The design process in Lithuania takes place in several stages. The first stage is pre-design work – it is like a foundation for the further progress of the project. The phase starts with the identification of the client’s wishes and needs, and the preparation of initial documentation. “It is important to note that a potential builder in Lithuania must first have land ownership (or building ownership) documents. Only then will all the other work – the environmental and other aspects of the builder’s assessment – proceed smoothly,” says Linas Baliuckas, Project Manager at “TEC Industry”.
“The first stage of the project development process involves discussing the type of structure – special or non-extraordinary – and drawing up a topographical plan. If necessary, environmental and public health impact assessment reports and other necessary documents are prepared,” says Algirdas Čižiūnas, Project Manager at “TEC Consulting”.
Unlike abroad, in Lithuania the technical design for obtaining a building permit is subject to a high level of attention and strict regulatory requirements. It must contain all the necessary parts of the project for the site and must detail each part in accordance with the regulations. “This stage of the project requires both a large amount of information – drawings, technical characteristics, etc. – and time,” explains Linas. His colleague points out that “once the technical design has been carried out and the building permit has been granted, it is no longer possible to make substantial changes to the design. For example, if you want to change the size of a building, you have to make adjustments to the design, have it re-examined and get a new permit.”
The persons drawing up the technical design must have the appropriate qualifications. Only certified civil engineers are entitled to act as managers of the main areas of technical activities in the construction of special structures. The designer must have a qualification of a civil engineer or a document (certificate, reference, attestation, etc.) issued in the country of origin certifying his/her right to practise as a civil engineer in the country of origin.
Once the technical design has been completed and agreed with the builder, the design can be submitted for expertise. Expertise involves the assessment of the design, i.e. checking how the solutions of a part of the design comply with the essential requirements of the building, other requirements laid down in the building legislation, etc. After the experts have made their remarks, the technical design is adjusted and, following a positive expert opinion, the project can be completed to obtain a building permit. Specialists of “TEC Consulting” are at the developer’s side to help prepare and submit the necessary documents.
“Once a building permit has been obtained, construction work can theoretically start the next day. But don’t forget about the detailed design, or at least part of it, which has to be prepared at the start of construction,” he adds. “This is often a tricky area, because you need to get information from the builder (or the contractor chosen by the builder) about what materials and equipment will be used, what technologies will be used. This often slows down the process a bit.” If the building is a special building, it must also have a separate structural assessment.
When asked about the differences between designing in Lithuania and abroad, “TEC Group” representatives unanimously say that the process is basically similar, but there are some differences. There may be differences in detail, scope, publicity or other procedures. “One of the differences is that in foreign countries the pre-design stage is usually not characterised by the design proposal stage, which according to Lithuanian law is prepared prior to the Technical Design and is made public,” says Linas.
Also, in most Western European countries, there is no expertise part of the project, it’s all based on insurance. “The designer has to be qualified and if he makes a mistake in his work, the costs are covered by insurance,” says the representative of “TEC Industry”. So the design phases are similar across Europe. The only differences are in their completeness, accuracy and certain requirements.
“TEC Consulting”, UAB is part of the TEC Group of Companies, which also includes the companies “TEC Industry” and “TEC Infrastructure”. The companies of the Group provide design, consulting, maintenance, project and construction management and other engineering services for transport infrastructure and industrial objects as well as energy facilities.