Is the reconstruction of Northern Saltivka wrong? Architect’s opinion

Northern Saltivka is one of the districts of Kharkiv most affected by Russian bombings. A year after the beginning of the full-scale invasion, representatives of the Kharkiv City Council announce plans to rebuild the houses on this territory.

Our journalists, together with architect Viktor Dvornikov, inspected two houses, one of which is only planned to be restored (271 Druzhby Narodiv St., Kharkiv), and the other is already in the process of reconstruction (80 Natali Uzhviy St., Kharkiv).

What happened to the houses 30 kilometers from the border with the Russian Federation, and what is their future fate?

The film was worked on by: director, presenter and editor Oleksiy Svid. Videographers – Yuliia Gush, Kateryna Svid, Natalia Zubar, Yevhen Tytarenko. The film uses videos shot between March 2022 and March 2023 in Kharkiv.

Well, in general, the impression is very heavy. That is, I… If you give an unequivocal assessment of whether it should be restored or not, then definitely not. I see absolutely no point in holding onto the panels that are lying separately, and try to somehow tie them together. Now the house is not a complete structure. It’s just a set of building materials. In order for them to remain in such a position, an additional frame must be built here, inside the building.

While we were climbing from the first to the 16th floor – we saw that along all the joints, there are cracks everywhere. This means that there was a structural impact on the structure. And in order to give a comprehensive assessment, it is necessary to examine all connections. I very much doubt that in today’s realities, anyone will do this. And the main question: what for? Again, to preserve… – the oldest type of apartment – to preserve the memory of people? Well, for this, a museum is probably better suited than a house. Not to mention the fact that it is simply morally outdated.

– It turns out that, roughly speaking, to build a new one, let even the same house – it will be cheaper than to restore?

– It will definitely be faster, it will definitely be more comfortable, and something tells me that it will be cheaper in terms of the budget as well. Because here it is not only about building. It is also about what in the process of reconstruction, a huge number of questions will arise here, because… We see a section that has completely burned out. The state of both concrete structures and the state of internal fittings, and precise welded elements – it cannot be precisely measured at the moment. But it can be argued that there we will have so much finances.

Well, here, for sure… This is just such a place, good for an example. What do we see? Cracks, and already traces of some kind of repair, and… to be honest, I can even see a gap, here, where the plate rests on the wall, there is a gap. That is, it moved, the plate… We see that the plate is generally squeezed inward, that is, again, this is about structural damage that has been transmitted to… Well, it’s purely to cover up, yes, this is… This means that the plates have moved from the position in which they were loaded. And to somehow predict the future life, well… It is a task with a huge number of variables. It can be… Any construction problem has a solution. The main issue is the expediency. You can save absolutely any building, if it has some or economic, or political meaning. Well, I mean political as a heritage. Heritage sites must be preserved because they are evidence of history. And what are these houses evidence of?

– Well, such a question… And if, let’s say, a S-300 falls nearby, conditionally? Is there a risk that the deformation will go further, for example…?

– Great question, yes. That is, we do not know what I am talking about – about a large number of variables. This means that if one of the constituents, one of the constituent components is in a non-working state, then in case of a coincidence of circumstances – load, wind, snow, and not to mention the S-300, this whole structure can fold. That is, the question here is where we need to put effort so that we can figure it out.

– Here or…?

– I want to show visually, from the angle from which…

– Well, the brackets, we can see the gap between the metal bracket and the plate. There is… In the plate, there is another so-called part that is welded. But still, the gap there is quite big. And it seems to me that this part is more vivid. That is, we see a panel that is curved. And this is what we see. What is inside is unknown. And again… Nowadays, these structures are loaded with new ones, making reconstruction.

There were no snow loads this winter. Snow is one of the most significant loads. And how it may affect the next year is quite difficult to predict. The main thing is that, in principle, the approach used in the works is not bad, but… again, the expediency is questionable. We built two entire floors here, and they are standing on some dilapidated… on some dilapidated match house.

21,550 buildings in the Kharkiv region were partially or completely destroyed by Russian shelling. Of them, 4091 are residential multi-storey buildings. Currently, it is known from open sources about the payment of 209 examinations of damaged buildings in Kharkiv. At the same time, the inspection was conducted by specialists of ZhitloBud-1 – the company that performs most of the work. It is worth noting that, with the exception of one examination, which is estimated at 120,000 hryvnias, the rest, regardless of the condition of the building, cost 27,000 or 31,000 hryvnias each – which is less than $1,000. Accordingly, there is a question whether the main task of the examination was qualitative reconstruction, or the desire to increase the number of construction sites.

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