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  • Old apartment buildings of bearing-wall construction
    Khrushchev-era apartments ("Khrushchevka), year built: 1956 1985

    Flat arrangement: the room height is just 2.48 m, small kitchens of 4.5-5.5 sq.m., adjacent rooms, combination bathroom. One of the compulsory elements of a flat is a pantry or fitted cupboard. Living rooms start from 6 sq.m, the floor area of one-room flats is 22-28 meters, the one of two-room flats is 40-44. There were often organized storage boxes for food products under the window in the kitchen, it was called "Khrushchevs refrigerator.

    Peculiarities of this type of buildings: these buildings are called record-holders of heat loss, it is very cold inside them; exterior panels which havent been heat-insulated are freezing; there is a draft between panel joints, there can be rather huge voids between panels. The most failed flats are considered to be double-side or those ones which are situated in the corner panels. Reconstruction made in these buildings later touched the heat insulation of exterior walls and the changeover of utility systems which obviously extends the service life of the building.

    Recommendations while buying: the main recommendation perhaps may be the advice to choose flats in brick-built "Khrushchevkas and avoid buildings of bearing-wall construction. The only variant when buying a flat in such a house is reasonable can be if there is no money for buying a flat in a brick-built building.

    Brezhnev-era apartments ("Brezhnevka), year built: from 1963 to 1990-es.

    These are buildings built in the period of Brezhnevs government and are a modernized model of "Khrushchevkas. The buildings are pre-engineered several panels were built up in a definite block. This type of houses is of 9-16 stories, there are elevators and waste chutes. Some changed were about flat arrangement: the ceiling height increased up to 2.70 m, kitchens became bigger (6-9 meters), room area increased too, separate bath/WC. The area of one-room flats is 22-31 meters, the area of two-room ones is 42-45. 5-storeyed "Brezhnevkas dont differ from "Khrushchevkas exteriorly. As far as high-rise buildings are concerned, they are more multivarious in forms: sometimes wider, sometimes higher, sometimes round.

    Bedsits ("Gostinka) year mass built: 1960-1970-es.

    This is a variation of "Brezhnevkas so-called the buildings of "hotel type the flats of which are still of small-area but there are 40 flats on one floor. The flat area was 12-18 sq.m. This type of houses was built for workers of manufacturing enterprises as temporary accommodation on the way from dormitories to private flats.

    Advantages: there is only one the cost of the flat. It is actually dormitory or commune for workers where it is not comfortable to stay.

    Disadvantages: in this case the disadvantages of all "Brezhnevkas are the same as in "Khrushchevkas poor thermal and sound isolation, small area and impossibility to modify a flat, although there are cases when 2-3 small flats are united into one fully functional.

    Recommendations while buying: the same as recommendations while buying a "Khrushchevka. If there is a choice, its better not to buy flats situated in the corner panels and if its possible to

    uncover and change timber (parquet) floors having made expanded-clay underlayment under them and having decked plywood for warmth-keeping.

    "Ships, year built: 1969 1982.

    "Ships are the most known third generation of standard series buildings of bearing-wall construction after "Khrushchevkas and "Brezhnevkas built in the middle of 70-es. Along with the first ones it is the most affordable accommodation in the city real estate market.

    They were called "ship due to their similarity to ocean liner - they are situated in a row and their windows and loggias are merging and their color is practically always white. They are not mass widespread on the territory of Russia however you can find the whole districts built up with this type of buildings in Saint Petersburg, the Leningrad Region and Siberia. Number of storeys in these buildings can be 5, 9, 12 and 15; the flats vary from 1 to 5 room apartments.

    The arrangement of flats in "ship buildings: a small anteroom-corridor, separate kitchen of 6.2 sq.m., a big room with passage to several separate small rooms. The kitchen window is located at breast height, and according to the "ships residents, only sky can be seen through such windows. While constructing "ships, for the first time the block-sectional approach of engineering was applied, it was forbidden to reconstruct and change such buildings, it is just impossible to make an additional embrasure or door in the wall. You would need a special equipment to stick a nail into the wall.

    Advantages: the solid load-bearing frame of the building, quite effective arrangement of flats, elevators, loggias.

    Disadvantages: the fast freeze-out of the building without space heating due to exterior hinged panels which are not warm insulated; the leakage on the frontage and exterior joints in bad weather conditions.

    Recommendations while buying: it is better to buy a flat in a brick-built building while choosing a cost-efficient flat. If you have bought a flat in a "ship, it is necessary to provide heat insulation of the walls, loggias and especially interstorey and interpanel joints.
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