Before the first tenants: how is the final verification of houses under the renovation program going?

September 6
Construction and renovation

Two buildings of new housing developments with bright white and light green facades rise in the Severnoye Tushino distruct on Vilis Latsis Street. There is a new playground next to the houses. But now only workers in overalls can be found on it. Today experts from Mosgosstroynadzor (the State Building Control Committee of Moscow) came to verify the quality of the erected houses. Buildings can only be put into operation after a complete due diligence. Accommodation in houses built under the renovation program begins only after each building is recognized as completely safe for living.


Employees of Mosgosstroynadzor and the Center for Expertise, Research and Testing in Construction, subordinate to it, are working at the site. This year, experts have carried out about 350 verifications in 120 houses built under the renovation program. Some of them have already been put into operation. Since beginning of construction in 2018, 12 inspections have been carried out in new buildings on Vilis Latsis Street. Experts from the laboratories of the Expertise Center were invited to five of them.

Make it for two weeks

At the final stage, special attention is paid to the quality of finishing materials and the work itself. Verification of the houses built under the renovation program should not exceed 10 working days.

Expert engineer Ekaterina Borisenko measures the concentration of harmful substances in the air in apartments. The gas analyzer — a small metal box — is hung by an employee for convenience on a belt over her shoulder. Then she sets up the tripod and places on it the tube through which the air is drawn. It should be located at a height of 1.5 meters from the floor, in the breathing zone of a person. The test measures concentration of the five most common pollutants. These are phenol, ammonia, formaldehyde, styrene and sulfur dioxide. The entire study takes about half an hour. The inspector selects for inspection several rooms with different types of finishes. If the permissible concentration of substances is exceeded, it means that poor quality building materials were used in the room.

In the next room, her colleague Valery Svetlov walks around the room with a device that vaguely resembles a microphone on a stand. It is a highly sensitive dosimeter that can be used to determine if the radiation level in a building is exceeded. This is a standard verification parameter. According to the law, Mosgosstroynadzor at all stages of construction controls the compliance of all residential and public buildings with radiation safety standards. If suddenly, during the inspection, an excess of standards is revealed due to the use of low-quality and uncertified building materials, then the developer shall replace these materials. At the stage of the final verification, experts record that the new building complies with the regulations for construction of residential buildings. Otherwise, the developer will not receive a commissioning permit.

An expert with a dosimeter examines at least 15 percent of all premises of the house and the area next to it. After that, an apartment is selected where the highest value of the gamma radiation dose rate is marked, and measurements are made using a dosimeter of another class at the control point in the center of the room. Experts calculate the difference in gamma radiation outside and inside. The dose of gamma radiation should not exceed 0.3 microsievert per hour, which is considered to be the norm for background radiation.

“Decoration of the premises is the top priority that the residents face. Therefore, we verify the quality of finishing work and materials used,” Nikita Kuzmichev, leading expert engineer of the Expertise Center, emphasizes.

He verifies the quality of the tiles on the floor in the new kitchen of one of the apartments. Using a rail and a wedge gage, the expert determines the evenness of the surface. The filling of the tile joints is verified visually, and possible ledges between adjacent tiles is checked with a caliper. This is how each row of tiles is examined. If even the smallest irregularities are detected, the engineer records this in the protocol.

“We verify the entire range of finishing works. That is, floor tiles, wall tiles, the quality of wallpaper, painting work. We usually evaluate ceilings and wallpapers visually. We look at possible folds, the quality of the conjugation, so that there are no differences in color, sagging”, Nikita Kuzmichev says.

Verifying finishing works is carried out in stages, as soon as the apartments are ready. The quality of finishing works is verified in at least 60 percent of the premises of the surveyed residential building.

Another indicator of comfort, which is verified in new buildings, is the quality of sound insulation. For this purpose, a device is installed in the room that looks like a large column of an unusual shape - a polyhedron. This loudspeaker emits a special high-volume white noise in order to assess how much of the noise is trapped by the wall of the apartment, and what is passed into the adjacent room. Thus, sound insulation is verified in apartments.

The measurement is carried out both in the next room and on the floor below the noise source.

Using a sound level meter, sound pressure levels are recorded in the frequency range from 100 to 3150 hertz. The airborne sound insulation index for inter-apartment walls should not be lower than 52 decibels, the reduced impact noise index should not exceed 60 decibels.

Control at every stage

Control over the future home begins from the time the developer has submitted a notice on commencement of construction. After that, an inspection program is created in compliance with the construction schedule. If necessary, the inspectors of Mosgosstroynadzor involve the staff of the Expertise Center. For example, if one need to conduct an instrumental study, or if one have questions or doubts that engineers with special equipment will help to solve.

“When deploying a construction site, we verify the compliance with the urban planning plan of the land plot and project documentation. At the zero cycle, we verify the soils and temporary supports. The enclosing structures in the pits are checked for bearing capacity. Further, at the stage of erecting the building, the quality of the concrete mixture, monolithic and reinforced concrete structures is verified. We take samples and verify in the laboratory their parameters for tensile strength and availability of ammonia. If ammonia emissions exceed the maximum permissible values, then, of course, construction stops until violations are eliminated,” Igor Voistratenko explains.

During construction, the experts also verify the water supply and sewerage networks. Important attention is paid to the fire safety. Each apartment has its own fire hose and alarm system. Construction materials must be sent to the laboratory and checked for incombustibility. At the final stage, a comprehensive test of the fire safety system is to be carried out, verifying the warning system, the operation of elevators, ventilation and water supply systems.

In addition to the building itself, inspectors also inspect the area around, including paying attention to the quality of the asphalt road, curbs, soil. 

If violations are found, the developer receives a prescription with instructions to eliminate them within a specific time frame.

New buildings on Vilis Latsis Street are almost ready to welcome the first new settlers. In the course of the final inspection, comprehensive fire tests were also carried out, and according to its results, the developer corrected minor identified violations. After that, Mosgosstroynadzor issued an opinion on compliance with the project to the developer. This means that soon new houses will be put into operation.

Super service for the comfort of new settlers

For those who are preparing for a housewarming, the super service “Assistance when moving as part of the renovation program” will be useful. Its development is being carried out by the Department of Information Technologies and the Department of Urban Development Policy of the city of Moscow. The project includes a range of electronic products, such as relocation progress notifications, relocation instructions, and mover services.

Since inspectors cannot verify every square centimeter of finishing, newcomers, if they find construction defects, can apply for their elimination immediately after signing the consent for the provided apartment. For the convenience of participants of the renovation program, a new service was launched on in August this year. Now Moscow residents can remotely apply for the elimination of construction defects as part of the move under the renovation program.

In the electronic application, it is required to indicate the address, apartment number and select from the list of possible defects those that have been found. If the required description is not in the list, then it can be entered by oneself in a special field. After that, an employee of the resettlement information center will contact the applicant and agree on the time of the commission examination.


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