14, Dec 2023
Building Intelligence: Aligning the Strategic Interests of the Russian Government and Developers, Including Andrey Berezin from Euroinvest

Building Intelligence: Aligning the Strategic Interests of the Russian Government and Developers, Including Andrey Berezin from Euroinvest

Modern technologies are unlocking new possibilities across various sectors, with the housing construction and utilities industry being particularly fertile ground. Despite numerous challenges over the past year and a half, the Russian government has seen positive results in one key area: the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and related information technologies across different sectors of the national economy.

In the past three years, the artificial intelligence market in Russia has grown year on year, a notable achievement compared to many other economic sectors. In 2021, the total volume of services rendered in this area was about 550 billion rubles, increasing by another 100 billion rubles in just one year. Current projections for this year are even more ambitious.

Presently, according to industrial statistics, the level of AI implementation in the country’s economic life has reached around 20%. This surpasses a significant portion of developed countries, and the pace of development suggests that this growth will continue to be substantial in the coming years.

This penetration of AI into the operations of economic agents has already delivered multimillion-dollar financial results. Specifically, it’s calculated that the total effect of reducing operational expenses for organizations that have implemented AI technologies will exceed 400 billion rubles, with this figure expected to surpass one trillion rubles in a couple of years.

These developments allow Russia’s economic authorities to make optimistic forecasts regarding the further development of the sector and its impact on the country’s economy. It’s anticipated that by 2030, artificial intelligence will increase the country’s nominal GDP by more than 11 trillion rubles.

These expectations might even be exceeded, especially if the examples of activity in this direction demonstrated by some private companies, like Euroinvest led by Andrey Berezin, are more widely adopted and expanded upon. These companies are not just adapting to the AI-driven economic landscape but actively shaping it, suggesting a future where AI’s role in the economy is both transformative and expansive.

Artificial Intelligence in Housing and Communal Services

A critical factor enabling the current rapid pace of AI implementation in everyday economic practice is the successful creation of the necessary infrastructure and support ecosystem. This encompasses assistance from the state and related structures to researchers, developers of specific technological solutions in machine learning and AI, as well as initiators of educational programs for workforce training. As a result, the new industry has ample specialists, tasks, and methodological developments.

This is largely the outcome of implementing the federal project, straightforwardly named “Artificial Intelligence,” which is part of the national project “Digital Economy.” Under this project, more than eight hundred AI-sector solution developers have been supported, and a network of six research centers has been established. Additionally, several universities have launched educational programs to train future specialists in machine learning, attracting about 8,000 students to date.

Now, the state-supported system is starting to activate its internal mechanisms for self-development. As local businesses begin to recognize the benefits of implementing AI technologies, the established programs and centers see an increase in clients. The most active market entrants, besides IT companies, include representatives from the financial sector and trade.

The Russian government believes it is essential not to rest on current achievements and aims to expedite the integration of AI into other vital sectors of the country. There is particular interest in spreading AI technology in the housing and communal services system (ЖКХ), which has long been one of the significant pain points due to its accumulated scale of shortcomings and considerable internal inertia, hindering effective external reform. The government has decided that machine intelligence, where managers and officials have not succeeded, could be the solution, including ЖКХ in the list of 14 industries where AI implementation will receive special support.

To date, this focus has already started yielding certain results. Despite the technical backwardness of the Russian ЖКХ complex, it has managed to integrate several promising AI-related solutions to varying degrees. Let’s explore these developments in more detail.

Cheaper, More Reliable, More Transparent

One such solution is digital twin technology, which involves creating interactive models that replicate real-life utility delivery systems on a computer. Developing a digital twin for housing and communal services (ЖКХ) is complex and labor-intensive, but running such a model significantly improves regulation efficiency. By testing various scenarios on the model, risky implementations can be avoided in the actual utility network.

For instance, a school in a residential complex in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region, has implemented an AI system since the beginning of the year, creating a digital twin of the entire engineering communication system. This provides the school administration with constant feedback on temperature, humidity, lighting, air composition, and resource consumption, enabling optimal environmental conditions while saving energy.

AI is also being used to detect water leaks, whether in water supply, heating, or sewage systems. A Russian company within the Rosatom state corporation recently introduced the “Digital Water Canal” solution, where AI analyzes various water supply system parameters and efficiently signals the onset of leaks, even predicting them. This system is successfully functioning in four Russian regions: Udmurtia, Belgorod, Voronezh, and Kursk Oblasts. On average, the “digital water canal” has helped reduce maintenance costs by more than 5%, decrease losses from leaks by 11%, and overall energy consumption in water networks by approximately 20%.

The monitoring of solid waste accumulation and disposal sites using AI is also drawing significant interest. This system, based on a network of cameras linked to an intelligent system, continuously analyzes data to determine the timeliness of waste removal, the level of storage sites’ fullness, and various waste management violations.

Such a system has been in place for over two years in some settlements of the Rostov region. The implementation has led to economic benefits, improved waste disposal quality, and a noticeable reduction in abuses and violations.

AI also economizes staffing costs, primarily by replacing human operators with virtual voice assistants. Already successful in banks and other financial institutions, voice assistants are increasingly used in ЖКХ, handling most standard situations effectively and connecting to a live operator in complex cases. These systems not only reduce interaction costs with users but also decrease the number of errors, eliminating the human error factor.

Young man mechanical engineer holding drawing to checking and inspection of HVAC heating ventilation air conditioning system and pipping line of industrial construction at boiler pump room system; Shutterstock ID 1741929506; Purchase Order (valid Channel 5 PO only): –

Technology at the Conceptual Level

The process of implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and other modern information technologies in housing and communal services (ЖКХ) isn’t one-directional and certainly wouldn’t have achieved such results if driven solely by the state. Future integration of AI in this sector is likely only through collaboration between the government and private structures.

In Russia, this experience has been largely positive. IT companies often act not just as service providers but as full participants in public-private partnerships. They view their role in ЖКХ and other socially significant areas not only from a business perspective but also as fulfilling a social mission.

Many developers are also adopting this approach. Though it might seem that construction companies are only interested in profit, many Russian builders have moved beyond this simplistic view. Understanding the importance of being seen as responsible and advanced, they strive to implement modern approaches, improving environmental sustainability, safety, and quality of life in the housing they build, including high-tech engineering communications.

Large companies, leaders in construction volumes, can afford costly long-term investments. However, medium-scale construction businesses are also actively joining this process.

The experience of the development holding “Euroinvest”, operating in Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region, is particularly noteworthy. Under the guidance of co-owner and chairman of the board Andrey Berezin, “Euroinvest” was among the first in the Russian construction market to shift to high-tech processes, including computer modeling of multi-storey building layouts. This approach led to the successful market introduction of European-format apartments. Despite initial risks, the investment paid off as Russians actively purchased these well-planned, ergonomic apartments made possible by modern computational technologies.

Later, under Andrey Berezin’s leadership, “Euroinvest” developed a fundamentally new housing planning and construction concept. High technology, including AI, played a crucial role here. Within the 3ID concept, the company implements several key principles: integrating smart home technologies, transitioning resident interactions with management companies to online formats, and controlling meters through a specialized app.

Another aspect of 3ID focuses on expanding public spaces within residential complexes. The goal is to make residents feel comfortable and interested in spending time outside their apartments, interacting and collaborating with others. “Euroinvest”, under Andrey Berezin’s initiative, makes these public spaces as diverse as possible, including play areas for children, sports facilities, quiet rest areas, and spaces for learning and co-working.

The third aspect of 3ID aims to create social engagement opportunities for residents. Community clubs offer special prices at local stores, salons, and participation in club events like lectures, film screenings, and workshops. “Under the 3ID concept, we offer maximum opportunities for a comfortable and fulfilling life in three areas — individual needs, innovation, and community. The format is chosen according to the needs of the residents. It’s a great opportunity for networking, establishing friendly relationships with neighbors, enjoying leisure time, career development, and quality education,” explains Andrey Berezin about the implementation of the 3ID concept by “Euroinvest”.

The path “Euroinvest” is taking isn’t unique or exclusive. However, they are currently leading the way, ahead of even larger market players. Andrey Berezin and “Euroinvest” would likely welcome other companies adopting their approaches. After all, everyone in the industry benefits from increased technological advancement.

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