In July, I had the opportunity to participate in an exchange with the Valsts Nekustamie Īpašumi (VNI). This visit was made possible as a part of the PuRE-net exchange initiative. Colleagues who know me are aware of my international background: I originally come from Latvia and have been living in the Netherlands for 13 years. Since 4 years I have been working for Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (RVB) and I had a long-standing interest in understanding how VNI works and looks.
On my initiative and with the support of my supervisor and VNI CEO Renārs Griškevičs a plan for an exchange of experiences with Latvia began to take shape. With the assistance of Sook de Jonge, the coordinator of international relations at RVB, I first established contact with VNI in the spring, and by July I had an intensive week in Latvia. In addition to gaining knowledge, experience, and visiting construction projects, I engaged in many inspiring thematic discussions. These not only yielded valuable insights but also introduced me to inspiring new colleagues with whom I still maintain contact.
Just to mention some of the topics discussed:
the different procurement procedures
lowest price vs. best value for the money
the chosen sustainability goals - embodied carbon and carbon footprint vs integral durability theme evaluation
building operation data collection and analysis
project management and building process management; the differences between approach and practice
usage of BIM
The week was intense: every day, I had two-hour discussions with different specialists, including technical managers, strategists, construction experts, project leaders, section heads, and safety experts. On the last day, I was able to visit two major construction projects: the renovation of the Presidential Palace and the renovation of the New Theater of Riga. Completion of these projects is expected by the end of the year.
I look back with great satisfaction on this summer week, and I would certainly do it again. I gain a lot of energy from substantive discussions with knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts. I would definitely encourage more colleagues to gain international experience. As Europeans, we share , PuRE-net Newsletter – September 2023 10 common goals and can learn a lot from each other. Shortly after my visit to Latvia, a team from VNI participated in the annual conference of the INPP, the International Network of Parliamentary Properties. This network is fully dedicated to parliament renovations and this year’s conference was hosted by RVB.
Apart from being exceptionally hospitable, my Latvian colleagues were also very pleased to discuss all the information we talked about. The bond created in a short time will ensure long lasting and regular contact.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who made this possible. Without VNI, PuRE-net and RVB and all the helping hands, this would not have been possible.
If you are interested in more details about my visit and experience, please consider contacting me at email@example.com.