As an investigator and accident prevention specialist in the construction industry, an opportunity to tour Russia in March 1993 allowed me to examine that nation's construction methods and learn more about its culture. My study focused on concrete construction sites in two major cities - Moscow and St. Petersburg. It was hampered, however, by the lack of active jobsites and the unavailability of reliable data. With the former Communist administration disrupted and whole segments of its industry abandoned, workers are now jobless in a country that previously had been without unemployment. Caught up in Russia's financial and political quagmire, the construction industry is nearly at a standstill. But despite the lack of jobsites, I saw enough activity to collect meaningful data, take photos, and make some interesting observations. Russians endure many construction obstacles, the likes of which most Americans never encounter. These include inadequate roadways, low water tables, permafrost, restrictive local customs, and material shortages. Despite all these inconveniences, Russians manage to build housing, erect sturdy high-rise apartments, and renovate existing inner-city structures, thereby preserving their cultural heritage and national treasures. Though some construction techniques in Russia need improvement, like the use of rough-cut lumber for formwork, America should consider adopting frugal, efficient Russian-style floor plans to better meet the increasing demands for low-cost housing.