No, it isn't a guide to building nor it is a glossary of Spanish construction terms. The "Libro del Edificio" (The Building Book) consists of several volumes assembled in different files, includes the main data of the building and is a useful mechanism not only for end users, but also for any architects, surveyors, developers, builders, real estate, Presidents of Communities or buildings administrators that need to carry out any action in the building.
We have dealt with this information a long time ago, but I thought we should consider going over it again due to its importance and relevance on maintaining our properties in Spain.
It is a document equivalent to the MoT for cars, it will reflect from the first brick that has been laid, up to any building extension, reform or rehabilitation of the building. If any work is carry out on the facade, for example, the book will collect data from the company that that has been employed, the details about the work done etc. It should be kept in the building, which by law must contain a community closet with lock in which will be stored there for future users.
Do we take seriously the construction quality of the building itself?
When we decide to purchase a property we contemplate aspects such as location, neighbourhood, if it has good access to shopping or schools, but how often do we take seriously the construction quality of the of the building itself? Perhaps because it is not easy to recognize the actual conditions or the conditions of its maintenance and even less if it had suffered any cracks, moisture, leaks or possible defects of construction in the past.
Wouldn’t be wonderful if we could be handed a log book where all the technical history of the building was recorded?
As a response to the lack of information on the conditions of existing buildings and to ensure its proper maintenance and conservation, The Building Book, was born on the glorious day of May the 6th of the year 2000.
It corresponds to the autonomous communities to regulate and develop the building book and ensure its implementation, being this main obstacle to its implementation: whilst there may be inspections through the departments of housing of each autonomous region, these checks are rarely made. Most autonomous communities have already regulated this issue, ones with more detail than others.
This law, however, is not retroactive: the obligation to have a building book only applies to properties which had requested the building license after May of the year 2000.
Homeowners will be handed with the parts concerning their obligations for maintaining his property. Within the book, we can find the technical specifications document, essential for carrying out the operations for maintenance aimed at ensuring to increase the useful life of the property.
The book, broken down in parts.
Although it is not exactly the same format for each autonomous community these chapters are common to all:
General but extremely important information regarding the names, address of all parties involved in the process of its construction: location of the building, the property developer, the authors of the project, the name and details of the, builder, licenses, dates of construction, property regime, and any guarantees are reflected there.
All incidents must be registered.
A chapter will deal with all incidence such as changes of ownership (title deeds), date in which is recorded the incidence, election of new Presidents of the community of owners, details on reforms and renovations affecting the original condition of the building, any grants obtained from the local authorities, any insurance contracted, all these should be recorded by the President or the administrator of the Community.
Keeping a maintenance schedule.
Planned maintenance operations must be put into action throughout the year, whether they are mandatory or recommended. To log for all these should be written down on evaluations sheets provided and it should show the dates and details of the professional who have carried out the work in the building, as well as his signature and stamp. The same process should be followed for each operation recommended in the maintenance schedule.
Manual of usage and maintenance.
In this chapter it will be described the construction characteristics of the building and the recommendations for each specific element with it specific use and maintenance instructions.