In one network


One of the key issues that is currently on the agenda of Russian civil engineers is the situation with technological networks. And if you ask a question, “what’s wrong with them?”, Then your profession has a very long relationship to the building complex.

     From the point of view of a specialist, it was the engineering and technical networks that turned out to be the Achilles’ heel of most Russian construction projects. If you do not believe it, just look at the map of any modern regional center and evaluate in which direction its buildings are moving. In 9 cases out of 10, the choice of the developer is determined by the possibility of connecting a new microdistrict to existing municipal utilities and other infrastructure. On this depends the cost of construction, and therefore, the price per square meter, and the project’s chances for implementation.

    From the point of view of the professional community, the root of all problems lies in technical regulation. Until there is a single state policy, there will be no regulatory documents, the technological infrastructure will continue to become something of a natural phenomenon. It was laid once – and well, no – it means, and will not. It is clear that such an approach will not last long.

Prescriptions and parameters

     Today in the world there are two main methods of rationing, characterized by a different approach to the application of norms and standards in construction. The simplest of them is the prescriptive one, which originated in ancient times. It was also based on all the majestic building of the Soviet system of standardization. With this method, the designer simply opens the documents and sees there all the prescribed requirements for the structures – such dimensions, such loads, such and such volumes. Why these are taken, and not other values, he should not discuss “not allowed”, you just need to take and do as prescribed.

     A step forward was the parametric method, which began to emerge in the 1960s in Scandinavian countries, and has now become quite widespread in economically developed countries. It is believed that Russia should also be guided by it

    Everything is much more complicated here. At the first level of normalization, the goals of the normalization are set, not general, but specific ones for each position separately. The main goal of rationing is to realize socially significant tasks that the society has set for the participants in the construction. These tasks are formulated by representatives of the society in the person of legislators. The second level of rationing is functional requirements, which are based on the formulated requirements for rationing. And the third, the lowest level of rationing – the requirements for performance characteristics, which in turn result from functional requirements. Thus, a clear hierarchy is built that allows to respond to the demands of society.

     It is believed that the parametric method is more progressive, as it provides the possibility of using alternative solutions and methods for their implementation for the introduction of innovative technologies and materials, optimizing construction costs and eliminating redundant administrative barriers.

     So it should be in theory. How far is it possible to approach it in practice? In 2009, Federal Law No. 384-FZ “Technical Regulations on the Safety of Buildings and Structures” was adopted, which was to become the cornerstone of the entire new system of technical standardization. According to this document, a large-scale work began on updating the building codes and regulations (SNiP), as well as the active phase of the unification of the Russian regulatory framework and the transition from a prescriptive to a parametric method of technical regulation.

    According to experts, the analysis of newly developed and updated codes of rules revealed the following negative points.

    First, when developing new regulatory documents, it is allowed to include old requirements in their composition that do not correspond to modern developments and technologies.

    Secondly, it provides for the inclusion of requirements aimed at achieving one goal in different regulatory documents without a single methodological basis, which is the reason for the existence of conflicting requirements in various regulatory documents.

    Third, the introduction of a number of requirements of sets of rules (parts of such sets of rules), the application of which on a mandatory basis ensures compliance with the requirements of Federal Law No. 384-FZ, led to a partial restriction of the use of the principle of “flexible valuation”, where possible, and was the reason return from the parametric to the prescriptive method of technical regulation.

Finally, the last in the list, but not in importance. The authorities decided to follow the simple way of dividing the standards into “mandatory” and “voluntary.” The corresponding ideology was spelled out in the well-known Decree of the Government of December 26, 2014 No. 1521 “On approval of the list of national standards and sets of rules (parts of such standards and codes), which, on a mandatory basis, ensures compliance with the requirements of the Federal Law” Technical Regulations on Safety buildings and structures “.

    The result was a general attitude to the state standards of SNiP and the JV as a voluntary matter. We want – we do, we do not want – we do not. In many ways, the skeptical attitude of civil engineers is due to the poor quality of regulatory documentation, often designed to quickly pass the standard to the customer and put money in his pocket.

Developers and customers

     In such conditions, which do not have too much optimism, the National Association of Surveyors and Designers had to take up the case. And who else, if not him, go deeper into the issues of technical regulation? First, NOPRIZ has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to consolidate the views of the community. Secondly, members of the National Association – self-regulatory organizations in the field of design and engineering surveys include those same design institutes that are most interested in the existence of quality regulatory documents.

    In order to find the optimal solution, it was necessary to seize all interested parties – developers of normative documentation, builders and designers, as well as authority, which alone can give a move to all decisions taken.

    A number of events took place under the aegis of the National Association. For example, under the chairmanship of NOPRIZ Council member, head of Subcommittee No. 16 Gas Supply and Gas Distribution, TC 465 Construction, Natalia Maslova, a conference on improving the regulatory framework in the design of engineering and technical support networks, including gas distribution networks and gas consumption.

    The event was attended by about 70 specialists in the design and construction of networks of engineering and technical support, representatives of the National Association of Surveyors and Designers, developers of normative and technical documentation.

    One of the important tasks of the organizers was the provision of information to the professional community on the status of the current regulatory framework in the design and construction of engineering and technical support networks, on the prospects for change and the promotion of its improvement to ensure high quality of work on the preparation of project documentation, including on the gas distribution network and gas consumption.

    During the meeting, the following issues were considered: the state and prospects for the development of the regulatory framework in the design and construction of gas distribution networks and gas consumption; improvement of normative technical documents on engineering systems of buildings and structures; the results of monitoring and analysis of existing regulatory technical documents in the design and construction of gas distribution networks and gas consumption.

    Participants noted that the regulatory framework in the design and construction of gas distribution networks and gas consumption needs to be updated, since some documents contain contradictions or ambiguously interpreted requirements.

     In addition, the situation complicates the fact that certain provisions of these documents can be applied on a voluntary basis, while others – on mandatory. The most problematic, according to Natalia Maslova, are the contradictions contained in mandatory requirements, the implementation of which is controlled by the expertise and other supervisory bodies. To resolve the situation, in the opinion of Natalia Petrovna, it seems advisable to amend the Technical Regulations on the Safety of Gas Distribution Networks and Gas Consumption (TRBS).

    There are a lot of contradictory norms and restrictions that prevent the design in accordance with the modern level of technology, equipment, materials.

     All participants noted the legal unsettled in the issues of regulatory framework in the design and construction of gas distribution networks and gas consumption. It was also said that the current normative documents do not contain a clear statement of many issues, thus giving rise to differences in their interpretation.

Meanwhile, there are positive moments. So, the commission on legislative activity of the Russian Government approved amendments to the Urban Development Code of the Russian Federation on excluding the need to obtain permission for construction and reconstruction of gas distribution networks and gas consumption with a design working gas pressure of up to 0.6 MPa inclusive. This will simplify the construction and reconstruction of gas networks and apply a simplified procedure for state registration of networks.

    Russian developers have monitored and analyzed the current regulatory technical documents in the design and construction of gas distribution networks and gas consumption. At the same time, in particular, the experience of foreign colleagues who develop TC documents related to gas distribution, taking into account the documents (standards) operating in the EU is studied in detail.

Summing up


     Nevertheless, if questions on gasification are somehow solved, then for the rest of the engineering systems there is as yet nothing to boast about. Between 2015 and 2017, only 20 new joint ventures were developed, 7 of them are for water supply and sewerage, 10 for heat supply, 3 for electrical equipment and communications. This is not enough. In the absence of a single systemic work, a few new standards look like patches on a gaping gaps in the system of technical regulation.

     Experts point out two ways in which the professional community can go. One of them is the creation of a new structure of the regulatory framework that envisages the introduction of a new set of normative documents – building norms (SN), which, along with national standards, should have the status of mandatory application. At the same time, existing JVs will be left as voluntary documents.

    The second way is to bring “up to mind” the existing system of rationing, identify problem areas and radically rework current standards.

     Undoubtedly, only one way, whatever path has been chosen, there is still a lot of work in the field of technical regulation ahead of NOPRIZ and Russian design engineers and prospectors.

Source: newspaper “Argummenti nedeli”,