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Riga’s lessons: a working group for a thorough review of building supervision


Minister for Environment, Valentinas Mazuronis, has formed a special working group to analyse the causes of the disaster in Riga, when the roof of a Maxima shopping centre collapsed, and to review the current process of supervising construction work as soon as practicable. The working group will also have to submit proposals on how to prevent similar disasters in Lithuania.

“We will definitely build a constructive dialogue with our colleagues in Latvia because finding out the real cause of the disaster in Riga is absolutely necessary. Without a doubt, the tragedy in Latvia has stirred up the Lithuanian building sector as well, but we can’t take the liberty of playing upon emotions. We need to review everything carefully and to make constructive decisions,” Minister Mazuronis pointed out.

Starting from today, the working group is heading towards its three main objectives. The group has the task of carefully reviewing all the areas and suggesting changes where necessary.

1. Designing, coordination and issue of permits
a) review applicable load standards for constructional elements;
b) review the list of buildings of special importance;
c) review the applicable procedure for construction design, coordination and issue of permits;

2. Construction work, its supervision and acceptance of work
a) review the existing procedure for situations where people permanently reside or work in or visit sites located above or below construction or repair works
b) review and, if necessary, tighten the general procedure for supervision of construction;
c) review the warranty periods for construction work and analyse possibilities to introduce mandatory warranty insurance for buildings;

3. Maintenance and repair of buildings
a) review the responsibility and duties of the owners and tenants of a building;
b) improve the control system for building owners and tenants;
c) analyse the existing adequacy of penalties for improper performance of construction or repair and improper maintenance of a building;

Public information division
2 December 2013

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas