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Azerbaijan adopts environmental construction focus

Azerbaijan is placing an increasing focus on environmental construction, with the government making two key announcements concerning new projects.

The first move saw the cabinet update its list of documents required for licensing the construction activities in Azerbaijan, in a bid to both protect the environment and also boost the country's cultural heritage.

It means that any recultivation and restoration activities will henceforth need to be carried out through verbal permission of relevant bodies in sites which have been deemed polluted by the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry.

Multiple benefits

In addition, permission will also be required to mitigate any negative physico-mechanical or physico-chemical effects that construction activities have on stationary historical and cultural monuments - something that will extend to construction work carried out close to the monuments.

At the same time, the Cabinet of Ministers also confirmed the single form of authorising the exploitation of buildings in Azerbaijan, approving a list of buildings that do not require technical supervision.

As such, no technical supervision will now be applied on the single-storey buildings that are not designed for either living or production, as well as single-storey production sites that do not require sanitary protection zones, and single-storey construction.

A parameter has also been set for buildings out of technical supervision, with the initial figure being set at a maximum of six metres of roof length and width, and a maximum area of 1,000 square meters area, though technical supervision will not be applied for the existing buildings and their parts, which have passed the inspection and are used without changing any parameters.

Wide-ranging efforts

The move forms a key part of Azerbaijan's efforts to boost the sustainability of its construction industry; something recently reiterated by President Ilham Aliyev, who recommended tightening environmental requirements in the sector.

Speaking at a governmental meeting on the socio-economic development for the first three quarters of 2014, he noted that there is a great deal of interest in the construction of buildings in Azerbaijan, both domestically and from overseas.

"With the dynamic growth of the economy, the interest in the construction of houses also grows and work in this area should be organized exactly," he explained.

"If any businessman wants to construct a building, he should be sure to take environmental measures and carry out resettlement."

President Aliyev added that any party hoping to construct a building needs to first contact the local authority, which will then highlight the areas in need of environmental protection or unfit areas, and the former sites of industrial facilities and plants.

With the latest announcements, it is hoped that Azerbaijan cannot only help to generate greater interest in its construction industry, but also ensure that such investment is not detrimental to the environment, and can position the country at the forefront of environmentally-friendly construction.

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