construction of the new kindergarten building was completed.
Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of SIA “Velve” Board: “It is a true pleasure that despite the difficult conditions, in which we have all been living for already a year, such projects are still being developed that are very important for the community in the long run. Our team is always passionate about the construction of such facilities, as they are more than just buildings providing a specific function, and thus are part of the basic elements that help build a smart and educated future society. Therefore we are excited to see how our joint work marks an increasingly realistic outline of this building every day – so far we have built the metal load-bearing structures and assembled the walls of the building, and now we are working on the assembly of the external glazing structures, engineering networks, heat insultation of the facade, as well as plastering of interior walls and construction of floors.”
The new kindergarten will be one of the most energy-efficient new buildings in the municipality: the heating of its 6200 square metre space will be provided by ground source heating pumps, and in the future it is also planned to install solar panels for electricity generation, as well as for water heating. The total area of the object is 3.4 ha, but the building construction area is 5503 m2.
Mārtiņš Bojārs, Chairman of Mārupe Municipality Council: “The topping out is a thrilling moment in any construction project, allowing you to see the actual outline of the new building. The new kindergarten will be the second home for almost 400 young residents of Mārupe, and at the same time, a significant contribution to increasing the capacity of the municipality education system. Mārupe Municipality is one of the few municipalities with a high birth rate, therefore the municipality constantly has to think of solutions to provide the young residents of Mārupe with the opportunity to obtain pre-school education. This project is also special due to the fact that such construction technologies will be used in it, that will allow one to call this building a nearly zero energy building. Energy efficiency and modern technological solutions in Mārupe Municipality are the priority and are used in the design and construction of all new infrastructure objects. We would like to thank the builders, and we are looking forward to the day when we can meet on the doorstep of the new kindergarten in the autumn!”
The total planned construction costs of the new kindergarten construction project of Mārupe Municipality are 11.9 million euros, of which 4.6 million euros is borrowed from the State Treasury, but 7.3 million is the co-financing of the municipality. The construction of the new building is implemented by SIA “VELVE”. The building was designed by SIA “Arhitekta G. Vīksnas birojs”, but construction supervision is performed by SIA “Marčuks”.
SIA “VELVE” RECEIVES TWO PRIZES AT THE LATVIJAS BŪVNIECĪBA ANNUAL AWARDS
On 12 March, the ceremony of the largest construction competition “Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Award 2020” took place, in which SIA “VELVE” received two awards. The new residential building project HOFT was recognised as the best in the category “New residential building”, while SIA “VELVE” Project Manager Deniss Kamuškovs won 2nd place in the competition “Construction Engineer of Latvia of the Year 2020” in the category “Project Manager of the Year.”
“Our team is proud of every job well done, every constructed building and every completed site, but receiving such a national assessment adds even more value to our achievements. The recognition expressed by industry experts confirms that our work is not only important for the specific customer, but is also noticed and appreciated on a larger scale. This clearly inspires our team to continue to create lasting values in the future as well,” Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of SIA “VELVE” Board says about the awards.
This year has been quite splendid for the construction industry of Latvia; very interesting buildings and structures have been commissioned for use, therefore the competition in all ten nominations was fierce. In total, 140 objects were nominated for the competition “Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Award 2020”.
SIA Velve gets bronze in the 2020 Safest Company Vehicle Fleet competition
For the eighth year in a row, AAS BALTA and the Ministry of Transport have organised a competition to find and reward those Latvian companies that stand out due to their grasp on company vehicle fleet safety and that have become examples of best practice in managing a company vehicle fleet. The jury of the competition gave the bronze award in the Low-Risk, State and Municipal Fleets category to SIA Velve, describing it as ‘a company that passionately cares both for its vehicle fleet, and for its employees.’
A total of 33 private company, state and municipal vehicle fleets have won awards for their active and responsible conduct in improving road safety. This year, the award-winning company fleets stood out not only due to their day-to-day maintenance of vehicles and equipment, but also their solutions for surviving or even succeeding the crisis, and for preventively tackling the challenges that the industry is facing.
‘As a construction company, we are in a very good position to understand the importance of safety in every field, be it occupational safety, construction site safety, or road safety, and the fact that safety does not tolerate compromises. We are sincerely happy to see that our work on improving road safety has been recognised with a bronze 2020 Safest Company Vehicle Fleet award,’ SIA Velve board chairman Kaspars Rokens pointed out.
The Low-Risk, State and Municipal Fleets category is intended for those state, municipal and private companies whose vehicles are not intended to provide passenger and freight transport services, or to perform other specialised tasks.
Latvian construction company Velve became the general contractor for the construction of the Verde business center in Riga
The Verde business center in downtown Riga will be built by the Latvian construction company Velve. Velve signed a €49 million general contractor’s agreement with Capitalica Asset Management. Construction of the business center is set to begin as early as October, and the entire complex is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.
“This is one of the largest and most innovative projects that Riga’s construction sector has seen in the last few years, therefore, the tenderers were subject to very high standards. We evaluated the proposals of the five largest construction contractors in the Baltic States, their experience in implementing similar projects, the quality of work, their ability to implement complex engineering solutions, and good reputation and selected Velve as a company that fully meets all these criteria,” said Andrius Barštys, CEO of Capitalica Asset Management, an SBA investment management company developing the project.
Verde will be one of the largest business centers in the Latvian capital. Its area, including underground parking, will reach 45 thousand square meters. The complex of two class A business centers will be built on a 1.3 ha plot in Skanste neighborhood in the center of Riga. The total of €65 million is to be invested in the project.
According to Mr Barštys, the analyzes showed that the COVID-19 pandemic did not negatively affect the office market in Latvia. Working from home did not reduce the demand for innovative and sustainable buildings, as the world begins to treat offices not as basic workplaces but as an important component in creating a corporate culture.
“During 28 years of operation, we have implemented hundreds of projects, that required professionalism, accuracy and impeccable quality, such as the installation of the Air Baltic headquarters, the construction of a modern National Library of Latvia, and the reconstruction of the symbol of Riga - House of the Black Heads, which is an architectural monument of the 14th century. The implementation of the Verde project is one of the most interesting challenges in the company’s history. This project is a sign of appreciation for our experience in large projects. We are proud to have the opportunity to establish a new quality sustainability standard in the Latvian construction sector,” said Chairman of the Executive Management Board of Velve, Kaspars Rokens.
Verde project is very important for the developer and Velve will take a special care to deliver the project on time and in highest quality, says Ivo Bralēns, Member of Executive Mananagement Board, whose experience in construction business is more than 25 years long and projects like concert hall Great Amber in Liepāja, Skanstes residential buildings in Riga are just some among his extensive list of references.
Capitalica Asset Management announced a new contractor’s tender after the termination of the contract with the winner of the previous tender, the Latvian construction company Merks, in August due to breaches of contractual obligations.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a €22 million loan for the construction of the Verde green office complex, with funding from the investment package to combat climate change, as the business center is planned to be a nearly zero-energy building. The project is also financed by commercial banks and the real estate fund Capitalica Baltic Real Estate Fund I.
At the design stage, the complex was awarded the BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate. It received the highest evaluations in the categories of ecology and land use, water management, transport, and waste management.
The Verde complex will be equipped with silent ventilation systems. It will also have a maximum amount of daylight per workplace. The internal spaces of the buildings will allow for modification to adapt the interior to individual needs. The buildings will have innovative engineering systems, such as raised floors and a modern chilled beam system for cooling. Fifth floors of both of the buildings will house green terraces. The project will use renewable energy sources that meet the high requirements for a modern building and the NZEB standard for near-zero energy buildings.
The construction company Velve, which belongs to the MN Holding Group, is the third-largest construction company in Latvia and one of the largest companies in this sector in the Baltic States. The company has implemented over 250 major construction projects: shopping malls, industrial enterprises, hotels, public use and residential buildings.
The Verde Business Center will belong to Capitalica Baltic Real Estate Fund I, a real estate fund managed by SBA Group company Capitalica Asset Management. According to the audited data, in 2019, Capitalica Baltic Real Estate Fund I made €4.4 million in profits.
Capitalica Baltic Real Estate Fund I, established in 2016, also manages the business center 135 in Vilnius, the business center Kauno dokas in Kaunas and the shopping center Luizė located in Klaipėda. Its controlling shares (70%) belong to one of the largest Lithuanian capital business groups SBA, 30% of the shares belong to Mr Barštys’ company Fox Holdings.
Ingus Baumanis Receives Three Awards of “The Grand Prize of the Construction Industry”
Project Director of SIA “Velve” Ingus Baumanis received three prizes at the award ceremony organised by the “The Grand Prize of the Construction Industry”: Project Manager of the Year in the category “Engineer/Architect of the Year”, judged by 46 members of the jury, the special prize “Thermo White” and the Engineer of the Year Award, which was determined by the voters.
“When you come on the stage and receive an award as Project Manager of 2020, you realise how strong and outstanding your team is, therefore I would like to sincerely thank them,” said Ingus Baumanis, commenting on receiving the award.
The ceremony of “The Grand Prize of the Construction Industry” took place for the eighth consecutive year. The best professionals and the strongest companies in the construction industry competed for the prize, who were awarded for both their participation and for demonstrating excellent skills in creating excellent buildings.
“If someone asked me, which project I favour the most, highlighting one specific project would not be fair. Every one of them is dear to me. Of course, there have been many large projects in my 17 years of work experience, but those that are now especially close to the heart are the recently completed works – the reconstruction of the Saeima building at 6/8 Jēkaba Street and the construction of the multi-storey buildings at 34 Raņķa dambis. Particularly memorable are historically significant projects such as the renovation of the House of the Blackheads, the reconstruction of the historical stable of Riga Stradins University into a museum building, and the restoration of Rūmene Manor,” says Ingus Baumanis.
Ingus Baumanis is not only a highly valued professional in the industry, but also a versatile person. In his spare time he focuses on his hobby, which is working as a basketball referee in the international category. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Ingus had to referee games in the Baltics or Europe at least once a week. Ingus points out that a referee must have good reactions and the ability to make decisions quickly, which is also useful in his daily work in the construction industry.
VELVE implements a unique project and plants trees on the facade of a building
On 8 October, 36 trees were installed on special facade constructions of the project HOFT at Strēlnieku iela 5, Riga with the help of construction lifts and a helicopter to implement the unique greening concept of the new residential complex. Integration of trees into the architecture of the buildings is a new and unique experience for the builder of the project - SIA VELVE.
“We and our customers are united by cast-iron assurance that everything is possible; therefore, we are excited about implementing any, even the most audacious of projects. During our work on the HOFT project, we implemented the unique greening concept of the building together with our partners: 36 trees have been installed on special facade constructions of the building. Some of the works were performed by using construction lifts, while the moving of two trees required the use of a helicopter, which filled our usual business day with episodes resembling Hollywood,” said Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of SIA VELVE.
Within the framework of HOFT (House Of the Flying Trees) or “flying tree” project, VELVE performed the reconstruction of the residential house by reinforcing the constructions of the building and constructing two additional completely glazed floors above the restored facade. A new building with seven overground floors and two underground floors was built within the framework of the project.
The “House Of the Flying Trees” unites historical architecture with modern solutions, exclusive finishing materials and natural elements: on the glazed floors of the building, as well as in the facade of the yard, in specially constructed boxes and terraces; by using a special fastening system, coniferous trees - cedars, mountain pines, dwarf black pines, bonsai trees were installed, creating a private park for the residents of the building in the very centre of the city. A well-considered watering system completely automates the tree care process and residents will only have to give access to the tree to the specialist once a year to trim the crown.
“We have introduced variable technological solutions into the implementation of different construction projects, but the integration of trees in the architecture of a building is a new, exciting experience. Placing trees as if they are hanging in the air – it is a challenge that necessitates lifting the trees to the required height, as well as the installation of an automatic irrigation system. We are proud of our employees, whose unique experience and creativity enabled the implementation of this complicated, but inspiring task,” explains Kaspars Rokens.
The customer of the project is R.EVOLUTION company, the architects are – Zane Tetere-Šulce (OPEN AD) and Dita Lapiņa (KROKS). The project has 42 apartments from 76 to 232 m2 in size. Commissioning of the building is scheduled in two months.
SIA VELVE LAYS THE FOUNDATION STONE OF THE NEW MĀRUPE MUNICIPAL KINDERGARTEN ZĪĻUKS
On 6 October, in Jaunmārupe, in the presence of the representatives of the municipality and the builders, a foundation stone was laid in the foundations of the new kindergarten Zīļuks. This pre-school educational establishment of Mārupe Municipality, which will provide 384 places for children, will be situated on Ozolu Street. The construction work performed by SIA Velve was commenced in July, and this will be one of the most energy efficient new buildings in the municipality.
“No matter how huge buildings that humans build are, the most surprising building is created by nature: a person, who grows into a knowing, creative, inspiring personality from a small child. However, we must help children grow. We are always pleased to participate in the construction of schools and kindergartens, including Zīļuks, by preparing a safe, comfortable and inspiring environment for the growth of future generations. Furthermore, we can learn much from nature not only philosophically, but also by adopting its resources and developing ever new methods of creating equally friendly constructions,” said Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of SIA Velve.
The use of construction technologies planned in this building will allow one to say that it is almost a zero energy consumption building. Heating of the kindergarten will be ensured by means of geothermal heat pumps from 24 drills. The contemporary heating supply system means that the 6,200 square metre wide building can be heated by geothermal pumps at an external temperature of minus 10 degrees, and the gas heating system is only switched on if it is required. It was calculated that, despite the larger investment in the construction of the geothermal pump, a total of EUR 94,000 will be saved over a period of 15 years, in comparison with gas heating. The installation of solar panels is also being considered.
The total area of the object is 3.4 ha, with buildings comprising 5,503 m2. Since the commencement of works on 2 July 2020, the concreting of the foundation base plate has been completed at the object; the construction of external sewerage networks, the preparation of the base for the construction of the car park, and the assembly of metal constructions and masonry work on the walls is in progress.
The total planned construction costs of the new kindergarten project of Mārupe Municipality is EUR 11.9 million.
LAST YEAR SIA “VELVE” INCREASED GROSS PROFITABILITY AND IMPLEMENTED SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS
When summarising the results of 2019, the activity of SIA “Velve” can be assessed as successful – the reporting year is closed with profit, and the company continues its development. Net turnover – EUR 52 639 551 – has decreased by 10%, if compared to 2018. Gross profitability, on the other hand, was 14.41% higher last year, reaching EUR 2 947 896. With such financial indicators SIA “Velve” takes a stable position among the TOP10 leading construction companies in the country.
Last year several important objects were implemented, which were highly appreciated with the awards of construction industry organisations: the residential complex Philosophers Residences in Riga was awarded 2nd place in the competition “Latvian Construction Annual Award” in the category “New Residential Building”. Ingus Baumanis, Project Manager of SIA “Velve” was recognised as the best in the category “Project manager”. In 2019, the reconstruction of the administrative building of the Court House in Tukums was also completed, as well as the construction of the DEPO Shopping Centre in Vilnius, development and construction of the Norupes Sawmill building project, and the new multifunctional building in Jūrmala, at Dzintari prospekts.
Last year, particular attention was paid to hiring highly-skilled staff, to improving the competences of the current employees, and to matters of quality and occupational safety. During the reporting period, a new, strong management team was established, which has already demonstrated its professionalism and competence when faced with professional challenges, at the same time proving their trust in the core values of SIA “Velve”.
In 2020, SIA “Velve” will continue to work on strengthening its competitiveness and increasing its profitability, as well as will actively participate in various tenders of construction projects in order to obtain the right to implement new projects not only in Latvia and Lithuania, but also in other European Union countries. One of the important steps to improve work efficiency is the introduction of new information technology solutions in everyday work. It is also planned to review and to adjust the company processes to the current market situation in order to continue to position itself as a stable cooperation partner in the construction market for both the customers and the contractors.
SIA “VELVE” SIGNS AN AGREEMENT ON THE SECOND STAGE CONSTRUCTION OF STRADIŅŠ HOSPITAL
On Thursday, 27 August, with the participation of Rinalds Muciņš, Chairman of Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital (PSCUH) Board, Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of SIA “Velve” Board and Pēteris Stradiņš, Head of PSKUS Heart Surgery Centre, an agreement was signed on the second stage construction of block A of PSCUH.
The team of SIA “Velve” has already acquired experience in the construction of medical institutions, when working on the reconstruction of the buildings of Liepāja Regional Hospital, and is now ready to expand one of the main hospitals in Latvia – Stradiņš Hospital.
When constructing medical facilities, visual and aesthetic components are no less important than technological solutions. It is only by combining these elements that we can create an inviting, modern and therapeutic environment that is easy to work in for medical staff, while also being pleasant for patients. This opportunity to expand one of the biggest and most important hospitals in Latvia – Stradiņš Hospital – means much more to us than the construction itself, as we are creating lasting value, to be enjoyed by future generations. We are determined to start work on the construction of the new block in accordance with all the intentions of the architects and the hospital management,” says Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of SIA “Velve” Board.
According to Rinalds Muciņš, Chairman of the PSCUH Board, the infrastructure of Stradiņš Hospital has served its time, and the Covid-19 pandemic has proved that it is difficult to follow all epidemiological safety measures in the old and narrow premises. The new block A2 will house the Emergency Medical Centre and other structural units that will be able to provide safe and high-quality treatment to the patients of Stradiņš Hospital.
Professor Pēteris Stradiņš, the Head of PSCUH Heart Surgery Centre is convinced that the hospital is a symbol of Latvian medicine, as this is where the modern medical branches were born, and it is also the key to the future of medicine in Latvia: “This year marks the 110th anniversary of the hospital, and the road to it has been long, therefore we can probably describe it with the same saying as Riga – it will never be ready! This moment is very important, but we also need to start thinking about the next steps.”
SIA “Velve” won the tender for the implementation of the second stage construction of block A with an offer for the total amount of EUR 88 364 300.00 without VAT and the construction period of 30 months from the date of handing over the construction site to the contractor. Out of the offers of nine tenderers, the offer of SIA “Velve” has been recognised as the most economically advantageous.
Construction Industry: Entering the Second Half of the Pandemic Year What do leading experts promise?
Economists and financial experts were predicting that 2020 would be full of challenges, and show less economic growth, as soon as the year had started. However, not even the most pessimistic among them could imagine that the entire global economy would have to hit the brake pedal, and grind to an almost complete stop to prevent the dangers of the new virus to the health of the public and its future existence. Every industry has been fighting for survival over the months of this struggle with the deadly virus. Most, including the construction sector, have managed to adapt to the new reality, although believing that life and business have gone back to normal, is still wishful thinking. Although we already see positive developments, the second half of 2020 may turn out to be even tougher on construction companies than the beginning of the year.
Looking at the current situation in construction, there is good news nevertheless: the government has awarded funding to multiple pending projects, and various measures intended to heat the economy up and help reduce the negative effect of COVID-19 on Latvia’s economy and GDP have been launched. As the situation on the market stabilises, private companies and the real estate market are showing signs of activity. The reconstruction of the former Red Star factory building as an office building has been resumed, while a former VEF production floor awaits its turn in the line for renovation, having got the support of investors. Furthermore, the Ministry of Transport has directed significant funds to the construction of roads: some 75 million euros are to be invested by the end of the year. My company, Velve, has also felt these positive vibrations, as Mārupe Municipal Council awarded it the order to build the Jaunmārupe day-care facility for children. The work is advancing at full speed there, to a significant degree thanks to the financial support by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM).
At the same time, in spite of these improvements in the situation, it’s worth remembering that the external factors affecting the industry as a whole are less encouraging. The banking sector, which is the main source of financing for construction projects, now very critically and meticulously assesses every investment in real estate, especially if it is associated with projects for the hotel business. Tourism is also slow to recover from the shutdown it has experienced. In August, the level of uncertainty about what awaits us in the future has created a mood of cautiousness among both the clients and the government and general public as a whole. Every logically thinking person is aware of the fact that COVID-19 is not letting up; it has not yet been defeated.
There is no way of knowing if autumn will bring a steep rise in new infections, what with the new academic year starting in schools, and more people spending time indoors, in offices, shops, theatres and gyms, all leading to strict measures to limit the spread of the virus again. Observations so far lead us to believe that Latvia has been rather successful in preventing the virus from spreading. Companies and the public at large have managed to adapt to the new conditions. However, the risk of a new outbreak this autumn or winter is real. Epidemiologists note that there is a real risk of the virus coming up locally again and again, and the opening of the borders and people crossing them drastically reduces the ability to control the virus. Many industries, construction included, must be prepared for such a course of events. One positive here is that we have already gone through this entire process, and know what to do to work remotely, what instructions we should give our employees, and what we should expect from our suppliers and subcontractors.
On the other hand, if another outbreak occurs, leading to a reintroduction of these restrictions on a national level, they may not be as effective as the first time around. We can already see that the public are growing tired of precautionary measures, and it is only a matter of time before a chunk of Latvia’s population decides to ignore them completely. In view of the fact that a number of major construction projects have been launched in spite of the virus, if its spread continues at a rapid rate, the industry may face a workforce deficit. The second half of this year and the beginning of the next year may also bring corrections in the cost of construction materials, because more construction means less availability of these materials. And because of all of this, the situation in construction doesn’t appear too rosy.
In order for the construction industry not to have it as bad in the second half of 2020 as the leading experts suggest, there clearly must be an easy-to-understand government plan for heating up the economy in the long and short run (through various projects and infrastructure investment schemes). A clearly useful measure would be to change the tax system and increase the availability of special programmes (credits and grants) to boost the competitiveness of businesses, and to consistently work on stamping the shadow economy out by increasing the efficiency of the justice system. Companies and their employees must actively participate, and be prepared to work online, to set up the remote performance of administrative tasks, to maintain the level of involvement of employees and their sense of belonging to the company, to use disinfectants when working at indoor construction sites, especially as the dark and cold season sets in. Every employer must be socially responsible and take precautionary measures, acting responsibly and expecting the same from employees, requiring them to monitor their health, to only come to work if healthy, and to undergo medical examinations if any symptoms of the disease are found. Achieving these conditions is a prerequisite for the financial market and construction industry to be able to reduce the ubiquitous pessimism and cautiousness, and prevent the economy from falling even deeper. And everybody has to pitch in to make this happen.
Board chairman of SIA Velve
SIA VELVE WINS THE TENDER FOR STRADIŅŠ HOSPITAL STAGE TWO CONSTRUCTION
The tender for the second stage of construction of Building A of VSIA ‘Paula Stradiņa Klīniskā universitātes slimnīca’ concluded with the awarding of the contract to SIA Velve. With an estimated cost of 88,364,300 euros, the project is expected to take three years once the contract is signed.
The tender took place in two phases: the first involved the verification of the participants’ credentials, and negotiations on the content and prices offered in their bids. As a result, nine tenderers, which included most of Latvia’s leading construction companies, made it to phase two.
‘Construction of medical facilities sets its own special requirements, whereby visual and aesthetic components are no less important than technological solutions. It is only by combining these elements that we can create an inviting, modern and therapeutic environment that is easy to work in for medical staff, while also being pleasant for patients. This opportunity to expand one of Latvia’s biggest and most important hospitals means much more to us than the construction itself, as we are creating lasting value, to be enjoyed by future generations,’ SIA Velve board chairman Kaspars Rokens said.
The bid offered by SIA Velve turned out to be the most economically beneficial, and was the cheapest in terms of costs, although the latter was not the only decisive criterion. In assessing the bids, the tender commission took three factors into account: the price, the duration of the construction proposed by the tenderer, and the warranty period for the construction.
This is not the first medical facility to be built by Velve, as the company began the reconstruction of the Liepāja Regional Hospital building and the outdoor areas surrounding it last year.
New medical and social residence complex opened in Bolderāja
The opening ceremony for the first stage of construction for the new social project by Riga City Council took place on Friday, 12 June, at Mežrozīšu iela 43 in Riga; SIA Velve carried out the construction for this stage of the project. The project includes three interconnected social residence buildings with a total floor area of 12,832 m2, ordered by SIA ‘Rīgas pilsētbūvnieks’, in conjunction with the architect firm SIA ‘Bula & Ozola, arhitektu birojs’.
The first building with 218 social residences (including 178 one-room, 37 two-room and 3 three-room flats) and 69 service residences will gradually become available this summer; these flats have been equipped to suit people with special needs. Furthermore, four special rooms have been set up for wheelchairs, with 44 charging points. The flats have been equipped with alarm buttons.
‘Building these service residences has been an invaluable experience for SIA Velve, and fulfilling one of our key missions has brought us much joy: creating a better and higher-quality urban environment, and constructing buildings for people, taking into account the functions and purposes of these buildings. Be it schools, stadiums, cultural venues or social homes: we devote our undivided attention and experience to all of these projects, delivering a modern, functional and aesthetically pleasing architectural experience to every citizen of Riga,’ SIA Velve board chairman Kaspars Rokens revealed.
In addition to the social and service residences, the building complex will also include a 3997 m2 health centre. In addition to the usual services, it will offer swimming pools for adults and babies, physiotherapy and rehabilitation facilities with a gym, day patient facility with a modern operating room; there are also plans to introduce functional and radiological diagnostics facilities. It will also house a branch of the Riga Municipal Youth Centre, as well as the Bolderāja Centre of the Riga Social Service, which will become a multifunctional social services centre providing day-care for children and adults, as well as social services for parents with mental disabilities.
Topping out ceremony celebrated at Getliņi EKO biodegradable waste processing plant
On Friday, 22 May, the topping out ceremony for a VELVE project, the Getliņi EKO biodegradable waste processing plant, took place at the Getliņi landfill site. Most of the building construction (including the concrete work, which took 16,000 cubic metres of concrete, a volume equal to that of 6.5 Olympic pools) has been completed, and the plan is to start delivering and installing the production equipment soon.
‘This is an emotionally important project for us, because it is not just a building we are constructing, it is a complete solution for the future of waste recycling in Latvia, meaning a better living space to more than a few individuals or a small group of people; this will be a benefit to everyone in the country. This is a long-term investment and an asset that will help future generations live in a cleaner environment, and let Latvia strengthen its position as the “greenest country in Europe” not only because of its beautiful nature, but also because of the sustainable and responsible thinking of its citizens,’ Velve board chairman Kaspars Rokens pointed out.
Five new buildings are under construction at the Getliņi landfill site: a temporary biological storage facility with a ramp, two biomass tunnel buildings, a gas reactor building and a recycled matter sorting building. As of now, the following tasks have been completed: the concrete works in the first biomass tunnel, the concrete works for the foundation and walls, and the construction of the reinforced concrete columns in the recycled matter sorting building and the temporary biological waste storage facility with a ramp, the concrete work for the foundations of two bioreactors and for their floors intended to accommodate their equipment. The concrete work in the second biomass tunnel continues, with the construction of the building wall and roof structures, as well as bioreactor frames. The company is also currently working on the outdoor improvements and landscaping, as well as the installation of outdoor utility lines.
The new biodegradable waste processing plant will begin operation in 2021. Its capacity will be 100,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste per year. The project has taken 40 million euros in investments, most of which (EUR 29.6 million) was provided by the Cohesion Fund. The goal of the project is to expand the processing of biodegradable waste, and promote the recycling of waste in the Riga Metropolitan Area Waste Management Region. The project will create 10 new jobs in Stopiņi Municipality.
The plant is being built as part of the ‘Construction of a biodegradable waste processing plant at the Getliņi landfill site’ project.
Let the spring sun fill the hearts and bring bright thoughts! The #VELVE team wishes You a Happy Easter!
SIA VELVE WINS TWO PRIZES AT THE LATVIJAS BŪVNIECĪBA ANNUAL AWARDS
On Wednesday, 10 March, SIA VELVE was distinguished twice at the Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Awards ceremony that took place in the Ziemeļblāzma culture centre.
VELVE’s project manager Ingus Baumanis took first place in the Project Manager category, while the Philosophers Residence was declared second best in the New Residential Building category. The SkanstesCity office centre got a special mention in the Reconstruction category.
On behalf of the company’s entire team, the board chairman of SIA VELVE, Kaspars Rokens, expressed pride and satisfaction with its work. Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Awards is the biggest construction-related competition in Latvia, and we are truly happy about the level of appreciation that the industry has for the projects we have completed. This is a clear acknowledgement of how hard work, attention to detail and a well-coordinated team are key to success,’ Kaspars Rokens pointed out.
This is not the first time that VELVE has participated in this contest and won awards. For example, last, year, VELVE received an award in the ‘Industrial Building’ award for the construction of a warehouse building with factory and office premises for Amalva Baltija, which also involved the demolition of the current building. VELVE’s assistant project manager Jānis Ziediņš also got third place in the ‘2018 Young Specialist of the Year’ category.
The prizes were awarded for achievements of 2019, in 10 categories: Public Outdoors, Facade Renovation, New Residential Building, Wooden Building, Restoration, New Public Building, Reconstruction, New Engineering Structure and Industrial Structure. There was also a special Latvia’s Construction Engineer of the Year award, in 6 categories: Young Specialist, Construction Manager, Design Engineer, Project Manager, BIM Specialist, and the Lifetime Achievement in Construction Award. A total of 162 applications were submitted for the awards, including some projects abroad, which Latvian construction specialists were involved in.
Changes have been made to the Board of the construction company “Velve”
Changes have been made to the Board of one of the largest construction companies in Latvia SIA “Velve” - Kaspars Rokens has joined the management team starting from 4 March and will act as Chairman of the Board.
Kaspars Rokens is an expert in heat energy construction and has experience in the management of international companies. Previously Kaspars Rokens was the Board member and Director of Operations of AS “RB Rail”, where he was responsible for the design and construction of transport infrastructure. Before that he acted as Chairman of the Board of SIA “Schneider Electric Latvia” and Head of the company in Latvia and the Baltics, where he supervised the production and sale of electrical equipment and the development of energy-efficient solutions.
“I am glad to join such a strong team and a company with rich traditions that has proven itself as an excellent expert in construction and restoration. With my deepest respect towards one of the main operating principles of SIA “Velve” - lasting values - I perceive my previous experience in the field of energy as an encouraging contribution to the development of the company. I hope that my work will open up new development possibilities for the company in the direction of modernisation, BIM system application and improvement of railway infrastructure”, says the new Chairman of the Board of SIA “Velve” Kaspars Rokens.
Colleagues describe Kaspars Rokens as a result-orientated team player with an excellent understanding of BIM systems, the construction industry, in particular railway infrastructure, and experience in the management and organisation of construction tenders.
As Board member of AS “MN Holding” Jekaterina Griga noted, for a large company such as “Velve” the key to significant success from a long-term perspective is professional team management - top level specialists of the industry with comprehensive knowledge and experience, who are not only perfectly aware of the particular field, but also those that are related. “We are truly happy that Kaspars has joined the core of the company management as he has proven himself both as a knowledgeable expert and an excellent manager. We are certain that under his management “Velve” will be able to reach new business horizons!”, said Jekaterina Griga.
Besides the new Chairman of the Board of SIA “Velve” Kaspars Rokens, the Board member and Technical director Ivo Brālēns will continue to work in the management of the company, in the future being responsible for the development of construction and production. The former Board member Toms Reiziņš will leave the Board of SIA “Velve” and return to the position of Financial Director of AS “MN Holding” to continue ensuring centralised financial management of the holding companies. In the coming 2-3 months Toms Reiziņš will continue to be a part of the management team of the company to aid the Chairman of the Board in the efficient start of work.
Riga Classical Gymnasium celebrates topping out
On Thursday, 16 January, Riga Classical Gymnasium celebrated the topping out of the new laboratory building carried out by VELVE at 38 Purvciema Street, Riga. The pouring of monolithic concrete structures and assembly of prefabricated reinforced concrete structures has now been completed.
"Six months ago, we started the work here, and today we are celebrating one of the key milestones of the construction – the topping out. The builders have spared no effort to ensure that at the beginning of the new school year the school will have a new natural sciences building that meets all requirements of the 21st century. I hope that the completion of this building will lead to an increased number of people who choose to study natural sciences at our universities," said the Mayor of Riga Oļegs Burovs.
The four-floor laboratory building of the Riga Classical Gymnasium with a total area of approximately 2,700 square metres will house ten laboratories and ancillary rooms used for chemistry, physics, biology, robotics and computer science lessons. Meanwhile the semi-basement floor will house a lecture hall and ancillary rooms for 160 persons. It will also be suited for non-school activities by being functionally separated from the other premises.
"It has been my dream for over 20 years to have a building like this – with facilities where children can research and analyse, become scientists, researchers, professionals and, most importantly, creators who can improve everyone’s life. The completion of this project will give a major push to the development of our gymnasium," said Romāns Alijevs, director of Riga Classical Gymnasium.
The new building will also house a reading room, book storage, library, cloakroom, working rooms for teachers, various ancillary premises and bathrooms on all floors. All rooms and the lecture hall will feature the equipment needed for the teachers’ work.
"One of our key values is the creation of a well-planned and high-quality environment. We construct buildings and infrastructure with added value: these are not just premises, but a contribution to the wellbeing of society. Some of the most valuable projects are those that improve the quality of life of our children and young generation – future scientists, entrepreneurs and politicians. This is why being a part of the improvement of education infrastructure is especially satisfying. We hope that already in the nearest future the new laboratory building of Riga Classical Gymnasium will become a place for new ideas and genuine scientific passion," says Toms Reiziņš, VELVE board member.
The new building is due to be completed by 1 September this year. The project has been partially funded from the European Regional Development Fund.
The new laboratory building of Riga Zolitūde Gymnasium holds topping out ceremony
On Tuesday, 4 February, a crown was raised on top of the roof structure of Riga Zolitūde Gymnasium laboratory building as a mark of completion of the key works of the new construction which was commenced in autumn last year.
The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Riga Oļegs Burovs, SIA VELVE Board Member Toms Reiziņš and representatives from municipal institutions: Riga City Council Education, Culture and Sports Committee and the Property Department, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Central Finance and Contracting Agency. Teachers, secondary school students and the Director of Riga Zolitūde Gymnasium Svetlana Semenko were also among the attendees.
On behalf of the entire company team, VELVE Board Member Toms Reiziņš expressed his honour to carry out such a project, thus contributing to the development of an educated and intelligent future society. "The construction and improvement of educational institutions always feels special because it is a contribution towards the development of an educated, intelligent future society. To foster the joy of learning in children, attractive and suitable learning facilities are as important as the contents of education and the teachers. The facilities should be lively, functional and easy to transform to meet any requirements that arise during the learning process. For us adults, it is a welcome challenge – to remind ourselves of what the world looks like through the eyes of a child and at the same time create a comfortable, safe environment where young talents can thrive. For these reasons we always take joy, great responsibility and pride in these types of projects," said Toms Reiziņš.
The pouring of monolithic concrete structures and assembly of prefabricated reinforced concrete structures has now been completed. The building, with a total area of 3,160 square metres, will contain a lecture hall for 160 persons, which may also be used for non-school activities, a library and reading room, two laboratory rooms for IT and robotics lessons and four classrooms – physics, natural sciences, chemistry and biology laboratories equipped with the newest learning tools, interactive whiteboards and furniture. Each of these premises will have their own auxiliary rooms for the storage of equipment or materials.
The construction was carried out by VELVE construction company by the request of Riga City Council Property Department. The goal of the project is the construction of an auxiliary building of Riga Zolitūde Gymnasium at 22 Ruses Street in Riga to provide an ergonomic learning environment and the introduction of innovative information and technology solutions. The new building will bring a new quality of learning to the students of exact sciences.
TOPPING OUT CELEBRATED AT THE NEW "BIOR" OFFICE BUILDING, AUXILIARY BUILDING AND BOILER HOUSE
On Monday, 25 November, representatives of SIA Velve and BIOR, designer SIA “Projektēšanas birojs Ludvigs” (led by the construction design manager Ludvigs Saprovskis) and construction supervisor SIA “PROKRIAL” (led by the construction supervisor in charge Kristaps Priede), attended the celebration of topping out of the new office building, auxiliary building and boiler house of the Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment BIOR. The object is located at 1 and 3 Lejupes Street in Riga and stands out among other new buildings with its unique facade finish solution – a printed composite mesh.
The project includes the construction of the new building of approximately 1,600 m2, including the laboratory premises and connecting passages; it is also planned to demolish the old boiler house and to install a new one with more capacity, and to equip it with two 550 kW boilers and automation equipment. The utility lines will also be rearranged on the premises, with an additional sewer pumping station installed. At the moment, 15% of the work has been completed; the reinforced concrete frame of the building and its external sewer lines, the masonry work and the installation of the heating line have been started, the earthing has been installed, the reinforced concrete structures of the connecting passages and laboratory stairs have been set up. Construction was commenced on 29 July 2019 and is due to be completed at the end of July 2020. Māris Kreicers is the project manager on behalf of SIA Velve.
‘The new building will be comfortable and modern, providing all that is necessary — modern laboratory facilities, accessibility of the environment and pleasant working conditions, so that the researchers can concentrate on their work. The unique facade finish solution makes us particularly proud to be the building contractor: this is something never seen before in Latvia. It will be a fibreglass mesh with a printed pattern stretched over a metal frame,’ board member of Velve construction company Ivo Brālēns explained.
The new building will accommodate the new workplaces of the Fish Resource Research Department and other departments of the institute, and it will be connected to the institute’s current laboratory building.
"The new office building will provide a boost for the scientific capacity of BIOR because we will be able to concentrate the resources and upgrade the research infrastructure at a single location and provide modern facilities for our scientific staff. Throughout the implementation of this highly important project, Velve construction company has proven itself as a reliable partner," said the Director of BIOR Aivars Bērziņš.
Topping out is traditionally celebrated when the highest point of a building under construction is completed. According to ancient tradition, the builders hang a crown on the top to symbolise that the craftsmen are ready to show off their progress, that the building is safe and that the owner should arrange a feast, which should be rich and luxurious as praise for the craftsmen and designers. The crown should be removed after ten days and kept as a symbol of safety and blessing of the house. The crown is usually kept in the attic or some other room of the house and should not be thrown out.
The construction is carried out as part of ERDF project No. 220.127.116.11/17/I/006 "Concentration of the research resources and reinforcement of the institutional capacity of the BIOR Research Institute" and the total cost of the project is 3.1 million euros.
Topping out of HOFT project celebrated
On Friday, 6 December, a topping-out ceremony took place for the upcoming multiple-apartment residential building project HOFT (House Of the Flying Trees) at 5 Strēlnieku Street, in Riga. The foundation of the new building was laid in July this year, while December saw the completion of the concrete casting for the roof of the 7th floor.
"As of now, we have finished the main structures and the concrete castings for the current and new building; we have also begun laying the partition walls, chimneys, building the roof and installing the utility systems. Though a lot still has to be done, we can already say that this unique project, bringing together elements of nature, design and art, will be one of those that make the “Quiet Centre” of Riga even more beautiful," board member of the building contractor Velve, Ivo Brālēns pointed out.
HOFT is one of the most unusual projects for Velve, with a unique concept that combines the historical and the modern, the artistic and the natural, and includes various kinds of bonsai trees on its facade, terraces and other structures, making it possible for its residents to live closer to nature without leaving the city.
"This project is about love. About love towards your surroundings. About how you feel going to work in the morning, walking in the streets that you know and that are dear to you; returning home in the evening to sip coffee on your terrace or in a cosy nearby cafe, and absorbing the refined and motionless beauty of this place. This seemingly static beauty prompts you to look inwards, to find new opportunities and new horizons within yourself," board member of the project developer R. EVOLUTION, Aleksejs Zagrebeļnijs, revealed, thanking the builders for their professionalism in not only accomplishing the complex construction tasks of the HOFT project, but also implementing a concept that Latvia and the Baltics have never seen before.
The HOFT project includes two seven-floor buildings connected to an underground car park. The Strēlnieku Street building is an architectural heritage site, to which two new floors will be added, and another, completely new building will be erected in the courtyard. The project will include 42 flats sized 76 to 232 square metres (with an option of combining them). All the flats will have balconies, large full-height windows, with impressive views onto the courtyard and trees. The height of the ceilings is 2.9 metres and 3 metres on the top floors.
The construction of the multiple-apartment residential building began in December 2018. The investments in the project totalled 16 million euros, with 8.9 million in bank financing. The project is to be completed in late 2020.
‘NORUPES’ SAWMILL BUILDING COMPLETED IN IKŠĶILE MUNICIPALITY
On Wednesday, 7 August, the ‘Norupes’ sawmill building in Tinūži Parish was handed over for operation, commissioned by SIA ‘Rīgas meži’; the construction design development, construction and designer supervision have been carried out by SIA Velve since 2018. The site includes production and administrative premises, as well as a built-over and improved area next to the sawmill, covering a total area of 15,107 m2.
The construction of the new building involved the use of modern and eco-friendly materials that help the site smoothly integrate into its natural surroundings. The two-floor administrative building continuously used by 17 employees was built using Fibo blocks, with a hollow panel roof. Unfinished planks made at SIA ‘Rīgas meži’ were used for the facade. The windows, windowsills, doors of the building, made of wood, were painted using a light transparent tone, so that the texture of the wood is visible. The building has an independent ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as a separate server room. Access for people with disabilities is also provided.
The warehouse with production rooms, covering an area of 2309 m2, will let 30 employees feel free and comfortable. It includes a dining room and a kitchen, a changing room and showers. The production room is equipped with five automatic gates; the floor is made of seamless concrete, which makes cleaning and moving around the area an easier task. Two warehouses with independent ventilation systems were set up for production and wood processing needs. The walls and the roof were built using sandwich panels.
A material unloading area was built near the building, covering an area of 9117 m2, covered with 10 cm thick Unikolock paving stones, and 14 m tall lighting poles along the perimeter, in order to avoid limiting the traffic and placement of materials. In addition to this, drainage ditches and channels were rearranged, automatic barriers were set up, the area was protected with a 1 km long fence, and provided with bicycle parking stands and benches, and a green area of 3500 m2.
The total cost of the project was 2.5 million euros.
SIA VELVE’S PROFITABLE AND AWARD-WINNING LAST YEAR
2018 results show SIA Velve business operations result in stable growth and positive financial indicators. Even though SIA Velve experienced a minor drop in its financial growth (last year’s net turnover fell by 4.2% compared to the year before, and gross profitability was 4.41% in 2018 versus 5.97% in 2017), it has established a position on the market, being among Latvia’s top 10 construction companies.
Last year, the company handed over a few major projects, including the warehouse and production building at Bukaišu iela 9, Riga, and DEPO shopping centre in Vilnius, Lithuania. The company also completed the reconstruction of the primary waste water sedimentation ponds for BAS Daugavgrīva, and the installation of water supply and sewer lines in Ozolnieki.
The company’s most important projects in 2018 have received awards from industry organisations. The Riga Stradiņš University student residence building constructed by SIA Velve was one of 11 of the Latvian Annual Architecture Awards finalists in the Public Buildings category. SIA Velve also got three wins in the 2018 Latvijas Būvniecība Magazine Annual Awards: 1st place in the Production category (new warehouse building for SIA Amalva Baltija, at Bukaišu iela 1 in Riga), 3rd place in the Young Specialist of the Year category (assistant foreman Jānis Ziediņš) and a special Saint-Gobain Choice Award (foreman Jānis Jēgers).
Last year, particular attention was paid to hiring highly-skilled staff, to improving the competences of the current employee, and to matters of quality and occupational safety.
SIA Velve’s goal for 2019 is to increase its profitability indicators in relation to the previous reporting period, to boost project management operational efficiency, and to implement new IT solutions in its everyday operations. Furthermore, the company works on risk management, with a special focus on the financial stability of its business partners. Changes have also affected the composition of the management board, which currently includes Toms Reiziņš and Ivo Brālēns. This year, under its new management, SIA Velve will continue strengthening its competitiveness and participating in various construction project tenders, in order to carry out new construction not only in Latvia and Lithuania, but also other EU countries.
TIME CAPSULE WITH MESSAGE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS PLACED IN FOUNDATION OF HOFT NEW BUILDING
Monday, 29 July, at 12:00, in Riga, at Strēlnieku iela 5, a time capsule was formally laid into the foundation of the new HOFT (House of the Flying Trees) building, containing a message for future generations. It tells the story of the unique nature of the HOFT project and the ability to combine a green lifestyle, respect for the city’s history and modern architecture. Participants of this formal event included: SIA VELVE board member Toms Reiziņš, SIA R.EVOLUTION CITY board chairman Aleksejs Zagrebeļnijs, SIA OPEN AD architect Zane Tetere, SIA KROKS architect Dita Lapiņa, SIA PMG board member Gundars Spalis, as well as Citadele Bank board chairman Guntis Beļavskis, chief manager for large enterprise transactions Jānis Paņko and board member Santa Purgaile.
Toms Reiziņš, VELVE board member: ‘The HOFT project is a high-quality multi-apartment building in the historic centre of Riga, which is distinguished by its green nature, letting its residents live in what is like an oasis of nature. As part of the project VELVE renovates and reinforces the historic building, adds two completely glazed floors, and a completely new seven-floor building in the courtyard. Laying a time capsule in the foundation of the building is always a thrilling moment when we understand what historical record we leave for future generations. And because VELVE has always stood for lasting values, which enable everyone to benefit from well-designed and well-built environments, we are very happy to participate in this project.’
The HOFT project includes two seven-floor buildings connected with an underground car park. The Strēlnieku iela building is an architectural heritage site, to which two new floors will be added, and another, completely new building will be erected in the courtyard. The project will include 42 flats sized 76 to 232 square metres (with an option of combining them). All the flats will have balconies, large full-height windows, with impressive views onto the courtyard and trees. The height of the ceilings is 2.9 metres, on the top floors, 3 metres. The parameters used when designing HOFT exceed the requirements of EU building standards, meeting high safety and comfort requirements and making it possible to classify HOFT as a premium-class project.
The project is to be completed in late 2020.
VELVE TO SPONSOR BEACH VOLLEYBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS STAGE
The construction company VELVE has become a sponsor of the Latvian stage of this major beach volleyball event. Latvia will host a World Championships stage for the first time in Majori, Jūrmala, on 22—25 August; it has been awarded a three-star rating, with Latvia represented by Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Jānis Šmēdiņš and Mārtiņš Pļaviņš/Edgars Točs.
Toms Reiziņš, VELVE board member: ‘Construction is like sports in that it enables us to create lasting value with our own strong hands. You can’t build a strong building without a proper foundation. And we believe that you cannot win without commitment and hard work. We are sincerely happy that we’ve got a chance to support our beach volleyball players in competitions that are important for them, especially on a level that has so far been unheard of in Latvia. This will be a special experience, both for the athletes and the viewers. We wish them better and bigger achievements!’
For Latvian beach volleyball fans, the upcoming World Championships stage will be an opportunity to personally see and cheer not only for local beach volleyball teams, but beach volleyball stars from Europe and the entire world. Everyone is welcome come to the games and experience how great beach volleyball, and the atmosphere, can be.
SIA “Velve” commissions for use one of the most ambitious projects in Latvia – Philosophers Residence!
On 9 July in Pārdaugava, at Raņķa Dambis 34, opposite the Old Town of Riga, the multi-storey apartment building complex Philosophers Residence was commissioned for use, which was constructed by SIA “Velve”. Philosophers Residence is one of the most modern and newest projects in Latvia, and the architecture of the buildings is a continuation of the general concept of urban development.
Philosophers Residence visually reminds one of a pile of books stacked on top of each other, where each floor is a new book. The different sizes and locations of each apartment’s terraces and balconies provide the owners of the Philosophers Residence apartments with the opportunity to enjoy meditative peace and a view of Philosophers’ Alley and the Old Town of Riga. The first residential floor is elevated 14 metres above the ground; on the ground level there are only the bearing columns and a hall with a 12 metre high ceiling, where an extensive library will be located for the needs of residents of the complex.
“This project stands out not only for its unique architectural character, but also because of the construction technologies used in it. Technical solutions for the complex had to be implemented in both apartment buildings, as there are apartments of different layouts in the buildings with elevated ceilings, spacious balconies and terraces. For example, one of the biggest challenges was to construct the upper floors of the buildings, as the space of the buildings increases, starting from the 10th floor. It should also be noted that this is one of the relatively few projects, in which special attention is devoted to the electrotechnical and thermal efficiency of the buildings. We are truly proud of the achievements accomplished by the team of “Velve” in constructing these buildings, which from now on will decorate the panorama of Pārdaugava and will delight the residents and guests of Riga,” says Toms Reiziņš, Member of SIA “Velve” Board.
The construction of the multi-apartment building complex was begun in October 2017, with the investments amounting to EUR 20 million. The project includes 120 business class apartments. The residents will have access to the facilitated territory, and underground and above-ground parking. Self-cleaning tiles are used in the finishing of the building, which are more resistant to weathering. And the thermal conductivity coefficient of the wooden window frames is 0.5.
SIA VELVE STARTED LIEPĀJA REGIONAL HOSPITAL BUILDING RENOVATION
On 25 June, SIA Velve began working on the reconstruction of the Liepāja Regional Hospital building, as well as the outdoor areas that surround it, at Slimnīcas iela 25, in Liepāja. The renovation will mainly affect the eastern wing of the building, connecting it with the rest of the hospital, improving access to cardiology, oncology and paediatric care, and its quality.
Even though most of the hospital has already been renovated, repairs are needed in some of its areas, which have not undergone any renovation since they were built. As a result, those areas have become obsolete, both aesthetically and functionally, and are no longer suitable for today’s healthcare standards, or capable of accommodating the current number of patients. The reconstruction will include a large amount of interior work, demolishing partition walls, rebuilding internal utilities and setting up rooms with modern equipment that are appropriate for healthcare. The project also includes improvements and greenery in the area outside the building, related to the reconstruction of the entrance unit into a pharmacy, and the cleaning of the construction site after the work is over. After the project, most of the hospital will be brought up to the modern requirements.
‘Building and renovating healthcare facilities, perhaps, is a better match for our philosophy of creating lasting value than any other kinds of projects that we perform. Our work is an investment, not only in the image of Liepāja, but also in public health, creating a future benefit for the country. Construction of medical facilities has its special requirements that gives us, the builders, a pleasant and motivating challenge of combining aesthetics and technology, to create a warm, cosy, modern and healing environment,’ SIA Velve boar Toms Reziņš said.
The total area of Liepāja Regional Hospital is 54,804 m2, of which 22,314 m2 are to undergo renovation. The project will be carried out in two construction stages, such that the hospital can provide its services without interruptions. The total estimated cost of the project is 13.2 million euros, of which some 10 million will be spent on construction, and the rest of the financing will be used to procure various technologies and other expenses related to the renovation. The first stage of the renovation is to be completed by the end of next year, while the rest of the work will continue until June 2022.
SIA ‘VELVE’ ACHIEVEMENTS PRAISED BY THE LATVIAN ARCHITECTURE AWARDS JUDGES
This year, Latvia’s top prize in architecture, the Latvian Architecture Award was issued for the 24th time. SIA Velve also received an award for our new Riga Stradiņš University student residence hall building project, starting in the ‘Public Buildings’ category, and selected out of 45 works and 11 finalists.
The building at Dārza iela 5 in Riga was finished in 2017. Its construction design was managed by the architect Māris Malahovskis, its architects were Linda Trule, Didzis Jaudze and Maksims Šenteļevs, and the project manager was the architect Roberts Vilks. This is SIA Velve’s biggest new public building project, which is an education and research centre within the area of the central building of Riga Stradiņš University.
In assessing this project, the judges particularly noted its ability to organically fit in with its surroundings, with the bright colours highlighting the new development and complementing the other buildings of the university and its recently renovated park. ‘The Riga Stradiņš University area on the left bank of the Daugava is well known for its old parks and cottage gardens. This is why being able to successfully insert a new public building in the current landscape is a hallmark of its architects’ skill. The building’s architecture reveals professional, honest work performed by its designers. The spaces, the functional solution, the convenient layout, the elaborate energy-efficient and economic solutions, the architects’ initiative designing the interiors form a balance with the needs of the client and the client’s budget, thus creating a pleasant and comfortable environment for students to live and learn in,’ the judges’ comment notes.
The student residence hall building has three above-ground floors and one underground floor for the car park, with a total area of 5873.5 m2. The residence hall has 135 rooms for 220 students, an outdoor car park for 32 vehicles, and an underground car park for 37 vehicles. This is the most modern student residence hall in Latvia, with all of its communal areas and some of its residence rooms being disability-accessible.
SIA VELVE - FIFTH LARGEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN LATVIA
According to the data of a study carried out by the Dienas Bizness newspaper, SIA Velve took 5th position in the top-ten largest construction companies, based on their net revenue in 2018.
Although the company’s revenue diminished somewhat compared to 2017, its successful business activities made it possible to achieve 59.20 million euros in net revenue, with 0.64 million euros in profit.
‘The loss of revenue last year was symbolic. In terms of profit, 2018 was not as successful as 2017, and this can be explained by shifts in the scheduling of certain projects, resulting in some of the expected profits being transferred to later years, and also by the worse than expected performance of projects, which began in earlier periods. However, we expect the next year to be more successful, hoping to achieve 70 million euros in revenue,’ SIA Velve board member Toms Reiziņš pointed out. This optimism is supported by the forecasts of the Ministry of Economics, which show that while growth in the construction sector will cool down slightly in 2019, the year will be good overall, because of the EU structural fund projects and the expectations of the Rail Baltica project in the industry. Construction companies themselves have an optimistic outlook for this year as well.
Among the biggest projects completed by SIA Velve in 2018 was the development of the outdoor areas of Mežciems Primary School and Riga 89th Secondary School; a new warehouse building with production and office rooms for SIA Amalva Baltija, which received a Latvijas Būvniecība Annual Award in the ‘Production facility’ category, and the reconstruction of sedimentation reservoirs for BAS Daugavgrīva waste water. Furthermore, the reconstruction of the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre building and the construction of the Depo shopping centre in Kaunas began last year, along with the construction of a number of residential and public buildings.
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).
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.