Architect’s Responsibilities, Guarantees, and Warranties in Spain

What are the responsibilities of an architect in Spain?

Let me kick off with the obvious and then move on to what you probably really want to know which is what kind of guarantees and protection you get when you build a house in Spain.

The architect is responsible for ensuring, that the building complies with the building regulations and, that the building conforms with the contract and therefore with the scale drawings, specification, bill of quantities that has been agreed with you. The scale drawings, specification and bill of quantities is called the proyecto de ejecucion in Spain and this is attached to the building contract.

When the architect signs off on a project they declare that the above has happened and they are liable to provide redress if it hasn’t. Although the architect is the senior figure the responsibility is shared by the Facultad Directiva. This is a management and decision trio of three professionals. The law states it has to supervise every building project and the three professionals have collective responsibility. The responsibility extends to materials and good practice.

The Facultad Directiva comprises:
1. The Director of the Works
2. The Works Manager
3. The Health and Safety Officer

Should things go wrong you are protected by three mechanisms:
1. Statute
2. The law of contract
3. The College of Architects that regulates professional standards.

Of these three by far the most powerful is the architect’s statutory responsibilities as they are written down in the L.E.O. Ley Ordenacion Edificacion (Building Regulations).

The law specifies that responsibility of the direccion facultative extends for the following time periods:
• 10 years for the structure
• 3 years for the installations
• 1 year snagging

Naturally responsibility is limited to defects in design and construction.

Should it be necessary a judge will look at the facts and allocate responsibility between the three.

Author: Eco Vida Homes is a team of Architects, Technical Architects, Builders, an Engineer, and a Chartered Surveyor. We help people design and build beautiful energy efficient homes designed for Mediterranean living in Marbella and Southern Spain. There are two things that make us stand out: a sharp focus on our clients’ needs and every we do is comfortable and energy efficiency. It’s like Grand Designs only without the drama.