Rustam Minnikhanov about TAIF’s new office: ''This building needs to be presented on energy exhibition''

What the first ‘‘energy saving’’ office of the republic was remembered for

Rustam Minnikhanov about TAIF’s new office: ''This building needs to be presented on energy exhibition'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

A delegation of Italian entrepreneurs arrived in Kazan on 20 September. The businessmen had an expanded meeting with TAIF GC officials in the morning and presented possible joint projects with TAIF to the president of the Republic of Tatarstan in the afternoon. Realnoe Vremya's correspondent witnessed the meetings.

What the first ''energy saving'' office of the republic was remembered for

The discussion of new projects of Tatarstan and Italy became the topic of the meeting whose reason was the visit to the new technological office block of TAIF, which was built together with contractor general Ikrea Hitech CJSC. The modern building is located at the crossroads of Pushkina and Basseynaya Streets. Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov was its first guest. TAIF PJSC Director General Albert Shigabutdinov took the head of the republic on excursion. Together with the Tatarstan president, Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin, director of the Tatarstan Presidential Apparatus Asgat Safarov, Tatarstan President's Aide Natalia Fishman and other visited the office. They could evaluate the laconic interior of the building, ask questions about the energy saving technologies used in construction. Director General of Ikrea Hitech Marat Norkin told about peculiarities of the office.

The modern building is located at the crossroad of Pushkina and Basseynaya Streets. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The construction of the office block in the centre of Kazan began two years ago. The company discussed the project with architects many times. And after lasting professional discussions, they managed to create a modern office that harmonically fit the urban style. ''While making the design, we not only tried to make the office fit the historical environment of Kazan but also looked for energy saving technologies that are able to reduce the building's energy consumption,'' TAIF PJSC Director General on Construction and Major Overhaul Ilgiz Latypov noted.

It is the first office in Tatarstan whose construction applied a set of the latest developments in energy saving. Rustam Minnikhanov was especially interested in innovative technologies, for instance, radiant heating system, smart window blinds and carbon dioxide based controlled ventilation. The radiant heating and cooling system works without traditional heating equipment and allows to save 25% of heat energy in winter and 40% of energy in summer. The façade of the office has big glass front windows due to which the building seems free of gravity. The double ventilated façade has a smart window blind system that automatically chooses the balance of coming light and heat – depending on weather, time of day and the building's geographical situation. This is why a meteorological station was installed on the roof that collects information about external conditions.

Self-regulating lamps are responsible for illumination of open space zones in the office centre. They are equipped with devices that automatically tune their intensity for the current light environment in the place where they are installed.

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov was the first guest in the new office. Photo:

''I know that it is the only building that was audited by German Fraunhofer and got their certificate,'' Rustam Minnikhanov noted. A representative of the German Institute for Building Physics of Fraunhofer Society gave Albert Shigabutdinov a certificate on integrated energy calculus for the office centre as confirmation of his words. According to the certificate, the office block's energy consumption will reduce twice in comparison with an average Russian office.

Albert Shigabutdinov paid attention to another advantage of the building. ''The total area of the building is 4,500 square metres, and 4,000 square metres is the useful area we use as office. Almost all the territory is used, few places manage to achieve such results,'' the TAIF PJSC director general said. While locating the building, the company tried to use the land parcel to the max. After the facility's presentation, Rustam Minnikhanov noted that innovative technologies used in the construction of the office centre amazed him. ''This building needs to be presented on energy exhibition. We don't have another office of this kind. We need to give a seminar for designers, invite the Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering,'' the Tatarstan president concluded.

Small Italy in big Kazan

The second part of the negotiations in the new office of TAIF GC was dedicated to the presentation of the projects that the delegation of entrepreneurs from Italy offered to fulfil in Tatarstan. During the work with TAIF, businessmen raised a question on creation of bioplastic factory in the Republic of Tatarstan. Minnikhanov saw it as prospective direction for development of the republic's industry and recommended to consider this offer in detail.

The second part of the negotiations in the new office of TAIF GC was dedicated to the presentation of the projects. Photo:

The second project of Italian partners was not less attractive. Representative of CCC Dimitri Economides as well as member of the board of director of CCC's subsidiary Sicon Oil and Gas Amr Rashid presented the draft design of the project of Small Italy multi-functional complex for the participants of negotiations.

According to the plan, the complex is to locate on a 9,5 ha area and include houses, a hotel, kindergarten, school and even a trading and office centre and parking lots. It was offered to situate the shopping mall in the Italian style. A group of Italian companies are ready to support the project by leasing part of the space to develop their business. Albert Shigabutdinov specified that all these projects were just ideas at the moment and was fully supported by the president of the republic concerning their development. ''The idea of building a multi-functional residential complex is good. We need to construct multi-storeyed houses, let them come and create a business centre. We approve this project. There will be an elite place made in a beautiful style,'' the Tatarstan president noted.

The complex is to locate on a 9,5 ha area and include houses, a hotel, kindergarten, school and even a trading and office centre and on-ground parking lots. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Italian Republic to Moscow Cesare Maria Ragaglini was to be present in the negotiations. Despite his desire, he could not visit Kazan but delivered his welcome speech via his Italian colleagues and called the opening of the new building ''another step in the development of the economic cooperation of Italy and Tatarstan''. Cesare Maria Ragaglini started his work in Russia in Kazan 2,5 years ago. He understood what possibilities the republic has for Italian business. The opening of TAIF's office confirms it. ''I am convinced that the potential of our work in Tatarstan is huge. I hope to be able to visit Kazan soon and open a new joint project here,'' Cesare Maria Ragaglini gave his welcome speech.

Development of relations between Russia and Italy

Italy has a serious attitude to the development of bilateral relations with Russia. Import from Italy to Russia in all economic sectors grew by 32% in the first half of the year. Italy ranks fifth in terms of turnover and sixth in product supply. The Italian government believes the numbers will grow.

''We support and encourage Italian companies that invest in Russia. We pointed out 20 Russian regions to prepare a field for investments better. They have a special friendly environment to open a business and have the potential for Italian companies. And, of course, Tatarstan is the No. 1 region, we paid attention right to it,'' Director of ICE in Moscow Pier Paolo Celeste said.

Import from Italy to Russia in all economic sectors grew by 32% in the first half of the year. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

We are talking about the creation of joint ventures whose products will be branded Made with Italy. Further fate of Italian projects presented to the Tatarstan president during the negotiations in TAIF's new office is unknown now. However, the approval of Rustam Minnikhanov allows to suppose that it is to be continued.

By Ekaterina Gumarova

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