Go for a rise: TAIF builds smart-office in the centre of Kazan

The balance of the modern office building in the historical centre of Kazan

Go for a rise: TAIF builds smart-office in the centre of Kazan Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Ambitious development of one of the key group of companies of Tatarstan became a reason for construction of another office centre to attract new professionals and for the work of current professionals in the diversified holding TAIF. The fact that the building is located in the historical centre of the capital of Tatarstan makes considerable demands on the appearance of the object, with special attention TAIF was developing the office project. At the design stage, it was necessary to solve the issue of energy consumption of the new building, as well as creating comfortable work environment for employees. About how TAIF brought the plans to life — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Development at a growing rate

In the 1990's, at the beginning of the way, the company was housed in a small premise on Kirova Street (now Moskovskaya). Then with the development and growth of the staff, the company moved twice to the offices on the street Gvardeyskaya and Komleva (now Mushtari). At the beginning of the 2000's, it became clear that TAIF needed its own office building that would reflect the scale of its operation and meet modern requirements. Thus the idea of construction of the head office on the street Schapova arose. The uniqueness of the object did not cause problems, such buildings had not been built in Kazan before that time.

At the same time, TAIF was not going to be satisfied with what had already been achieved in the development of the company. Having become a large holding company, the leadership of the group understood that the construction of its own administrative buildings were necessary to be continued. However, they were meant to be not typical office centres. The exterior of the buildings needed to reflect the ambitious and creative thinking of the group. Then TAIF began work on a side wing to the administration building on Schapova Street. The office turned out to be roomy, despite the fact that visually looked light and transparent. The effect was achieved with applied double glazing. It is the frameless glazing made with the help of metal brackets.

The office on Schapova Street turned out to be roomy, despite the fact that visually looked light and transparent. Photo: the press service of TAIF PSC

The balance of the modern office building in the historical centre of Kazan

When starting the construction of a new office two years ago at the intersection of streets Pushkina and Basseynaya, the company sought to seamlessly fit it into the architectural appearance of the quarter. To connect the building with the neighbouring buildings with minimal intervention, to bring something new without destroying the historical environment of Kazan. Realizing the seriousness of the construction in the centre of the city, the management of TAIF discussed the building project several times with the architectural community of the city. After long professional discussions they created the modern office which harmoniously fitted into the urban design. The building on Pushkina Street continues the architectural style of the office on Shchapova Street. Its external appearance also uses for stained-glass glazing. The office successfully resonates with the building of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan.

The new building of TAIF on Pushkina Street continues the architectural style of the office on Schapova Street. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The working space in the office building is organized democratically — by the model of Open Space. Such design is suitable for the company that has a strong team spirit. The office premises are located on five floors and the sixth given for underground parking. There is a covered terrace on the roof. The total area of the office centre is 4,500 square meters.

The energy calculations through the German Institute

''When designing the office, we sought not only to integrate the office centre in the historical environment of Kazan but also looked for energy-saving technologies that could reduce the energy consumption of the building,'' said Deputy Director General of TAIF PSC for construction and major repair Ilgiz Latypov. In order to choose an energy-saving system for the future office, TAIF already at this stage of design turned to Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics. The Institute prepared an integrated energy calculation for the office centre by which energy consumption would be reduced two times in comparison with the average Russian office.

A reduced power consumption is achieved by innovative technologies. One of them is the system of radiant heating and cooling, which allows to save up to 25% of heat in winter and 40% of electricity in summer. The system operates without conventional batteries and air conditioners. Their functions are performed by the surfaces of floor, ceiling or walls with integrated radiant panels. The surfaces are heated in winter and slightly cooled in summer.

In order to choose an energy-saving system for the future office, TAIF already at this stage of design turned to Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Large stained glass used on the facade of the office let into the room a large flow of sunlight, which heats the room. Because of this, radiant heating and cooling operates at high capacity and consumes more electricity. This problem was solved by the installation of intelligent blinds. Their system changes the position of the aluminium lamellae, taking into account the geographic location of the building, orientation by sides of light, time characteristic of dawn and dusk. The blinds help to save additional money on air conditioning. In order to preserve the aesthetic appearance of the building, ''smart curtains'' were placed in the facade with double glazing with heat removal through ventilation.

In an effort to reduce energy consumption, it was decided to build the ventilation system differently. The activity level depends on the amount of carbon dioxide in the premises. The lighting in Open Space depends on the self-regulating lamps. They automatically adjust to available light levels in the building.

The blinds help to save additional money on air conditioning. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Protection from force majeure

Modern security alarm system, surveillance, control system and access control to the premises of the office play a significant role in creating favorable working atmosphere in the new building. At the same time, this systems remain flexible and do not create barriers for workers of the office and visitors of the café on the first and last floor.

The regulations of the Russian Federation on fire safety were taken into account in creating the office centre. If there is smoke, it triggers the automatic alarm system, there are systems of water, powder and gas fire. The fire alarm is equipped with self-test function. Due to it, one can be sure that defective hardware will be detected and the fire will not go unnoticed.

The telecommunication systems of the office centre are also protected from force majeure situations. The building has two operators that provide access to telephony and the Internet. For connecting to the Internet it is configured backup channels of communication between the operators — if one of the operators has an accident, the connection will automatically be made through another operator.

Following the technological progress, it was decided to automate the operation of engineering systems in the office centre. Maintenance personnel can monitor the condition of engineering networks even outside the office. If an unexpected event happens, the information about it is automatically sent to an employee.

In the spirit of resource saving

The company Ikrea High-Tech acts as the general contractor of the office centre, where the staff have technical competence to create comfortable microclimate in the premises with modern energy-saving systems. According to Director General of Ikrea High-Tech Marat Norkin, the management of TAIF struck him by their openness to everything new, particularly energy-saving technologies.

Commercial Director of the company Ikrea High-Tech Fernando Menchie assessed the new office of TAIF from the point of view of the Italian construction market. He noted that in the countries of the European Union there are about 20-25% objects to which one can add a prefix ''smart''. But even among them, there are not so many buildings with similar functions and with the same technology like the built office center.

''European construction companies usually take into account energy consumption of the object. The governments of many countries are even ready to provide financial support to owners of existing buildings if they want to renovate and reduce the power consumption. The Italian government is conducting such policy, covering part of the costs of reconstruction of buildings, sometimes even up to 50% of their value,'' concluded Fernando Menchie.

By Ekaterina Gumarova