By Jindřich Řicica, Chairman and Secretary for ADSZS.
Unlike most of EFFC members, the Czech’s ADSZS (Association of Special Foundation Contractors) received one utmost preferential task during its formation in 2000; to help restore normal civic society where business existed as usual.
After more than forty years of totalitarian regime, this was not easy. Before war, the Czech Republic had been one of the most developed and most industrial regions in Europe. It then subdued to the highest degree of so called “nationalisation” unmatched even by the Soviet bloc. Unfortunately, rebirth of destroyed social tissue (when atomised people could come together again with trust to talk to each other) takes serious time.
From the beginning, the EFFC was a great living example of how it works. The 10 founding member companies of ADSZS took inspiration of function chips and implanted them into its awakening body. There were many discussions and doubts when ADSZS introduced its “General Conditions of Contract” but we learnt that each step has its value.
Another motivation for ADSZS was the EFFC’s soil risk survey. This showed the far distant, low position of the Czech Republic when compared against other EFFC member countries. This triggered ADSZS to raise public awareness to this problem. It arranged collaboration with the Czech Chamber of Chartered Construction Engineers (ČKAIT) booklet on “Risks in Special Foundation Works”, which was distributed in 2011 with great success.
On the other hand, ADSZS fell short in its task for uniting the deeply disrupted Czech geotechnical community behind a proposal for a National Amendment to Eurocode 7. Unfortunately the country stayed one of only a few missing it in Europe.
The promising evolution of ADSZS was badly affected by the deep construction depression of 2008. It had however ignited fundamental rethinking on industry conditions among all companies of the market. ADSZS initiated meetings with external companies and succeeded in persuading them to join.
One powerful point in these talks was from the EFFC’s German Federation who presented on contract conditions. From 2015 ADSZS increased twofold to 17 companies which represented 85% of the Czech market place.
New activities have been started through an ongoing partnership with ČKAIT, in its Geotechnical Working Group. ADSZS representatives now work closely with Chartered Engineers on many tasks of mutual interests including;
• Improvement of geotechnical investigation – where the EFFC “Checklist on Site Investigation” has been modified for local use through ČKAIT’s system
• Information offensive on geotechnical risks to professional community through the main construction magazine “STAVEBNICTVI” by sequel of four articles on this subject with examples from European countries practice
• Pushing for implementation of FIDIC standard contracts
Since ADSZS members have learnt that its influence strongly depended on broad cooperation with a spectrum of partners, they highly appreciated another EFFC example presented by Austrian Federation model of supporting members and modified its vision in 2016 accordingly.
The outlook for the future of ADSZS is now optimistic.