Dipl. Eng. Grud Iliev, Cabano OOD: It is important for the team to work together, sharing success and failure equally.
Grud Iliev is 33 years old. He has a Bachelor's degree in Electronic engineering (2002-2007), then graduated without a degree from the Faculty of Geodesy of the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in the period 2007-2012.
Grud has been working for Cabano since 2007. He went through a wide range of positions - from assistant, to worker, technical manager, designer, and even inventory keeper. After years of work, his job is now more of a managerial one - in all its aspects.
The following lines are about design, the art of architecture and the development of Cabano over the years.
Hello Grud, can you tell us how Cabana Design Studio was created?
Quite frankly, I only remember it rather vaguely. In fact, I'd say I remember almost nothing. I was only 9! Our company was founded in 1992 by some close friends, school mates and colleagues as a small design studio. Then business gradually picked up and active project work began.
After 1994, we started to participate in the construction and reconstruction of buildings, and in 1996 we were already repairing, renovating, and insulating structures from the state road network - bridges, overpasses, etc.
Later, in 1998, we started designing and executing many park environments, swimming pools, as well as working with stamped concrete on various sites both within and outside of Burgas.
What kind of buildings do you design most often?
We mostly design single- and multi-family residential buildings and buildings with a mixed-use function, perhaps because we are in such an area where the demand for flats is traditionally high. However, over these 25 years we have had many public and industrial sites: sports grounds, hotels, petrol stations, car showrooms, service centres, warehouses, production bases, food processing facilities, restaurants, and shops.
Can you quickly take us through the planning to the realization of a project?
It is difficult to go 'quickly' through the long process of planning and constructing. Every case is very specific and depends on the property and the client.
Work goes through several stages. First, we get the necessary documents which, in most cases, are the document of ownership and a proxy to represent our clients. We then prepare a supporting plan, by checking if everything is all right with the property in terms of regulation, cadastre, and the building plan, then we inform the client about the necessary follow-up, and we start working on the project. If, after all these checks, everything is fine, we prepare a design assignment together with the client. First, we do a functional distribution of the objects, to accommodate the needs of the investor, the specifics of the property and the area, the constructive, the fire requirements and, subsequently, the exterior.
Then we start work on the other parts of the design, again in several meetings with the investor. We give them detailed information about the type of installations, the fire requirements, the requirements of the utility companies, and the specifics of the solutions proposed by us. When we are ready with the project, we obtain the approval of the relevant authorities and institutions for the necessary designs and provide a complete set of documentation sufficient for the preparation of a complex report for the assessment of the compliance of the investment project and the obtaining of the building permit.
What kind of problems do you encounter most often in your field of work and on your work on the specific sites?
They are so many, and so different. Firstly, I would say the biggest problem for the investment design is the poorly-organized procedures under the Spatial Planning Act for the preparation of detailed development plans, plot plans, street regulation plans, and the approval of investment projects. The whole process needs reconfiguration. Another very common problem is the discrepancy between the regulation and cadastre. And also, the poorly-written or interpreted fire safety regulations. Generally speaking, the problems are usually related not to the actual nature of the design but to the legal framework and the way it is applied.
In your opinion, what is the connection between the architecture, the design, the interior and the construction of a site?
I think the connection is the person who sits in his living room. Unfortunately, Bulgaria is still at a level where we think about money first and then about the man, and even the man does not put himself first. I hope in the near future everyone will start thinking more about the man and less about the money.
In your opinion, what is the role of an engineer in the architectural industry?
To argue with the architects, isn't this the trend? Joking aside, in my opinion, the mission of all fellow-designers in the industry must be to maintain quality relationships in their teams, to achieve understanding and to improve the product they offer. We have always introduced ourselves as a team, not as Architect A or Engineer B, because it is important for me to work as a unit and to share success and failure.
What are your company's long-term goals?
Our long-term goal can be described in one word: development. I do not set limits. Of course, we have short and medium-term specific goals that we hope to be able to deliver in the foreseeable future, but they are all directly related to this long-term goal. Development.