Friday, 1 June 2012

The Fees on Construction Projects in Spain (I)

Professional Fees of Spanish Architects in Building Projects (I)

Urban Conditions and Calculation of Fees

In Spain, we consider “building works”:
  • the new construction, unless it has great constructive and technical simplicity, with no residential or public character, and developed on one level
  • the extension, modification, reform or rehabilitation that alter the architectural characteristics
  • the total intervention works in catalogued buildings, that have some kind of environmental, artistic or historical protection
  • the partial intervention works affecting elements or parts to be protected.

Urban Conditions

Typically, applicable urban planning will impose conditions on how the building project can be materialized on each specific site. Between such conditions, the developer will find the maximum height of the building, the allowed building uses and the maximum buildable area. All this information is necessary for the architect to properly estimate the construction cost of the project. It becomes then necessary that the developer is notified in advance of the planning conditions that apply to his particular project, for which there are two main options:
  • asking the City Council a “Cédula urbanística” (Urban Report) about his land
  • instructing an architect a Study on applicable urban conditions.

The Calculation Method

Before the “Ley de Medidas Liberalizadoras en Materia de Suelo y de Colegios Profesionales” (Law of Liberalization Measures on Land and Professional Associations), the fee scales provided a method for Spanish Architects calculating professional fees corresponding to building projects, which consisted of a first estimate of the probable construction cost and then applying a percentage or fraction weighted by the project's built area and the assignment's complexity. Today, this referred calculation method is no longer mandatory, but it's still understood as reasonable that architect's professional fees are calculated as a weighted fraction of the construction cost.
Architectural Design

Daniel Trujillano, Architect
Architectural Services for Building Projects in Spain

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