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Recenty on the Azerbaijanian building market a lot of new companies with their prices and offers appeared. Inexperienced customer can easily get lost in the ocean of information having no idea what company to choose to confide his or her money, health and security in. Surely one is required to be as circumspect and demanding as possible. So the choice of the place of living is the one to come down to maximally responsibly, taking into account all even the most trifle details and gathering a lot of useful information.

The main criterion that any sober-minded person puts in the top-list when choosing a place to live is its security. Then comfort, ecological cleanness of the materials, location area and, finally, the outlook of the house.

To get more information about this topic we decided to ask the general manager of the building company Altes Construction Shamil Suleimanli a couple of questions.

– Tell us about your company, please

Our company – Altes Construction – is a member of holding Altes Group, today it is one of the biggest building-investment companies in Azerbaijan. We provide the whole cycle of work, which includes the housing estate projecting in three highest categories of real estate – Business, Premium and De Luxe, their building, realization and the following exploitation. I would also like to admit the fact that our company is the only one in Azerbaijan, the projects quality of which are under control of the leading foreign specialized organization – the Swiss company SGS. At the moment we have five projects at different stages in Azerbaijan and a number of the projects abroad, in Russia and Kazakstan to be concrete.

-To what one should pay attention at when buying a flat in a new building?

There are quite a number of factors, nevertheless one can set aside a few that are especially important, if one analyzes them, he or she would understand the building company approach to work and its conscientiousness.

No doubt, one of them is the construction of the building; it is correct engineering calculations that define the security and the seismic resistance of the future house. One more thing that should be paid special attention to is the armature quality, its brand and the concrete quality. Sure, the more strict demands for the building materials the company has, the more money it would has to spend on them. Jobbish approach in this sphere, caused by the desire to save money, can lead to the tragic results. Under the beautiful veneer serious defects in both calculations and their realization can be hidden. The buyer should be very attentive in such questions. That is why we make a serious accent on this in the house building and realization process. In all our houses we use only armature А500С class, produced by the Ukraine. The concrete also passes strict control and is tested on all stages. Since 2006, we have been, as I have mentioned above, the only building company in the country that cooperates with the Swiss company SGS, which as an independent auditor with the international credit of trust for more than 100 years. It controls the quality of our projects, including the quality of the building materials – armature and concrete in particular. It is really important, especially of to take into account that we are in the active seismic zone. The earthquake that occurred lately confirms the actuality of this question.

Then, one should pay attention at various accessories of the house. Among the accessories one can set aside the lift. It should not only be qualitative and secure; it should also meet technical requirements of the house. Just imagine that one set low-speed lift in a high block, which can be made for the sake of saving money. It would create serious discomfort for the apartment dwellers: one would have to wait for a pretty long time for the lift to come. That’s besides the producer of the lift and its brand; it’s worth learning its speed. For example, it is desirable that the minimal speed of the lift for a 18-floor building is at least 1.6 meters per second. The minimal speed in our houses corresponds to this requirement; we even set the lifts with the higher speed – 2 and 2.5 meters per second. It is very speedy and comfortable lifts.

The next accessorize is double-glazed windows. In this point the producer also matters. The most qualitative producers are German companies. In our buildings we use only German double-glazed windows aucuba by colour, they are more expensive in comparison with white double-glazed windows.

Nevertheless, the veneer is also important. Be sure to learn the qualities of the material used for these purposes, pay attention at its inflammability, waterproofing layer, durability etc. For example there are some covering material that are good only for the decorative finishing of the house, but not for the full one.

– A lot of customers even now are suspicious of the new houses and prefer to buy old ones of the Soviet period. Is the tendency right?

Sure, if the customer when looking for a flat faces up with a number of the violations we mentioned above, it is not worth buying a flat in such a building. Real estate is a serious investment, which is closely connected with the life security. However it doesn’t mean that one should buy flats in the houses of the Soviet period. The point is that every house has its own working lifespan. For example, the working life of concrete is limited – after 50 years it starts losing its durability qualities. Besides, today the investment of money in the old buildings is an unprofitable deal, since the difference of prices per sq. meter would change not in favor of the old ones. A vivid example of this can be seen on the real estate markets of other countries of the CIS, such as the Ukraine and Kazakhstan. In general the time of the major part of the housing estate of the Soviet period has ended. Nevertheless, there are houses which are of great historic and architectural value and which can’t be demolished. They are reconstructed to preserve. Azerbaijan marches in step with the time and renovates housing estate constantly. The customers are to get as much information about the quality of the new building as possible.

– It is difficult to disagree with your arguments, but as you mentioned not all new buildings are constructed according to the quality standards. Herewith, every building company would insist on the fact that it doesn’t have any serious defects. So what should the customer do?

Firstly, as I have already mentioned in the beginning of our talk, the customer can always run to some conclusions on the basis of the personal shallow analysis of some factors of building company work. We had some clients that didn’t believe the information we gave them, they went to the building grounds, took pieces of armature and examined them independently in the laboratories. Only having made sure in the quality, they bought a flat. The customer who understands what materials are good and who is particular about the quality is the best customer for the company, whose policy is to follow high standards. The more there are such customers on market, the bigger the stimuli for the companies to develop is – they will have to do this in struggle for the clients. Nevertheless, one should admit that no customer can make a professional valuation of the building. To do this one should be specialists in the building sphere and possess some special technologies and resources.

That is why in the West there is a practice of the control the projects of building companies by independent specialized companies-auditors with global renown and great credit of trust deserved. For example, в under authority of the certificate of approval, given by such auditors building companies gain ability to get assurances of insurance companies.

The quality of our houses is the highest priority for us, that is why in 2006 Altes Construction started cooperating with the Swiss company SGS, which is one of the leaders in its sphere. Today we are the first and the only building company in the country, the quality of the projects of which is guaranteed by the leading international specialized company.

– Tell us a bit more about the company SGS?

The history of SGS ltd. numbers more than 100 years, its name has become a recognized standard of quality and security. The company accounts for more than 50 000 specialists, it administrates the network which embraces more than 1000 branch offices and labs all over the world. The head office of the company is in Geneva, Switzerland; the offices that major in inspection, control, testing and certification, building are in Madrid, Spain, and Prague, The Czech Republic.

SGS ltd. controls our projects on different stages, including the design of our working projects, supply and implementation. Conceptually, the control from SGS is held in five spheres – architecture, structure, mechanics, electrical engineering and fire security. E.g. in two of our projects Academy House and Caspian Terrace fire safety control is being held, in Emerald Palace – mechanics, electrical engineering and fire safety control, Altes Plaza and Altes Park are controlled by SGS n all the spheres.

– How is SGS control supervised?

The control is supervised within three stages.

Н On the first stage the project approval is done. On this stage the project designed by the project organizations is sent to the Prague office of SGS, where the specialists in different spheres analyze it and if needed make some additions and corrections for the correspondence to the international standards. Then the working project is confirmed by SGS and is sent for the implementation.

The next stage is the supply. At this stage SGS holds a tender among the suppliers of building materials, after which three main suppliers are defined, they correspond to international standards for the used equipment, production technology, staff, base material storage, lab etc. Then after the delivery the testing of the materials, equipment and the work done is held, it has two levels: visual and laboratory.

The third final stage is the stage of implementation it includes the building procedure, supply control and certification. This stage is held under the direct control of SGS specialists who are present at the building grounds and control the work to correspond to the set standards.

– There is one more factor that is also very important for a customer – the building terms. Did face up with the problems in this sphere?

It is a well-known fact that a house built in short time doesn’t mean a house of high quality. We had some delays in putting houses into commission. The thing is that building is the work of a number of companies – it is a close cooperation of a few organizations that are in charge of different segments of work. There are complexly planned stages of building. Taking into account that a house is a serious and great from financial point of view investment and a purchase for a long term – decades, the delay for a couple of months though unpleasant is much less principal. One can wait for a bit more time, but when he or she moves into, on can be sure that the house is well-built.

– What can you tell about holding Altes Group activity?

Holding “Altes Group” is successfully developing on Azerbaijan market for more than 12 years working in a number of strategically important spheres.

The holding embraces one of the biggest and most prosperous pharmaceutical companies of Azerbaijan – “NUR Pharm” and building company “Altes Construction”. The company spreads its business all over Azerbaijan and embraces such large conglomerates as Gandzha and Lenkoran, it also has projects abroad. For example, currently we have some building projects in Kazakhstan.

Due to the rich experience and authority, gained during the years of work, “Altes Group” can work with projects of high difficulty in both Azerbaijan and beyond its limits. I would also like to admit that the holding is in close cooperation with a number of the diplomatic missions and powerful international organizations. The company received “High Appraisal of Business Successes” certificate, which speaks for the close cooperation with commercial department of the embassy of the USA.

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