All our equipment is certified by the Russian authorities for compliance with work safety requirements under Russian law. We also conduct our own inspections when installing any equipment in order to ensure proper installation and safety.
When we plan a major development project, we seek to make sure that its future residents will be able to receive all the benefits they would expect if they were moved into a developed community. This means that, in addition to housing, we often build infrastructure for stores, entertainment and fitness centres (described in our portfolio highlights section). We also want to make sure that new residents will have sufficient access to educational facilities for children in order to support the long-term sustainability of the communities that our larger projects create.
The decision to build such infrastructure is taken together with municipal governments. Under investment contracts with municipal and regional government authorities (most commonly in Moscow), Etalon Group is sometimes required to build social infrastructure at its own expense. If a land plot is acquired from a private landlord, the government may require us to include social objects as part of the project when we seed approval for land planning documentation – in such cases the construction costs are usually compensated from the municipal budget.
In 2015, work was under way on several educational facilities nearby Etalon Group’s residential complexes. In January 2015, the Company received permission to begin construction of a 2-3- storey primary and middle school with a capacity of up to 825 children at the Swallow’s Nest residential complex in the St. Petersburg metropolitan area. Construction is now under way and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
Additionally, a middle school with capacity for 1,100 pupils was opened at Emerald Hills (MMA) in September 2015. The school features a number of recreational zones for children of various ages to play sports.
In February 2016, two of Etalon’s projects were finalists in the Russian Ministry of Construction’s Town-planning Competition. Emerald Hills was nominated for “best integrated development project". In addition, the school at Emerald Hills was voted best in Russia, winning the nomination for "best educational construction project".
In 2015, the company also dedicated space or undertook work not directly related to construction of residential housing at several projects in order to support cultural and historical awareness, or to meet municipal needs, including:
Historical and cultural sites:
- Emerald Hills: The construction of the Cosmonauts’ Alley open-air museum dedicated to the history of space travel, which opened on 18 March 2015 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first space walk.
- Galactica: The construction of a museum dedicated to the history of Russian Railways at the site of the former Varshavskiy Vokzal train station.
- Moscow Gates: Restoration of a World War II monument.
- Swallow’s Nest: renovation of road leading to the residential complex from the Oktyabrskaya Embankment Municipal needs.
We seek to support local communities in the areas where we operate and throughout Russia. For example, we place great importance on remembering the veterans who fought fascism in World War II and residents of Leningrad that survived the Nazi blockade.
Other highlights of our activities include renovation of the Dmitry Solunskiy Church, built in 1906 in Kolomyagi, and support for cultural events like an opera festival in Norilsk and a “Wall of Love” in Surgut (on St. Valentine’s Day).
We are proud of all our teams across the Group, and focus on employee development on an ongoing basis through a number of training programmes. We also seek to ensure that our employees have sufficient social protections to support their long-term wellbeing. Etalon Group provides financial assistance to its employees for important life events such as the birth of a child, in the event of an illness or accident resulting in temporary disability, after the death of a relative or in the event of loss or damage to property as a result of a flood, fire, theft or natural disaster. We also provide loyalty premiums to employees for long-term employment with our Company, to honour significant contributions to the Company’s development, and upon retirement to recognise loyal and dedicated service to Etalon Group.