Association of Legal Entities HLINA formed by construction companies is focused on comprehensive solutions in this area. Customer intent is solved comprehensively from design (in case of reconstruction and diagnostics) through project to actual implementation. The project activity emphasizes energy intensity and is timeless in the context of the demands placed on buildings since 2020. We have many years of experience in the realization of constructions or reconstructions (also in the form of thermal protection). The customer will receive solutions that meet strict funding requirements through SFBB, state subsidies, EU funds and so on. For all activities, the association has the necessary licenses, certificates and certificates. The result is the owner's satisfaction, who has dealt with one company throughout the process.
Hlina, s. r. o., has been established in 2010. However, your market presence has been much longer since 1995. How has your service portfolio been evolving for 20 years?
The change in the political system after 1989 also brought about a change in the form of greater opportunities, not only travel but also work and business. My business plan was gradually started after I returned to Slovakia from the Russian Federation in 1994, where I worked as an interpreter and translator from Russian to German and vice versa, during the construction of a large housing estate for Russian soldiers returning from Germany.
Everything began with the acquisition of professional qualifications to perform construction supervision in 1996 after successfully conducting examinations at the Chamber of Civil Engineers. In 2003, a comprehensive authorization for the performance of the activity of authorized civil engineer was added to the certificate for the performance of the supervisory activity and in 2008 the certificate of professional competence for the energy certification of buildings. As certificates have been added, the portfolio of activities and services has also expanded, which in a good sense forced a change of legal form from a natural person to a legal one. And so the natural person JH project became a company J.M.H., p. r. about. J.M.H., p. r. Founded in 2000, it is profiled as a construction and management company. In the case of Hlina, p. r. o., founded in 2010, is a purely project office dedicated to energy certification and expertise.
Two headquarters in Liptovsky Mikulas and in Bratislava with a number of cooperating persons throughout the Slovak Republic allow us to provide services throughout the country.
To summarize, you activities you are engaged in engineering, developing energy certificates and thermal engineering assessments, supervisory activities, thermodiagnostics of buildings, building consultancy and expert activities. Which of these activities dominates?
After the completion of the activities of the Institute of Forensic Engineering in 2002, the expert activity was transferred to individuals, experts in the field of construction. Only an expert who has sufficient experience and a broad overview of the issue can make a qualified and expert view. Thanks to the experience of building construction, supervision and projection, which I have gained over the years, I can look at things from the perspective and objectively assess the degree of fault of one side or the other. I had the opportunity to be present at solving a number of disputes arising from incorrect invoicing of construction works, failures, accidents, poorly performed works or supplies of poor quality building materials, elements and the like. My aim is to settle the dispute before bringing it to court. In the field of expert activity, but also in connection with energy certification, we use a thermal imager in the winter, which plays an irreplaceable role in the given activities. Therefore, it is not possible to say which activity dominates. One is related to the next one. However, we can simply say that we offer a complex set of activities in the field of construction to the client (builder).
With regard to energy certification of buildings, you are entitled to assess all four types of energy consumption. Based on the results of the analysis you will perform on the relevant building, will you only prepare the final report or propose options to eliminate the identified deficiencies?
We provide energy certification for all consumption locations. We have a quality certificate STN EN ISO 9001: 2009 for this activity. We carry out a physical inspection at each building and the client, on the basis of this inspection, also uses a thermal imager in the winter, gets a real picture of the status of the assessed building. The energy certificate also fulfills an important information function in addition to the classification of the object into the relevant energy class. Each energy certificate must include a framework proposal for energy-saving measures that can be implemented in the building. The measures are to be divided into measures to improve the energy performance of the building (in particular to improve the thermal insulation properties of the building structures and to increase the efficiency of the building's technical and energy equipment) and to manage the building's management (in particular to improve the operation and maintenance of the building and its technical and energy facilities).
Energy certification of buildings has been legally compulsory for the fourth year. However, I feel that the owners take it more as a formality and do not understand its main importance ...
Yes, I have to agree. The property owners only consider the energy certificate as an administrative burden - a document without which they do not approve their property. However, it is one of a number of tools for controlling energy consumption. The non-renewable energy sources currently used do not have a future and they will simply not be one day. Measures need to be taken to reduce their consumption to the optimum minimum or to provide suitable alternatives. The goal of energy certification aimed at reducing energy intensity should, for example, be reflected in a reduction in the tax burden on builders who have invested in construction materials and technologies that reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water and heating.
What benefit does it bring, in addition to social and environmental benefits, to the owners of apartments?
I'll say it a little differently. As an expert, I can say that an energy-efficient certified object has a different market value than an object wasting energy. I consider this one of the advantages of energy certification and the reason for changing the perception of certification as an administrative burden.
Act no. 555/2005 Coll. the energy performance of buildings implies the obligation of energy certification not only for approval, but also for example when selling or renting a building. However, this is not usually the case here. With an objective and properly elaborated energy certificate, the buyer has a passport on how the building is located, but also a design of the solutions that need to be implemented in terms of energy efficiency. I would like to say that the prices of many real estate properties offered by real estate agencies would have become real when offering an energy certificate when offering real estate. However, I am referring to an objective certificate drawn up by an independent qualified person for energy certification.
The subject of your activity is also the measurement of thermal losses by a thermal camera. In your design practice, do you meet with the interest of apartment owners in building heat loss assessments or do they opt for surface insulation without taking into account risk areas / details?
Here I see the problem that designing the building insulation is the responsibility of the designer. Many times, unfortunately, it is about designers without experience and experience. Indeed, proof of education is not enough. The proposed thermal insulation is many times poorly dimensioned because it does not count on critical design details, where the values that do not meet the standard-specified thermal requirements (such as the minimum internal surface temperature and the like) are realistic. The so-called thermo-technical assessment (from the table) thus constitutes nothing more than an obligatory part of the project documentation.
As an example, I will present a myriad of measurements made on new buildings, both family and residential, for which the owners claim construction work due to the presence of damp places in rooms, molds and the like. However, if a suitable thermal insulation, such as kombidoska, has not been inserted in the formwork casting of a 375 mm thick concrete rim, the exterior side of the building's corners and corners is not heat-insulated with a 50 mm thick polystyrene-based insulation.
Critical points can be unambiguously identified by a thermal imager and a suitable design to prevent the formation of condensation on the interior surface of the structure.
Do apartment owners verify in any way the correctness of the realization of thermal insulation, or has the realization of thermal bridges been eliminated, details, which in addition to thermal requirements meet hygienic requirements? Or do you not trust here, but check it out?
Yes in the last time, especially after this cold winter, we also have orders to check the buildings insulated with the ETICS thermal insulation system. Owners are beginning to realize that the amount of money spent, many to several hundreds of thousands of euros, does not actually bring them the desired effect, such as saving energy costs for heating and heating water and does not meet the required quality - moldy, flat windows and the like. Although these are justified complaints, it is often too late to produce expert opinions. It is important to prevent the problem.
The thermal imaging camera can also reveal a number of errors from badly processed projects without solving details to the technologically improperly implemented contact thermal insulation system. The camera clearly shows the wrong quantity, length and location of the anchors, leaks between the individual panels of the thermal insulation, poorly installed so-called starter rail, improperly fitted window sills and many other errors.
A common problem is the formation of algae on the realized thermal insulation contact system. The position of the realization company that after one year after the completion of the construction works algae on the facade is not always correct. After taking samples from such algae attacked facades, there was a correlation between their occurrence and improper technological process, insufficient thickness, quality of thermal insulation and applied thermal insulation materials.
The correctness of implementation could be supervised by a person authorized to carry out construction supervision. Does the construction activity in your opinion have sufficient weight or do I understand it as a necessary bad?
The importance of building supervision as a person representing the interests of the builder is often misunderstood. The building supervisor should represent the builder already in the selection of the supplier and accompany it to the building approval itself. The € 100 construction supervision stamp for a building permit application is a cheap but certainly not the right solution.
I have encountered a case where the building supervisor recommended the building contractor to the investor. It was a big order for many millions of euros. In the course of construction, some amounts and scope of invoiced work seemed to be unjustified to the investor, so he decided to reach another person (our office). The reward for the cost savings was to be 20% of the saved costs and I can say that the amount of the surprise was both the investor himself and me. This was a typical wrong example of "co-operation" between the building contractor and the building supervisor.
Supervising activity on the construction site is obligatory by law only on simple constructions, which the builder makes self-help. Extensive buildings or publicly funded buildings are thus left to the goodwill of the builder. Why has Slovakia still failed to introduce a technical supervision institute, as is the case in the Czech Republic?
There are many things in Slovakia in which we are lagging behind. So far, we are waiting for a new building law to solve many problems. He is still valid in our country in 1976. What to add?
J.M.H., s. r. o., also focuses on the administration of buildings with nationwide operation. Are you planning within Hlina, s. r. o. work in this area as well?
Hlina, s. r. o., is profiled as a purely project and forensic office, which also implements energy certification. In contrast, J.M.H., s. r. o. with experience in managing large multinationals such as Alcatel - Lucent, and. s., wants to focus on building management to meet the demands of owners who are increasingly more demanding to manage.
Interview by Andrea Dingová
PHOTO: HLINA, Mapei SK, Dano Veselský