Ecologically, SUAT projects have been gaining a strong foothold in Georgia. An excellent example of an energy-efficient smart residential building equipped with the latest eco-friendly technologies is Solar Energy Apartments SEA, located in Old Tbilisi’s Ortachala district. Notably, this concept is the first of its kind not only in Georgia, but in the entire Caucasus region.
The 9-storey building, named Solar Energy Apartments SEA, is set to be completed in March 2024. Importantly, residents will be exempt from utility bills, elevator service bills, and other services related to electricity consumption. In total, they can save up to 70-75% of utility bills by choosing to live in Solar Energy Apartments SEA.
Levan Okropiridze, the Project Manager, talked to us about the construction process and the benefits the project will provide not only to residents but also to the street and city as a whole. Okropiridze explains that the construction process involved rehabilitating the entire street, as underground communications needed changing and renewing, as such benefiting local residents.
“From the beginning of construction, we have been making interesting and significant changes. Our project has contributed to raising awareness among the population about the importance of a green and sustainable economy and caring for natural resources. Apart from installing solar panels on the roof and balconies, the project also envisages the use of geothermal waters, providing hot water of up to 70 degrees for residents. This is directly linked to solar energy, giving us great savings, as the geothermal waters are used to heat up the flats through underfloor heating. This is a big relief in terms of energy efficiency,” he notes.
“Further, the project is implemented with Breeam certification, which is the highest standard in the EU construction sector for energy and thermal projects. There is actually no higher standard than this, and we are the only ones who have it in Georgia.”
Okropiridze tells us that using artificial intelligence and the latest “Smart House” technologies were key points during the construction. The residential multi-apartment complex will have a private meteorological station, meaning that a special program will inform the residents about weather conditions so they can dress appropriately before leaving home.
The developers of the project have already equipped the building with ultra-modern smart technologies of “Smart House,” meaning residents can open the entrance door or call the elevator with a retina scan. At the same time, everything that a resident might need can be managed by mobile phone. A smart management service is yet another opportunity offered to SEA residents.
“At the Solar Energy Apartments SEA, the flats are delivered to customers fully equipped with furniture and home appliances of only the highest quality, exclusive, and very expensive products,” Okropiridze notes. “We’re installing an energy-efficient German elevator, which gives and generates energy while moving. Demand for such orders is so low and rare in the Georgian market that even the biggest companies in the field, such as our partners Gorgia and Citadel, have never had such orders from a company. We can say that these are our ‘special orders.’ The same applies to, for instance, the paints we’re using during construction, which are of exclusive design and quality, and naturally, very expensive. We aim to create the best living conditions for our customers, and that’s why we spare no efforts or resources to achieve them.”
Taking into account every detail, as stated by the project manager, a total of $2.7 million has been invested in the project thus far.
“Also, the building is built only with energy-efficient blocks of EU standard, which are expensive and rare but guarantee a ‘warm’ life for residents. Those blocks also provide guaranteed privacy and isolation, meaning that the common problem of noise coming from neighboring apartments will be eliminated as much as possible,” Okropiridze claims.
He notes that over the years, society’s awareness of the “green” economy has also risen, in which the contribution of Solar Energy Apartments SEA is significant.
“Seven years ago, when we started talking about the construction of an energy-efficient residential complex using solar energy in Georgia, the feedback from society was quite skeptical. Today, the reality and approach to this matter have sharply changed. When we talk about our project at UN or EBRD conferences and EU Exhibitions of Green Enterprises, we see a totally different approach from the audience. Everyone wants to own an energy-efficient product, such as electric cars, etc. Our project is already a member of the UN Economic Network and also got to the EU Exhibition of Green Enterprises, having been printed in its catalogue, as it meets the highest standards of construction and represents an example of Green Architecture. Once the project is completed, we’re planning to cooperate with EBRD, the biggest financial institution worldwide, and also meet their criteria. This means that one small residential building in Georgia will include the standards of the three giant leading organizations worldwide in itself! This is a project of the future that we’re building, and it sharply changes the vision of the economy of the future.”
Apart from purchasing an apartment, there is an option to lease the acquired apartment back to the company, yielding approximately $12,000 annually. The company extends services not only limited to apartment rentals but also provides a comprehensive package, ranging from airport transportation to organizing tours. Notably, the building features hanging gardens, a local restaurant, and an ideal environment for relaxation.
“Buying an apartment from us and then putting it up for rent to visiting tourists is a very beneficial investment in the future. This is a matter of a small investment that will result in a stable source of income. Unlike many other developers, our goal is not to just ‘complete the construction and leave,’ but to finish the project and stay in touch with our customers, communicate with them, offer them our services and experience, and create the best living conditions for them. We consider them to be our partners and friends, not just customers,” Okropiridze tells us.
The Solar Energy Apartments SEA project clearly stands as a groundbreaking blend of sustainability and innovation, offering residents a unique investment opportunity. With a $2.7 million investment, the project not only champions eco-friendly living but also introduces an enticing option for apartment leasing. Featuring hanging gardens, a local restaurant, and tailored services, this development sets a new standard for holistic, environmentally conscious urban living.