Latest news from Montenegro Architects

Electrical design in Montenegro

Electrical design is becoming one of the most important features of any building both inside and out. With the production of some of the most intricate and modern computerized control equipment, energy saving and mood control is often the highlight of any finished building. Electrical design features to a greater or lesser extent in all buildings. But what is important is the ability to catch the installation of wires and conduit at an early stage so ugly adaption’s and messy plaster chases can be avoided.

It is the electrical designer’s job to include all that is properly required and featured including all equipment such as pumps machines and any heavy power requirements so the building loadings can be calculated. In Montenegro the electrical designer must have official consent for his design as the available power supply is mostly over loaded and unable to cope in high periods of demand. In many instances the project will require a sub-station to sustain the demand.

The process of electrical installation involves a spur system and so the Electrical Design in Montenegro can only include a maximum of 3 power points on each spur. Unlike in the UK where ring mains are used giving up to 15 power points in residential properties. This system uses much more cable and several fuseboards are required on each floor depending on the size of the installation.

Interior design in Montenegro –

posted 10 Feb 2012, 02:27 by Robin Gellately-Smith

With the widespread use of computer graphics, ArchiCAD and AutoCAD computer drawing programmes the interior designer has come into his own. For all the time saving abilities of the these computer programmes and the year by year improvements and capabilities there comes a point where the extended benefits such as rendering designs down to the last details of furnishings, lighting and colours has become the norm. The Interior designer has to first to consider all aspects of design to give to the graphics designer who will then render them in 3D picture format

Whereas before the modern computer technology the Interior designer would prepare a product design panel to include matching or enhancing tile, wood, wall colour and fabrics, now it has to be presented as a list of available products listed in the computer programme. The work of the Interior designer has changed as with most of the profession but that workload has increased as the investors or clients demand the best and realistic pictures to present for their marketing.

Interestingly, in Montenegro over the last five years what was a limited supply of interior products, services and utilities has blossomed out into a major business with new shops and suppliers sprouting up every month. This is due to the sudden and massive increase in property development and building by foreign investors creating a demand for more European style design and interiors.

Landscape for the Soul

posted 20 May 2011, 08:11 by Robin Gellately-Smith   [ updated 15 Jun 2011, 00:05 ]

No building or development within its own surrounding land is complete without landscape design. This would include water features, cascading terraces, lighting, swimming pools and many other amenities such as parking, and picnic areas. Landscape design is in itself a feature of self relief as the surrounding wild beauty and natural environment are the envy of the natural world. Careful thought and compliance with nature are the hallmark objectives of the Landscape designer in Montenegro.

In consideration of the vast development by foreign investors for mostly holiday and tourist business and accommodation, it seems practical and relevant to design with the cost of maintenance in mind. Trees are a wonderful and fulfilling commodity and provide shade. But to have trees in the vicinity of a swimming pool say would cause no end of maintenance problems with leaves clogging up the filtration system. The landscape design in Montenegro must take account of all relevant aspects and costs.

Further exploitation and usage of any given area must be a consideration by the Landscape design in Montenegro. This is relevant to the time it takes certain planted features such as trees, plants, bushes and shrubs to grow. No instant built design is practical or desirable. The development and use of the building and land around must grow with the careful and considered use of the occupants.

The bureaucracy of planning in Montenegro

posted 2 May 2011, 23:30 by Robin Gellately-Smith

For any worthwhile property development project there needs to be proper planning permission. The obvious and essential reason is an illegal building has no worth and cannot be legally used or sold. The Planning Expert in Montenegro has to know the planning laws and to present the clients wishes in the best possible way to maximize the potential and at the same time complying with the detailed urban plan of the locality.

Local knowledge relies on information that will allow a suitable argument for style, design, area of build and compliance with amenities. It is no good designing a five story block with a swimming pool on the roof if the local criteria consist of two stories and high attic with a Mediterranean pitched tiled roof. Planning experts in Montenegro also have to be respected in the local planning office; and respect means knowledge of the laws, agree to the rules and be representative of the clients and local interest.

Our Planning experts in Montenegro are local and trained in urban planning law. Every year there are new urban plans being created as the country is largely untouched with large areas of natural space. Foreign investment is virtually the only means of development and they try to dictate the maximum possible for the least cost. Our Planning expert has to balance the desires of both parties and to be within acceptable limits of the planning laws.

Is Water the Last Resort

posted 5 Apr 2011, 06:55 by Robin Gellately-Smith

Water is becoming a rare commodity around the world and even today to buy milk is cheaper than the equivalent bottle of water. The future prospect of wars being fought over the limited water supply most countries are experiencing is a sobering thought. Montenegro has an abundant supply of water from its varied six rivers, 35 lakes and Lake Skadar the largest inland lake in Eastern Europe.

Water engineers in Montenegro are needed because the abundant supply of water is mostly in the wrong place. Where it is needed most is in the coastal and popular tourism areas and that is where we need new infrastructure to bring the supply, especially in the dry summer months.

Remote, and now becoming popular areas for private development, have no mains water supplies at all and rely on harvested rainwater and wells. This is when Water Engineers in Montenegro are needed to design not only a workable system and recycled grey waste water but size of reservoir needed to serve the demand. By calculation of the annual rainfall and site investigation of underground aquifers water Engineers in Montenegro can calculate the size of reservoir capacity to suit the needs of the occupants during the three months of summer when there is hardly any rainfall at all.

Eco Small Scale biological Sewage Treatment in Montenegro

posted 28 Mar 2011, 01:26 by Robin Gellately-Smith

The traditional way of dealing with sewage and grey water waste is to dig a hole and create a concrete tank that either needs to be emptied when full in sensitive and coastal areas, or drained into a soak-a-way in non sensitive areas. The fact is that in sensitive areas most property owners just make a hole in the tank and allow untreated sewage and grey water waste to disperse into land, rivers, lakes and sea. This cause’s land and sea contamination affecting the health of the people and users of the tourism amenities.

The need for a primary municipality system is an obvious way forward but this cannot cope with conurbations a distance away from the primary service or for small remote villages and properties. This is where a need for Biological Sewage systems in Montenegro would be complimentary to any large municipality primary system. The reasons for Biological systems are obvious and ecologically necessary.

Without the necessary legislation at both government and municipality level it will be hard to persuade the profit seeking developer to pay more for a biological system in preference to the legal ubiquitous concrete tank in the ground. Putting forth the ecological argument alone is not enough even though there is a strong and growing green eco minded investor who would welcome the initiative. But without a concerted effort to make others comply his ethics are frustrated by the little effect he alone would make, especially at his own cost.

Landscape for the Soul

posted 28 Mar 2011, 01:08 by Robin Gellately-Smith

No building or development within its own surrounding land is complete without landscape design. This would include water features, cascading terraces, lighting, swimming pools and many other amenities such as parking, and picnic areas. Landscape design is in itself a feature of self relief as the surrounding wild beauty and natural environment are the envy of the natural world. Careful thought and compliance with nature are the hallmark objectives of the Landscape designer in Montenegro.

In consideration of the vast development by foreign investors for mostly holiday and tourist business and accommodation, it seems practical and relevant to design with the cost of maintenance in mind. Trees are a wonderful and fulfilling commodity and provide shade. But to have trees in the vicinity of a swimming pool say would cause no end of maintenance problems with leaves clogging up the filtration system. The landscape design in Montenegro must take account of all relevant aspects and costs.

Further exploitation and usage of any given area must be a consideration by the Landscape design in Montenegro. This is relevant to the time it takes certain planted features such as trees, plants, bushes and shrubs to grow. No instant built design is practical or desirable. The development and use of the building and land around must grow with the careful and considered use of the occupants.

Montenegro Property Development can beat the world’s Economic Downturn

posted 8 Mar 2011, 00:41 by Robin Gellately-Smith

Montenegro is an exciting place to be just now for the followers of property development. Yes even in the world economic downturn, Montenegro is making headway. Why not! If you consider it offers unique opportunities and potential because it is a very small country. Whilst being considered by the EU for membership with the next accession countries, it has been number one in achieving changes in political and economic structure to comply with membership requirements. Being so small (13,812km2; population 650,000) it can offer 100% solutions to most problems very quickly. But that’s not all! The big boys are here actually doing things: The Russian Metropol Group, Egyptian Orascom, Qatari Diar, Peter Monk Porto Montenegro and many others, are involved in some of the biggest tourist developments in the Mediterranean. If they are here others just have to follow.

News Update 1 – Montenegro Green Building Council

posted 4 Mar 2011, 05:07 by Robin Gellately-Smith   [ updated 4 Mar 2011, 05:15 ]

Text Box:

The signing of some of the members of the founding group for the creation of the NGO “Montenegro Green Building Council”, took place in Tivat on the coast on 9th December 2010. The NGO is now formed and its Board of Governing directors was formed on 1st March 2011.

The website name” www.gbc.me has been registered and is under construction. The founding members (12 of us) have formed into three working groups; strategic planning and structure, marketing and membership and technical and education.

We are now set to get the organisation up and running with by-laws and business plan and hope to have the beginnings of membership to the Assembly by September this year which coincides with the 20th anniversary of Montenegro’s claim to be the number one Ecological state in Europe

A Swimming pool is a must if you want to rent your property

posted 2 Mar 2011, 02:37 by Robin Gellately-Smith

Swimming pools in Montenegro have become the most popular and visible property utility commodity. As little as five years ago in a flight over Montenegro you would have been hard put to see a swimming pool from the air. Now, especially along the coast, swimming pools have become a regular feature and hardly an “off plan” development exists without a swimming pool included as part of the amenities.

Swimming pools in Montenegro vary in design, shape and features as do those in most other developed countries. But here we are different because no other swimming pool in Montenegro features biological and natural filtration. Our pools can look like a natural pond in a landscaped garden and yet offer all the benefits of a clean water swimming experience. Most of our clients who want a swimming pool are sold on the idea of chemical free filtration and a pool that fits well in a natural surrounding.

Swimming pools in Montenegro are expensive to construct and maintain and require a detailed construction license to comply with regulations. We have all the technical expertise including structural, water and electrical engineers and with our new Gunite structure process and marble plaster finish doing away with tiles we can offer a less expensive pool by cubic metre comparison. Our imported special sand and activated carbon filter system is easier and cheaper to maintain and of coarse there is no chlorine additives.  

The Real Estate Hype

posted 24 Feb 2011, 03:34 by Robin Gellately-Smith

Montenegro has come alive since October 2004 whereas before this time there was hardly any movement, buying or selling. This occurred because during the summer of 2004 a team from UK’s channel 4’s television series “Place in the Sun” featured Montenegro as an alternative holiday and property investment area just south of the already popular Croatia. Our Property consultant and Real Estate manager in Montenegro was here at the time to witness hundreds, infact, plane loads of investors eager to buy up at comparatively cheap prices came over in October when the programme was aired in the UK.

The local population was taken by surprise and prices went “haywire” nobody could stand still and make a decision incase, on the one hand, the price to the seller would increase or to the buyer of the property was sold under their noses. Real Estate in Montenegro was shrouded in uncertainties gazumping and price hikes that would see no end. This meant the bureaucratic systems were in deadlock. The sudden demand of Real Estate transactions in Montenegro accelerated to an all out panic with buyers and sellers filling the courts every day, Banks unable to cope with cash demands and the Katastar record keeping of transactions unable to cope.

Our Real Estate Department in Montenegro increased its staff from just three persons to eleven people and even with our larger offices we needed to expand more. Now Real Estate in Montenegro has calmed down with the current world economic down turn. Even Russian buyers, who until recently made up most of the sales of property, has declined during the past year.

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