Short of Hands

Short of Hands


They say that only he who does nothing never errs. But there are professions and businesses where the room for mistake is too small. For example, passenger transportation, transport maintenance and operation, power engineering or medicine.

Or utility services and housing construction. If you don't know how to build, don't do it. If you do, don't justify yourself by saying that you have punched above weight. That’s a dig at PIK Group developer Sergei Gordeev.

There was a new accident at a building put up by Sergei Gordeev's PIK Group.

PIK is the leader in the construction market by a vast majority of indicators, especially those that are quantitative. We have repeatedly written about the rapid growth of the company (in the terms of its consolidation) thanks to the skills of Sergei Gordeev, the President of the company with the largest stake. This strategy made it possible to introduce new construction rules involving the use of escrow accounts, and take over a third of the Moscow renovation budget, signing contracts worth more than 2 trillion rubles ($25.93 bln).

Price of Greatness

Once Gordeev looked set to make a cultural revolution in the primary real estate market. Unfortunately, the initial “architectural solutions became a distinct pattern of PIK operation focused on uniformity. Standard multi-colored human ant hills no longer surprise anyone, but rather irritate, depriving historically established autonomous territories and districts of the capital city of their image.

Along with the advantages, a large construction company has, of course, its disadvantages. Among them, there are more complex management algorithms that involve the delegation of authority and the problem of skilled personnel. There is also the issue of choosing territories for the construction of facilities. Sometimes it has to build on challenging soil, or the territory with historical and environmental factors. A big company will not survive without large-scale construction, so sometimes it has to “agree to everything,” neglecting some nuances. This happened, for example, at the construction site on Izmaylovsky Proyezd, where the soil moved, or during the construction of the excavation of the house on Ivan Franko Street, 20, where water constantly accumulated in the excavated pit.

Tsargrad wrote that “in April 2021, on the eve of Victory Day [a holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945], a contractor hired by PIK cut down a linden grove of 144 trees, which was planted 70 years ago in Odintsovo in the Moscow Region by participants in the Second World War. Locals went to the police, and it turned out that the grove had been cut down without permits.

However, it could be nothing compared to the fact that recently commissioned PIK buildings have various problems, causing damages and inconveniences to residents.

Each and all

An elevator fell from the 15th floor in a new PIK building in Obninsk at the end of January 2022. Fortunately, there were no passengers in it, but the fall caused a fire, and rescuers had to evacuate about 100 adults and about 20 children in frosty weather. Residents of the 22-story building on Kurchatov 25/1 erected only a couple of years ago, complained about the finishing works, which were still ongoing, a crack in the facade and repeated breakdowns of the same ill-fated elevator.

In 2019, a faulty elevator in a new building from PIK caused a tragedy. That time, an ambulance crew called to 33, Yartsevskaya Street in Moscow, together with a patient who had had a stroke, got stuck in the elevator for 40 minutes. As a result, the woman died. As it turned out later, more than 200 complaints about elevator malfunctions were received within two years after the commissioning of the building.

In addition, there were a lot of complaints about flooding, which takes place in new houses because of defective storm sewage systems and technical errors. A burst pipe flooded the basement of the Meshchersky Les housing complex in May 2021. By the way, the elevators were working during the breakdown, and if someone wanted to go to the -1 floor, he would be waist-deep in water. Dozens of storage rooms located in the basement were flooded and household appliances were damaged.

Nasha Versiya wrote about a utility-related accident in the PIK house at 10, Vesennaya Street, in Lyubertsy, Moscow Region, on New Year's Eve in 2022 due to a burst hot water pipe on the 11th floor. Perhaps it did not happen through the developer’s fault but no one fixed it, and the boiling water poured into the elevator shaft for several hours. The house is managed by the PIK-Comfort Company of the PIK Group, so it can be said that Gordeev is responsible for the accident as well.

In July 2020, a record rainfall in the north of Moscow overloaded the sewage system at PIK’s brand new Green Park residential complex flooding it from the 1st to the 13th floors. In addition, hot water pipes of the same Green Park complex burst in January 2021. As the 360 website wrote, “the cause of the accident was not weather conditions, but the lack of specialists and the pursuit of money.”

Professionalism and Vocation

As for “lack of specialists” there is another story that happened in August 2020 during the construction of a house under the renovation program at Nizhegorodskaya Street, 76, in Moscow. The press service of the Moscow City Construction Supervision Authority said that slabs collapsed on an area of 74 square meters due to working plan and technology violations by the contractor.

It is incomparably worse when workers’ poor skills lead to the death of people at construction sites. Industrial accidents happened at PIK construction sites, too. For example, in 2017, three people died in tower crane collapse in Khimki. In 2019, a worker died while unloading building materials at the construction of the Moscow Quarter housing complex. Last autumn, a man and a woman died at a PIK construction site at 15 Krasnokazarmennaya Street, Building 4 in Moscow as one worker’s cabin crashed into another. Life dictates new terms. The pace of it is getting faster. Volumes are growing. Staffing is increasing, but professionalism is falling. The number of stories grows to the detriment of architectural aesthetics.

Residential buildings and neighborhoods are turning into human anthills. The PIK Group is responsible to no small extent for the way of the construction process runs. Is it possible to build differently? We think so. Perhaps, the profitability of the projects will be somewhat lower but the future generations will be able to admire the present buildings. The people who now live there will be grateful to the developers for the quality and comfort they created. Builder is a responsible profession, and if you want to prevent imbalances and have enough hands, it has to be your true vocation.

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