April 2011

We meet Mayor Maja Catović again on 04 Apr. She is highly confident that the municipal council, the Škupstina, will pass the Risan DUP by the end of the month. When I suggest that neither of us would like to be meeting in September to hear her say that the DUP would be another 3 or 4 months, she gets quite annoyed, and insists that the DUP will be through. We go on to meet her Secretary of Urbanism, Snezana Raicević, who is somewhat less optimistic, telling us that it will probably come down from the Ministry in May, possibly even June. Far better news is that she tells us the coefficients which apply to the plot: 20% and 60%. Though less than we had hoped for, at least we now can start detailed planning on that basis. It gives us a footprint of 80m2 and 3 floors, totalling 240m2. By the time the extra thickness of the walls is taken account of, it means effective living space of about 190m2, of which one floor is used for the ‘conference centre’ – where the house will be explained to people.

GBC ME work takes up most of our days. It has become a full-time job, though neither of us want this, but none of the others have the experience to put it all together. Halfway through the month, I meet, thanks to Branko Lukovac our excellent Board member, the Minister for the new mega Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism. This was formed in the new government under Igor Luksić, who took over from the seemingly ever-present Milo Djukanović who suddenly resigned just before Christmas. It combines elements of the former Ministry for Spatial Planning and Environment – which itself was only a year old in that form – and the Ministry for Tourism. Anyway, Predrag Sekulić agrees to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with us, emphasising joint work on revising the Building Codes and supporting rating systems such as BREEAM, DGNB and LEED. All well and good, except that we will sign this MOU when he opens an Ecological Fair the following week, 20 April. Almost non-stop work ensues, especially for Anke on the marketing side, to prepare adequate documentation, not to mention the MoU itself. We manage, just, with about 90% of what we would like available on the day. Sadly the organisation of the event itself turns out to be a shambles as we were not in control of the timings, but we do achieve a degree of press coverage and GBC ME is now officially launched. All we have to do now is get more paying members!

The end of the month is occupied with Easter (weekend 23-25) and of course the Royal Wedding in UK, between HRH Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton, now HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, on 29. In between, on 28 Apr, we attend an interesting conference on
Energy Efficient Lighting, sponsored by GIZ, and find out some useful info which will help us in the house.