Sajam gradjevinarstva 2007 - Belgrade International Building Trade Fair

16 April 2007 - Comments (0) Construction

Sajam gradjevinarstva 2007 - Belgrade International Building Trade Fair After a short break for Easter, we are right back in business for attending the most important event regarding construction business in Belgrade: the international Building Trade Fair. For us, at the stage we are, it was an unique chance to select the materials and the companies we want to work with for the construction of our first project. We focused on finding the best material or products regarding quality and price. Here is a summary of the good things we saw in this 2007 edition of "Sajam gradjevinarstva".

Wall systems

A clear trend is the appearance this year of large clay blocks, like POROTHERM, which allow to build a complete wall without the need of additional thermal insulation. Those blocks are already very popular in France, Austria, Croatia or Poland and they are coming to Serbia. We saw the blocks Eurotherm 38 S (the most interesting) and Eurotherm 38 UT from Opeka a Croatian company. Another Croatian company, nexe, is producing a similar block under the name TB-38. They mentioned they are looking into producing the block in Serbia.

Wienerberger was not at the fair to present the POROTHERM 38 S P+E PLUS block that we chose for our construction. The best of all blocks regarding the rate of heat loss (U-factor) is Eurotherm 38 S, which looks very much like Biomur, a Wienerberger product sold in France. POROTHERM 38 S P+E PLUS comes close and it is the only one to include a system for reinforcing the construction against earthquake.

Right now those blocks are just starting to be imported in Serbia and Wienerberger seems to be the one providing the best support and logistic. We are going to keep watching the others. We believe those blocks are going to be more and more popular in Serbia once people realize their advantages and start to care a bit more about the quality of their constructions.

We paid a visit to Xella for the Ytong product. This could be used as an alternative to POROTHERM clay blocks. In term of thermal insulation, the result would be the same for a slightly smaller thickness. In fact, the characteristics of the two products are fairly similar, clay blocks being much stronger. Now, despite the massive marketing done by Xella, Ytong is missing that respectability and unambiguous quality that clay blocks enjoy. Especially in Serbia, people are skeptical about Ytong or Siporex, which is more or less the same thing. And we heard some horror stories about cracked buildings few years after construction. As we are building quality houses for sale, we want to stick to materials that carry that value of genuine quality in an uncontroversial way. Perception may change in a few years and we will beneficiate from the experience of those building with Ytong today.

Roofing systems

We thought we would go for Tegola Canadese ventilated-roof system. But when going beyond the marketing speech we discovered that:

  • genuine ventilated roofs are very expensive to implement with Tegola Canadese system
  • bitumen shingle in general, and standard Tegola Canadese in Serbia in particular, are not so good in term of quality and durability. They get damaged quickly and the roof can not live more than 20 to 30 years without replacement; and sometimes much less.
  • they have cooper-coated shingles but this is a luxury product

That was not matching our expectations. Then, we discovered two importators of Stone Coated Steel Roofing system. That type of roofing system is simply the best that exist today. It is common to get 30 to 50 years warranty on those products, and they can last as long as the house itself. They have been used all over the world for a long time. Interestingly enough, on the Tegola Canadese website, they compare their product to all roofing systems (showing how better they are), but they do not compare to Stone Coated Steel Roofing.

We will definitely make a deal with one of the two importators and Kuće Beodom houses will be covered with the best product around (either Decra or Metrotile). This illustrates our commitment in doing quality constructions.

Heating systems

We were not very happy with the solutions we had in our hands so far. Not having gas for domestic use we were stuck between an electric stove and a wood/coil burning stove. The first one is clean and automatically regulated but electricity is expensive in Serbia. The second one is messy, not automatically regulated and is a real burden to maintain.

Enter the wood pellet burning boiler. This is not new, as it is used all over the world, but we didn't know we could find it in Serbia. The stove is coupled with a system that injects small wood pellets for combustion as needed. It is clean, automatically regulated and the wood pellets, produced from wood waste, are cheap and ecological. This is really a perfect system.

And that system can be attached to a low temperature floor heating circuit. That is the solution we are keeping for Kuće Beodom houses. That provides the best comfort for a small running cost. The wood pellet burning boiler is more expensive than a standard electric one but the running cost is much lower and this solution is therefore much better for our clients.

External windows

That was an item with high priority on our list. We wanted to find a product of uncompromising quality but yet affordable. Especially in the PVC window profiles space, there are many very bad products available in Serbia. We found a local producer with all certificates, who produces complete PVC windows of best class, passing all European normes. We got to talk to the director of the company and they are serious and ambitious. And we were able to see that their windows are excellent. It is likely we will sign a deal with them.


We summarized here the most important things we saw but it is far from all. Overall, that "Building Trade Fair" was excellent for us and it came just at the right time. We still have to digest the large amount of documentation we gathered and to contact people in the coming weeks.

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