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Construction and investment in Spain

Construction and Investment in Spain

Building is no longer cheaper than buying. However, it offers the possibility to build its tailor-made house itself, and to observe important parameters in real estate investment. At bühler & partners architects engineers and consulting, we make suggestions and help with ideas. Until the dream house is finished on the concept paper. Because: a new building is an investment and should also be well sold in the future: lack of quality or functionality reduce the resale value.

With us, the design and the functionality are at the forefront corresponding to Frank Lloyd Wright’s teaching:

“Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union. ”

Our international customers have high requirements: good building qualities and comfort – these include intelligent home automation systems, heat and noise protection, a felicitous design and high functionality.

What does the architect’s work look like?

The design / feasibility study – the first idea

In the beginning there is only a white paper, the first step is also for us always a challenge. For the first draft sketch, we need you to provide us with information on the use you expect from your future house. How many bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen open or separated, garage or parking space, with or without service area … also a topographical plan would be helpful, especially with location on a slope. The design process is the real work of the architect; here, a successful design has to be combined with functionality; it is also about the best development and orientation of the house; during the first sketches we also think about how the house could be supplied. Of this “design” process you will recognize only little, because in this phase we afford to propose what we consider necessary. Then we present in sketch form (hand-sketched and colored) as we would imagine the ideal building of your property.

Approval planning

Once advanced with the design and co-ordinated with you, we pour out the sketchy proposals in plan format and create ground plans, sections, elevations, site map. In this phase “approval planning”, the “outer skin” of the building has to be defined more and more. As the builder, you have the opportunity to make changes during this process and to optimize the last subtleties. At the same time, however, our ideas and special wishes must also be discussed and negotiated with the competent building authority. In an approval planning – or Proyecto Básico – this now goes to the city / building authority.

Execution planning

When this first step “Proyecto Básico” is finished, it’s about realising the idea: Which building materials should be used, which building equipment? Are there special requirements and wishes to be considered, such as lift in the house or handicapped accesible? All these questions, which are discussed in the process of finding ideas, are gradually defined and elaborated, and then incorporated into technical plans of the execution planning or “Proyecto de Ejecución” as it is called here in Spain.

Geological survey & Statical calculation

Apart from these detailed questions, however, a geological survey must also be realised. From this, we can see what kind of soil we have on the plot, what kind of density we can count on. This must then flow into the statics of the dream house, the poorer soil quality the more strongly the foundation of the building must be planned.

This planning process takes time and we think it should also last its time. An investment in the dream house is not cheap and the success is and will be with the design; at the end of the construction site, the architect and builder should stand by and be satisfied with the work. So I advise you to put the project aside for a couple of weeks: you will be amazed at the suggestions for improvement you would like to contribute.

Tender, offers, awarding of contracts

The most important phase in the construction process now begins: the tender offer or performance description. In this book, all materials are described in detail and the necessary masses are determined. Room by room, from top to bottom. This is very laborious work, because in the ideal case our invitation to tender or quality list contains everything necessary for the completion of the dream house. The success of the construction process depends very much on this work, as it is later  the basis of the building contract, which the contractor has to adhere to. If, therefore, individual parts of the building are not or only poorly described, the contractors use this to carry out supplementary offers which the client has to accept – if he does not want to immediately dismiss the building contractor in the construction phase.
The next phase in the construction process is to obtain offers from the different constructors, price comparison of the individual prices. Check whether mistakes were made during bidding, as well as negotiations with contractors. It quickly becomes clear, who must be the constructor who will make the construction site, it is usually the ideal mixture of competence, sympathy and a good offer. After the negotiations are concluded, a construction contract is signed and shortly afterwards the construction site can begin, always assuming the building permit is available.

We at bühler & partners architects engineers and consultants accompany you in particular during this important phase – tendering / obtaining of tenders / contracting / signing of the construction contract. This sounds self-evident, but it is not because the performance phases of the German HOAI (tendering, assistance with the awarding and awarding of contracts) do not appear in the performance of the Spanish architect.

The construction site

Everything is now meticulously prepared and the excavator comes to the site. Together with the construction manager (Aparejador), the architect manages the construction site as a supervisor. Together with the Aparejador, monthly survey certificates are checked and approved after modification, which the builder then can process for payment.

Acceptance

Together with the client, the architect and the construction manager (Aparejador) are now accepting the construction site. This is usually done by creating a list of defects and asking the building contractor to correct these deficiencies within a reasonable time.

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