A regular meeting of Committee on Engineering under Union of Builders of Russia (RSS) was held on October 15, 2015. The meeting was held as a part of the Business Programme of VII International Forum of Nuclear Industry Suppliers ATOMEX 2015 at the exhibition booth of the Branch Centre of the Capital Construction (OCKS), Rosatom, ATOMEX exposition in Expocentre.
Central topic for the discussion was to consider approaches to developing the professional standard of a construction engineering consultant, that were presented in the report by the Director General of Alexander Tsvetkov, PM SOFT Group of Companies, who is one of the leading experts of National Association of Construction Engineering Consultants (NACEC). He emphasized in his report that the profession of a construction engineering consultant, which exists in the world for a long time, but not approved legally in Russia, covers all life-cycle stages of any investment and construction project, starting from formalizing requirements to the project, including design, construction, commissioning, operation, and decommissioning stages.
‘This profession implies a wide range of competencies – besides absolutely engineering knowledge an engineering consultant should perfectly know various types of standard contracts, including internationally recognized ones, such as FIDIC contracts (NACEC will become an official distributor of such standards in the near future), he/she should perfectly understand procurement procedures and documents, be able to estimate project budget accurately and perform cost control, be able to use various project management software, including be able to develop network schedules… Thus, it is an extremely multifaceted profession. In addition, an investor should ideally make a decision either to start or to refuse implementing a project, based on recommendations of a certified engineering consultant, in the way it is now practiced in other countries’, added Alexander Tsvetkov. He said that this circumstance imposes a special responsibility on the body which will certify and confirm the status of a professional in this field. ‘We assume that NACEC will undertake functions on developing the methodology and developing the educational programmes for training and certification of engineering consultants, and that NACEC will serve as the Certification Centre’, said Alexander Tsvetkov.
The report by a NACEC expert caused a heated discussion among the meeting participants. Another speaker, Alexander Vronets, Director General of Self-Regulatory Organization Not-for-Profit Partnership ‘ProektSvyazTelecom’, delivered a report on this topic too. He emphasized that he represents National Chamber of Engineers and told about the Professional Standard of an Engineer, which is now actively discussed by the professional community. He also expressed his opinion in favour of Russian basic legal framework which describes engineering activity in general. ‘Theoretically, at first this law and only after that a professional standard should have come into being’, noted Alexander Vronets. He said that a lack of legal framework causes the situation when clients ‘have no motivating factors to execute investment and construction projects in a reliable, guaranteed, and effective way’. He also stated that ‘the engineering services market shall be protected from intervention of non-professionals’.
A perspective of the Russian construction industry approach to use contemporary information technologies, BIM-technologies, to support projects became another topic which caused debates. Olga Lukerchik, Deputy Director General of Research and Innovation Centre ‘Construction’ informed on current trends in this field. She emphasized that BIM-technologies is ‘a contemporary toolkit which engineers and designers shall use in the 21st century’. This process was launched in March this year after a respective order by the RF Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities was issued. She said that by the end of 2015 experts of Research and Innovation Centre ‘Construction’ shall perform review of project progress with Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies, in 2016 state standards on using BIM-technologies, including the procedure on accounting costs of using BIM-technologies, will be developed. It is intended that by 2017 the complete legal framework and professional standards required to implement BIM-technologies will be developed in this field, and training of profession-oriented specialists will start. State Expert Review Board (Glavgosexpertiza) will be the first to start using information modeling on a mandatory basis – all requests for the design expert review shall be accepted in an electronic form. At the same time, for a full-scale implementation of new technologies in the construction industry in general, a national processing platform shall be established which today cannot be built with state funds only. Therefore, a special structure, based on public and private partnership principles, shall be established, said Olga Lukerchik and invited all stakeholders to participate in this initiative.
Alexander Boldin, Project Manager in Rosatom OCKS, the moderator of the round table on BIM-technologies, supported his colleague and said that the problem of implementing advanced technologies cannot be resolved without combining efforts of various communities, who are now separately working in this direction. He also said that Rosatom State Corporation and Rosatom OCKS, in particular, are now developing their standard on BIM-technologies, and will be happy to provide it to the professional community.
Oleg Kaschenko, Committee Chairman Deputy, NACEC Vice-President, informed the meeting participants on the plans to expand international cooperation of the Committee and NACEC established under its auspices. He said that NACEC is now discussing with FIDIC management an action plan on developing Russian trainers accredited by FIDIC, who will train then representatives of Russian companies on the FIDIC contractual system. Besides, it is planned that FIDIC standard contracts will be ‘elaborated taking into account the Russian specifics’. Oleg Kaschenko also proposed the Committee members to think which Russian construction projects could be promoted to the competition of distinguished projects, held by FIDIC on an annual basis.
At the end of the meeting Valery Tropin, Committee Chairman Deputy, Advisor to Director of Rosatom OCKS on Innovative Development and Partner Relationship, thanked the participants for active discussion and emphasized that all proposals by the Committee members shall be summarized in the final minutes. ‘There are a lot of information products, used by various companies, in the market. Certainly, this experience shall be analyzed. Besides, the objective is to align it with the best international practices’, summarized Valery Tropin.
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