How and from what to build a mall

How and from what to build a mall

Quarantine is not forever! Moreover, the construction industry still works today. And it can bring Ukraine out of the crisis. Therefore, it is necessary to look to the future with confidence and plan new projects – such as shopping malls.

The shopping center is primarily a business project, not a construction one. And the most important thing in it – it’s satisfied visitors, which allow you to earn more money for tenants and the owner of the mall. What to build a mall to make it as effective as possible?

Why I choose metal

Speed. It is believed that metal is expensive. Yes, expensive. But the speed of construction that it allows to achieve is an additional million profit on the timely or even early opening of the shopping center. If you did not have time to open a shopping center in November, then the next “cash” date is March, because January-February is not the “season”. The same in summer: you have to wait until everyone returns from vacation. And so competent designing and the forecasted work with metal allows to open shopping center in shorter terms, than at use of classical reinforced concrete, and the most important thing – to make it at that time when the operator needs. After all, tenants buy seasonal goods for the opening, and if you did not open in the season, then either you or the insurance company must reimburse these losses.

A minimum of “wet” processes. Developers do not like “wet” processes on the construction site. But when there is a ready-made “Lego constructor”, which you brought and assembled with the help of installers, it is a comfortable construction process: you just build the object, and do not watch that the concrete truck poured concrete or not that formwork came.

Lightness of a framework. The metal frame is really lighter than the reinforced concrete, and this significantly affects the cost of the pile foundation, especially where the soil is difficult. In this regard, Kyiv is a very inconvenient city: we have loess soils almost everywhere, and therefore we have increased requirements for foundations.

Planning without columns. I saw with my own eyes the shopping center, at the entrance to which you rest against the “forest” of columns. It turns out that the visitor simply does not see the tenants – he sees the columns. The ideal shopping center is generally only half-timbered columns around the perimeter and very flexible planning.

Formation. The era of rectangular-parallelepiped shapes in commercial real estate is over. People don’t just come to skimp – they come for emotion, so shopping malls are already fighting for the title of highly architectural projects. The steel framework allows to create non-standard forms. In reinforced concrete, too, you can probably make creative forms, and why complicate your life so much.

Adaptability to the tenant. The mall actually lives 8-10 years and after this period you need to do a reconception. Of course, in Ukraine there are examples of shopping centers that have been operating successfully for more than 10 years, but this is rather an exception. In Ukraine, such reloads are tried to do without closing the mall, but in Europe, half or all of the shopping center is closed immediately and absolutely everything is rebuilt, including the facade. The fact is that during these 6-8 years, tenants are constantly changing – some lots are merged, others are divided – and the greatest difficulty in replacing anchor tenants. In this regard, steel is very convenient.

But there is a spoonful of tar

Fire protection. It used to be a very expensive and corrupt component, so the developer thought: why do I need all this – I’d better build from concrete. But in fact, concrete also needs fire protection, just very often pretend that they do not know about it, but then still get problems during operation or, God forbid, fire.

Overconsumption of metal. 22, 26 or 36 beams? What’s the difference – let’s make a double margin of safety, and the customer will pay for it. Outdated design standards do not provide for ergonomics in the use of material, and to avoid overspending, the developer must have its own designer, who will check the feasibility of these “standards”.

Quality. I don’t know if this is a problem of the supplier, the manufacturer, or the industry in general, but there are a lot of low-quality products on the market, and this applies to steel of both Ukrainian and Chinese production.

Logistics. Sometimes it happens like this: there is an ideal supplier, an ideal manufacturer – and I have a delay of two weeks, because in Ukraine there are problems with logistics. They saved, underloaded, overloaded, stopped, someone left work earlier – and, sorry, our logistics are lame.

Staff decides everything! There are very few highly qualified personnel and now they are worth their weight in gold. Therefore, the best companies have the best staff, but the trouble is that there are not so many such companies.

But in fact everything is much more complicated. We live in a very changeable world of VUCA (short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) – unstable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. So it’s time for us to stop being obscure and play by standards. While the standard is being written, the world has changed three times. Only Kurzweil can guess what it will be like in 10 years, and not always.

What to do? Of course build! We can’t stop. Construction is the choice of the brave. Because only the brave can overcome the most important enemy – inner fear. And the psychologist is unlikely to help here – only calculations and performance indicators that allow the developer to make an informed choice about the technology of the project.

Andriy Ryzhykov, CEO and managing partner of the development company DC Evolution