The buildings, much to our regret, have a limited useful life , which depends on the quality of the materials and their suitability for use. These materials have greater or less resistance to wear caused by all kinds of agents, which influences the stability and durability of buildings. From time to time, and for reasons not only of aesthetics, but also of security, it is necessary to carry out façade rehabilitation, restoration and maintenance of buildings.
Also, currently, lack of land in cities is a big problem, so rehabilitation is an alternative to get more living spaces by recovering the habitability of buildings, or the rehabilitation of commercial premises that are currently useless.
For example, in Madrid there are a wide variety of buildings that are not in an approvable state to be inhabited , and therefore require rehabilitation in order to admit new tenants. This turns the capital into a market niche in continuous growth. In addition, it should be noted that rehabilitation can be cheaper than a new construction.
Another objective for which the rehabilitation of facades and homes is booming is to guarantee the improvement of the emblematic buildings that constitute a hallmark due to their age and the accompanying story. Many of these buildings are over 50 years old, so the fine, in the event of not having been restored, can amount to 6,000 euros .
Types of rehabilitation of facades and buildings according to the objectives
The rehabilitation of buildings, not just facades, encompasses a series of construction activities that help improve the conditions of the building:
- First of all, a necessary activity is the security contribution in the building to solve problems such as the risk of detachment or the need to reinforce walls and foundations. This is a fundamental point to guarantee the habitability of a home.
- Secondly, rehabilitation can also be aimed at activities dedicated to improving the quality of life thanks to accessibility, through the installation of automatic doors or elevators. These solutions are necessary to avoid the existence of architectural barriers that prevent or hinder the passage of the building’s tenants.
- The rehabilitation of the buildings also consists of the updating of facilities that have become outdated with the change in regulations . For example, lead pipes that were used years ago for water installations in buildings, have now been shown to pose a health hazard from water pollution.
- Energy rehabilitations are also carried out by installing all kinds of systems to achieve savings in energy consumption . For example, by installing insulating panels that protect against heat or cold. In addition, asbestos was formerly used as a material for the thermal insulation of buildings or the soundproofing of spaces. But in Spain its use was banned in 2002.
- Furthermore, the rehabilitation of buildings in energy has a double aspect. On the one hand, thanks to the improvement of energy efficiency, we contribute to the benefit of the environment, since we manage to make more sustainable use of the home . And, on the other hand, homeowners or tenants benefit from the economic savings of lower energy consumption, achieving up to 60% savings in energy costs.
- Finally, home renovation can be oriented to activities dedicated to change of use . They consist of improving the habitability of common areas of buildings and homes to welcome new tenants. If these activities include reinforcements in the structure, repair of roofs, electrical installations and other major works, it is called rehabilitation or integral reform of buildings .
Why is it necessary to rehabilitate facades and buildings ?: Technical Building Inspection
First of all, the legislation in Spain regarding rehabilitation of buildings requires that owners must keep buildings in conditions of safety, sanitation, public decoration and decorum . In the case of not complying with these obligations, the municipalities can sanction the owners and adopt forced rehabilitation measures.
The legislation itself has established periodic inspection mechanisms, called ITE ( Technical Inspection of Buildings ) to ensure compliance with regulations. In these inspections, the state of the structures, facades, foundations, roofs, electricity networks, water pipes and sewerage is studied.
They can be works that require a technical project or not . For the former, which usually affect building structures, you must apply for a building license , and once this is completed, a final certificate must be issued by a school professional. Those that do not require a technical project will only need a municipal services execution order . Once finished, a certificate of suitability must be issued, ensuring that the problems have been solved.
As of 2018, another type of additional document began to be required, the Building Evaluation Report (IEE) which complements the ITE, and includes two more sections to evaluate: the accessibility and energy efficiency . This document is mandatory for buildings over 50 years old, as well as for all buildings (regardless of age) that request aid or subsidies for rehabilitation.
Phases of the buildings and facades rehab
In order to carry out such a delicate project, it is important to know what steps must be followed to try not to make any mistakes. These are:
- Diagnosis: a preliminary study must first be carried out to determine the current state of the building. This should include all detectable deficiencies and anomalies.
- Technical proposal: is the initial project that details the solutions to solve the problems noted in the diagnosis. This technical proposal must include all the work to be carried out. In addition, images of the finished project are included through layout, 3D models and mock ups.
- Budget: Once the project has been completed, the amount of all the activities to be carried out must be valued. For the elaboration of the budget, the companies specialized in building restoration must take into account the limits of the technical management, the license and the urban regulations.
- Rehabilitation of buildings: the products are chosen according to the quality, the structures and what is related to the design and decoration is considered . This section also includes administrative procedures such as the application for a license, issued by the town planning department of the city council.
- Execution of the work: the detailed works are carried out and ends with the rehabilitation of the building. It includes all the activities planned to be carried out such as the rehabilitation of the facades, energy rehabilitation, etc.
- Completion of the work. After finishing the restoration, the document for the end of the work must be signed. This must include the date of completion, the total amount and the declaration of receipt of the work. The architect who has carried out the optional management must sign this certificate.
The Rehabilitation of Buildings is an activity that requires great experience. The solution is to find a balance between the old space and the comfort of a current home. At International Constructor Site and Field, we are specialized in the rehabilitation of historical buildings and new construction. We also have extensive experience in the reform of premises, homes, offices and portals, or in convert commercial premises into homes .